The Charlotte News

Wednesday, May 20, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that U.N. infantrymen fighting with knives, bayonets, grenades and rifle butts this date had inflicted more than 200 casualties among the 300 enemy soldiers who had attacked an allied outpost on the western front. Of the casualties, 45 had been killed, 33 probably killed and about 130 wounded in the 25-minute battle at the base of "T-Bone Hill".

In the air war, U.S. Sabre jets encountered no enemy jets over northwest Korea, while allied fighter-bombers hit enemy supply areas across the narrow waist of the peninsula, destroying buildings, supply dumps and trucks, and producing craters in roads and railways.

Four unidentified planes had dropped bombs and strafed a bridge behind allied lines this date, wounding or killing nine U.N. soldiers, whose nationalities were not indicated in the brief announcement by the U.S. Eighth Army.

High U.N. sources in Tokyo were silent regarding plans for resuming the Korean truce talks on Monday, following a six-day respite requested by the allies. Peiping radio said that Washington was endangering the talks by "flouting world demand that the prisoner of war issue be solved immediately." There was speculation that the U.N. Command was considering altering its previous proposal to the Communists, which they had flatly rejected. There was also a report that the allies intended to release in Korea the 34,000 North Koreans who resisted repatriation of the 48,500 total such prisoners of war, should the armistice negotiations irretrievably break down.

Congressman Dewey Short of Missouri, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said that Congressional leaders had been told at the White House conference the previous day that the truce talks were bogged down and that the Communists were still stalling. He indicated that the Administration was becoming convinced that the Communists did not want peace in Korea. He said there was no indication at the conference of possible future allied moves.

The President had addressed the nation by radio the previous night regarding the proposed budget and defense, indicating that 60 percent of every defense dollar would go into air power for both offensive and defensive purposes. He said that the arms program had been based on "calculated risks which have been prudently reasoned" to avoid national bankruptcy while achieving "lasting strength". Republicans praised the speech generally, but many Democrats continued to criticize the decision to cut back to a target goal of 120 air groups for the Air Force, from the 143 groups set for mid-1955 under the Truman Administration. Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota said that "no amount of rationalizing will gainsay the fact that the Republicans are making a severe cut in the Air Force." Missouri Senator Stuart Symington, former Secretary of the Air Force, who had already called the proposed Air Force cuts "incredible", said that he would reply to the President in a Senate speech later in the week.

A majority of Republicans on the House Ways & Means Committee reportedly agreed this date to oppose extending for six months the excess profits tax beyond its June 30 scheduled expiration, as had been sought by the President, including in his speech of the previous night. The Republicans of the Committee had met after hearing the speech. House Speaker Joe Martin was hoping still to persuade enough Republicans to go along with the President on the extension, and it was possible that the House leaders would bypass the Committee and bring the bill for the extension directly to the floor. Some Republicans on the Committee, however, appeared ready to support the President on the issue. Most Democrats would support the President's position.

Future Attorney General and Senator Robert F. Kennedy testified this date in a public hearing before the Senate investigations subcommittee, of which he was an assistant counsel, that two British-owned vessels had transported Communist Chinese troops along the China coast the previous year. The testimony drew angry comment from some of the Senators present, including the chairman, Senator Joseph McCarthy, who said that he would have a letter dispatched to the President during the afternoon regarding the issue. Mr. Kennedy had said that Western Allied trade with the Communist Chinese had undergone a tremendous increase, and that 100 ships flying the British flag had engaged in such trade during the first 3 1/2 months of the year, that every country among the U.S. allies had hauled to the Communists at least one cargo containing items which the U.S. Government considered to be "strategic", but which the Allied powers contended were non-strategic, that the Defense Department had refused to name the disputed commodities or the ships which carried them, based on it being classified information. One of the ships, according to Mr. Kennedy's information, the Charles Dickens, had hauled U.S. Mutual Security Agency foreign aid goods in February, 1952, a ship owned by the same firm which later had transported Communist troops on another ship.

In Roenne, Bornholm, in Denmark, a Polish pilot defected from the Iron Curtain this date, landing a Soviet-built MIG-15 on the Danish island, 100 miles southwest of Copenhagen. Police who took him into custody said that he was seeking political asylum. The plane was immediately surrounded by military guards, with strict orders to keep reporters and press photographers away. An unconfirmed report indicated that the plane was a newer type than one which had been landed on the same island in March by another Polish Air Force defector. That plane had later been returned to Poland after a thorough examination by Western air experts, and the pilot was granted asylum and since had gone to the U.S. The current defector indicated that he had broken from a formation of MIG jets flying over Polish territory, and had flown the few minutes it took to venture 60 miles from the Baltic Sea coast of Poland to Roenne. Since the camp had no airfield, the plane had circled for 75 minutes before finally setting down on a rough field. One of its wings had collided with a tree branch, producing only slight damage. The pilot was unhurt and smiled as he climbed from the cockpit to greet the camp commander. Western military experts considered a MIG-15 to be a prize, with the U.N. Command in the Far East having offered recently a $100,000 reward to the first Communist pilot in Korea who brought them an undamaged MIG-15, and $50,000 rewards to subsequent such pilots. Thus far, there had been no announcement of any takers.

Senator Taft entered Walter Reed Medical Center this date for an X-ray and treatment of a hip which had been bothering him. He had been to the hospital several times recently, and was expected to be there for several days on this visit. The Senate Majority Leader would be diagnosed with cancer within a couple of weeks, and would die from it at the end of July.

In New York, an exotic dancer was to be charged with kidnapping for taking two small children from Washington to New York, after their parents had left her with them for 15 minutes while they went out to a store, after the woman and the couple had drunk beers together. The two-year old boy had been found the previous day wandering in the Central Park Zoo and his year-old sister had been found this date, unharmed and apparently in good condition. The woman who had taken them had been discovered after a man who befriended her became suspicious and telephoned the police. She was quoted by police as saying that she had been drinking on Friday and had blacked out, did not remember anything until awakening on a train in Philadelphia. She had a criminal record for automobile theft and "waywardness". Whether "waywardness" referred to her job as a dancer in a Miami carnival or some other wayward activity in the wind, the story does not disclose.

Also in New York, a City marshal had used a sledgehammer to break into a three-room apartment to evict a black family and 50 other persons, both black and white, who had locked themselves in to prevent the eviction. More than 20 police officers observed as the door was battered down in one of the city's largest private housing developments, Parkchester, in the Bronx. Six women had abandoned a few hours earlier a lock-and-chain sit-down protest against the eviction, in the downtown offices of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., which operated the housing development. Police took no part in the breaking of the door, but led occupants out after the City marshal had gained access. Two white men who had resisted were dragged out and taken to the police station, to be charged with disorderly conduct. Others were half-pulled and half-led from the building. The marshal had acted pursuant to a court order obtained by the company.

In Cherry Point, N.C., there was a money-raising drive on behalf of the Navy Relief Society ongoing, but at least one Marine officer said that somebody would have to come to the relief of gambling Marines who were losing their money at a carnival sponsored by the Relief Society. The Marine captain thought it a strange way to raise money, with beer being sold at one end of the hall and a blackjack game with a five dollar limit, roulette wheels, poker tables, dice games and another game called "Big Six", a variation of roulette, ongoing at the other end. He lamented that the money of the men would likely not last the two weeks until the fund-raising effort was complete. He believed that the men ought be asked to contribute voluntarily rather than induced to gamble for the purpose.

In Charlotte, a Mecklenburg County Recorder's Court judge found a local resident guilty of operating a motor boat on the Catawba River in such a manner that it amounted to disorderly conduct, saying that there was no place for "hot rodders on the water", intending it to serve as warning to other boat operators who did so "in a frightening and fearful manner, endangering themselves and the public". The court imposed only costs, without a fine, as it was a first offense. The defendant's attorney filed an appeal of the decision to Superior Court. The defense had contended that no state statute or State Supreme Court ruling covered the specific act in a motor boat. The judge had found that it amounted to a breach of the peace under common law. Officers who had made the arrest testified that the operator of the boat was running it at the bathing beach and cutting sharply away, running in such tight circles that he almost flipped over. They had been informed that he could not swim and was not wearing a life preserver, and so warned him about the operation of the boat and asked him to don a life preserver, which he did, but then continued to operate the boat in a similar manner, prompting them to arrest him.

In Detroit, a Parks and Recreation Department forestry division official said that deer, squirrels and birds were beginning to return to Belle Isle following a four-day binge after the dumping by unknown moonshiners of 300 pounds of whiskey mash into the lake. After some of the animals had lapped up some of the spiked lake water, they began staggering around, falling while trying to climb trees, and passing out at the edge of the lake. Occasionally, blackbirds would dive toward the lake, driving off the squirrels, then take a quick drink and flap clumsily away. The park official said that the moonshine was so potent that two bucks of the island deer herd had begun fighting over it.

On the editorial page, "The President's Appeal to Reason" indicates that the President's radio address of the previous night had not been a happy occasion, as he had to admit, after four months of studying the budget, that his campaign promises of tax cuts, reduced spending and a balanced budget, could not be realized at the present while maintaining proper national security. He had candidly stated to the American people that there could be no major reduction in the level of Federal spending at present.

It finds that the address gained strength from its honesty and reasonableness and that the report should strengthen his hand in dealing with some of the more impetuous Republicans in the Congress, such as Dan Reed, chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, who still wanted tax reduction without regard to larger budget deficits.

The President had stated that a budget deficit of 5.7 billion dollars was still in prospect for the coming fiscal year, despite reductions of 4.5 billion in spending and of 8.5 billion in requests for new appropriations. Thus, to cut taxes would only increase the deficit, stimulating inflation and further cheapening the money supply, while reducing the budget would compromise the nation's security.

It indicates that it was time for the President to exert stronger leadership, as thus far he had given Congress full rein and there had been signs that it was about to run off with the cart. The President had re-exerted his leadership role in the speech and would hold it, with the backing of the American people.

"A Good Idea If Carried Further" indicates that City Councilman Herman Brown had a good idea, provided he carried it far enough. He believed most businessmen should take an interest in city affairs, including running for office. He had suggested that one way to get them interested was to invite one businessman each week to sit in on the City Council's sessions.

The piece suggests that such an invitation should be extended beyond just one businessman, to include professionals, persons from other walks of life, including day laborers, women, who comprised 50 percent of the adult population of the community, and black citizens, who comprised 30 percent of the city. The Council meetings were open to the public and no special invitation was required to attend, but an official invitation would help to encourage people to attend when otherwise their pressing business might prevent them.

"A Last Blow at the Klan" indicates that Federal District Court Judge Don Gilliam had struck what it hopes would be the final blow at the Klan when he had sentenced 19 men to prison terms or probation in Wilmington the previous week, the last of the defendants rounded up by Federal, State and local officials to end the reign of terror in Columbus County in 1951 and 1952, involving kidnappings and floggings. The last case involved that of George Kemper Smith, who was kidnapped across state lines into North Carolina from South Carolina and flogged in October, 1951.

It indicates that with that unhappy chapter in the state's history closed, citizens could hold up their heads again, as their long tradition of fair play and justice had been sustained, once again having set a standard for other states, especially South Carolina, where the Klan appeared still to be beyond the reach of local or State authorities.

"From Cupola to Bay Windows" indicates that for a century, the freight train caboose, with its square cupola and side windows, had been a part of the American landscape, despite other components of freight trains having been modernized and considerably changed. But now, according to Business Week, the caboose would be changed in design from the rickety wooden car to an all-steel structure, and instead of the cupola jutting from the roof, would have bay windows at the side from which crewmen could view the tracks.

It finds it something of a pity, as the American scene was changing so fast and drastically that every link with the past produced a certain sense of warmth. The caboose stirred in the mind memories of one's boyhood, standing beside the tracks as the freight train passed, and longing to swap places with the men in the caboose. Occasionally, local freight trains would haul a few passengers in the caboose, though it took hours to get anywhere given the frequent stops, but the ride was an unforgettable thrill.

The new cabooses would be safer and provide greater comfort to the crew, but "for the American boy, life will never be the same."

A piece from the New York Times, titled "Medicine in the South", discusses the recent dedication of the medical center at UNC, with its keystone being a 12 million dollar teaching hospital, and including expanded nursing and dental schools, and the four-year medical school. Former UNC president and former Senator Frank Graham had provided the dedicatory address and had helped to provide the impetus for the project. All medical care at the center would be administered under a Division of Health Affairs within the University.

It indicates that it would be a model for medical care and education, which would likely extend throughout the South and would have influence throughout the nation.

North Carolina looked forward to a future with three medical schools, in addition to UNC, the new Bowman Gray School in Winston-Salem, and the Duke University School in Durham. Eight years earlier, the North Carolina Medical Care Commission had recommended, in outline form, the new medical center in Chapel Hill, but the Commission had been the result of much research by social scientists who found that the growth of medicine in the state was of first importance. Their studies over the years had helped to promote a medical renaissance in the state, and soon the state would be proving important things about the relation of good health to state enterprise.

Harry Golden, editor of the Carolina Israelite in Charlotte, has printed excerpts from an address he had delivered at the North Carolina Conference of Editorial Writers in Chapel Hill on May 10, in which he indicates that in the state the previous year, five black persons had died in childbirth for each white mortality, asking what would be done about it. "The key attitude in applying the democratic principle to human relations is not equality of man, which can never be, but acceptance of man—a willingness based on a belief in the spirit of man—to accept all men for what they are, including their differences, their weaknesses, their strength, and the potential creative development which exists in every man, because we live and breathe, by and for other men: different men: and the more varied, the better we live and the easier we breathe."

He counsels elimination of "scare words", if the problem was to be viewed in terms of collective welfare. Turn-of-the-century Governor Charles Aycock, in a message to the State Legislature in 1890, regarding the establishment of the free school system for black students, had said that every child born in the state had to have the opportunity "to burgeon out all that is within him." Mr. Golden indicates that unless the people were prepared voluntarily to integrate blacks into the job structure, that precept was made a sham.

He goes on to indicate that the black tuberculosis mortality rate in the state was over five times higher than the rate for whites, despite the nation being at its highest economic prosperity ever known. The conditions in which most blacks lived favored the spread of tuberculosis and the well-intentioned efforts at prevention could become a mockery unless economic activities were also improved for blacks, as tuberculosis was a disease of poverty, overcrowding, poor housing, and inadequate nutrition. Across the state, blacks comprised 34 percent of the population but tuberculosis was the second cause of death among them, whereas among whites, it was the seventh highest cause of death.

He indicates that of every ten black engineers educated within the state, only two had remained, and one of those usually became a waiter or Pullman porter, while the other would probably take a civil service examination to qualify as a government employee or become a teacher. Sixty percent of college-trained black men and women who remained in the South took civil service examinations, as they saw government service as an opportunity to secure a job on a competitive basis. Thus, the tax dollars expended to educate black students instead went to increase the wealth of other communities outside the state. The fact of migration elsewhere did not result from ingratitude but rather lack of adequate opportunity at home.

He indicates that the excuse for this condition had been given that blacks were unable to cope with the skills or other requirements for upgrading jobs, but he finds that any race would have such troubles if they consistently lost the great bulk of their high school and college graduates in each generation to other regions of the country. Given the high percentage of those who applied for civil service, the reduction of the government workforce under budgetary cuts would increase the migration out of the state or result in employment in fields far below the educational status acquired. Of the 107 graduates from major black colleges in the state in 1949, 44 were no longer in the state, and of the others, ten were working as waiters, Pullman porters and other semi-skilled jobs, while the remainder were either in government service or in teaching, welfare services or the ministry, serving exclusively other blacks. Over 64 percent of the black policemen, postmen and post office clerks in the state were college graduates, while only 40 percent of whites in the same categories had even completed high school.

He indicates that the State Legislature's proposal to extend vocational training in the state would not come close to meeting the problem for the black citizens. Unless employers in the state voluntarily were prepared to fit blacks into the white work structure, an expanded vocational program would only add that much more wealth to the economy of other places, as blacks would continue to migrate out of the state.

He concludes that Judeo-Christian civilization taught that in order for people to get along with one another in peace and happiness, it was necessary to accept one another simply as human beings, with all of their varied differences, bound to the common task of creating "the good society".

"With the almost unbelievable resources and solid institutions of this great state, in addition to having some of the kindest people in this world, there can come to pass here, as a shining example for all others, the prophet's dream of abolishing the remnant of poverty in a land of limitless plenty."

Drew Pearson indicates that for some time he had been sitting in court in a legal action which had gone against him. He had fought several such lawsuits during his 30 years as a newspaperman and was not ashamed of them. They were unpleasant, time-consuming and expensive, but were necessary parts of the newspaper profession, unless one ran away from a fight. If a journalist was to dig up what was really occurring in Washington, telling what occurred behind the scenes, not simply relying on the official handouts, then he was likely to be hauled into court several times. He believed in protecting the newspapers and radio stations for which he worked and so had always fought the lawsuits, and was a strong believer in the American jurisprudential system. Juries, he indicates, had treated him very well during the years, handing down several favorable verdicts, which he lists, but the previous week, he had lost his first case, to a one-time friend, Norman Littell, whom he had defended when he was under fire in the Justice Department and during various other of his battles. But the first time he had written something which was not exceedingly praising, Mr. Littell had sued him and was represented by Senator McCarthy's personal attorney, while the Senator was collecting "evidence" against Mr. Pearson, evidence, he says, which did not exist. His column had reported in a couple of lines in 1949 that the Justice Department was checking on Mr. Littell's propaganda activities for the Dutch in connection with the Foreign Agents Registration Act, at a time when people were taking sides for or against the Dutch in Indonesia. The judge in the case had ruled that the two lines were libelous per se—meaning that the false statement had exposed the individual to such infamy that he did not have to prove that it was damaging to his reputation.

Mr. Pearson indicates that the ruling meant that the press could not have reported that Ambassador Charles Bohlen was being checked by the FBI during the fight over his confirmation, or that Lamar Caudle had been under investigation by a Congressional committee, unless the committee put forth an official announcement of the fact. (He appears, however, to neglect the fact that for any statement to be legally defamatory, it first has to be shown to be false.) He goes on to illustrate other such instances where the press would be barred from reporting an investigation. He finds, with the great number of investigations ongoing in Washington, that it would potentially become a great setback to the previous rule of fair comment.

He indicates that Mr. Littell had developed an impulsive quality which had unintentionally affected the country's interests and led to his firing by FDR, as set forth in a letter of November, 1944, from then-Undersecretary of War Robert Patterson to then-Attorney General Francis Biddle, indicating that he had been so headstrong that he caused grave concern among the top military authorities regarding the construction of the atomic bomb plant at Hanford, Washington. Mr. Pearson indicates that because of his knowledge of that prior situation, he considered it necessary to comment on his activities in his column, the subject of the libel suit.

Marquis Childs indicates that the Administration was adamant about not having another situation comparable to the confirmation fight among Republicans regarding the appointment of Charles Bohlen as Ambassador to the Soviet Union, in which Senators McCarthy, Styles Bridges and others had found his appointment problematic. Senator Taft, however, had supported the nomination, but was reported later to have made some blunt remarks regarding Mr. Bohlen at the White House.

The investigative process, he indicates, was now being carried to absurd lengths, as illustrated by the case of Mildred McAfee Horton, who had been president of Wellesley College for 13 years and was commander of the Navy Waves during World War II, recently asked by the State Department to be the U.S. delegate to the U.N. Social Commission for a 16-day session in May, a position for which she was well qualified by her position as president of the National Social Welfare Assembly. She had been a member of the group led by former Marshall Plan administrator Paul Hoffman, which had sought to draft General Eisenhower for the Republican nomination the prior year, and after the convention, had done what she could during the campaign despite a pressing schedule. After the State Department invitation, she had waited until almost May without follow-up, and so contacted the State Department, at which point an assistant to the chairman of the RNC told her that it was too bad about the delay but that she had apparently joined several organizations. Later, the State Department sent a letter saying that it desired avoidance of embarrassment either to Ms. Horton or to the Administration, the only word she received.

A small hate group had printed a list of her organizational memberships for HUAC, emphasizing her connection with the National Council of Churches and its predecessor, the Federal Council. In the meantime, a civil service substitute was sent in her stead to sit on the U.N. Commission. Inquiries of the State Department were met with silence on the matter, and the report was that the top security officer for the Department had held up the appointment, the same security officer who had let it be known during the Bohlen nomination process that he did not approve of it.

Mr. Childs indicates that if listings with HUAC were to become the criterion for government service, the State Department was wasting a lot of money on investigations, as a short phone call to the Committee would save the work of many agents inquiring about appointees. A long list of ambassadorial nominations had been held up, it having been reported that the overworked FBI had been unable to complete their investigations. Sometimes, absurd information crept into those reports, as in the case of one ambassador-designate who had been said to pinch ladies under the table at dinner parties. (That one would likely be a major news story for the better part of a slow week of news in current times, with very serious debate and discussion transpiring as to whether such pinching disqualified the individual to serve as an ambassador, with probable exceptions made for playful pinching versus rueful or surprise pinching. Was it an assault? Should not this man be in jail for 50 years? Were the female victims lying? Inquiring minds want to know.)

An FBI investigation was apparently going forward regarding Charles Taft, brother of the Senator, though he had been offered only a minor post in the State Department, which he would likely refuse.

Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson, former president of G.M., had been the object of an FBI investigation, with investigators talking to his former neighbors and business associates, who took the whole matter as a joke. Yet, indicates Mr. Childs, it was not a humorous matter, as the investigative process, covering Cabinet officers and others, created an atmosphere of suspicion and doubt. The Eisenhower Administration was to have dispelled that cloud, but it had grown even worse and the effect during the transition was proving very harmful.

Robert C. Ruark indicates that, it being spring, people were again seeing flying saucers and students at Princeton were rioting, with pantie raids going forward and stories being passed about, such as one about a hen turning into a rooster and women becoming men and then restored back to women. Spring, and its effect on people, especially the young, had always puzzled him. "There comes a gentle idiocy in the Spring that is missing in the other seasons, although I will be the first to admit that idiocy is never entirely missing at any period of the year."

He recounts that during one spring evening while at UNC, when the flowers were blooming in the Arboretum, with a soft smell of jasmine across the town, he and a couple of other students decided to go for a ride and wound up in Montréal, the reason for the journey still not being clear to him, except that it was much too nice a night to go to bed. (We can readily empathize with the notion, though our spur of the moment journey senior year was an all-night trip to New Orleans, rather than venturing north to hear native French, returning the following night. During the visit, we were able to see the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and, in the early morning on the way down, rest on the beach at Mobile—or was it Biloxi?—, but recall little else of the whirlwind journey. Similarly, it was just too nice a night to go to bed.)

Mr. Ruark indicates that he was expecting momentarily to see some flying saucers—which, as we have previously indicated, we once ventured out to Mayberry to see one night in October, 1973, the same night the country was placed on high military alert regarding the Middle East, saw none, though escorted by Sheriff Taylor, along with a group of press representatives from all over the world, into some field in the country where sightings reportedly had been made, the subject of several press reports which had prompted our group's foray across the state to see for ourselves. Mr. Ruark figures that if they could see flying saucers in Germany, he could see them wherever he was, indicates that he had seen some in Africa during his safari in January, a silver ball having appeared on a clear day, right after seeing three pink elephants, one of which he had shot the day before. He claims that the object had also been observed by others in his entourage.

He cannot understand the fanaticism with which students pursued panties of coeds or those of students of nearby schools, as during his day, they had been more interested in the girls per se than in what they wore. He was not certain whether they saved garters as souvenirs but recalled sitting on the front porch of his fraternity house listening to the screams of the girls being chased unsuccessfully down the street by the members of Delta Kappa Epsilon—obviously not potent.

He concludes that one had to decide that people were not really accountable in the spring and should not therefore be penalized for their actions, and so submits the piece with the expectation of tolerance on the part of his editors, as it was spring, "and even a columnist should be allowed occasionally to be incoherent in the Spring."

The problem, Mr. Ruark, is that you wind up incoherent during most of the year.

We might suggest to the windmill jousters who are pulling down statues, now without any discrimination as to the personage represented, as long as some fanciful notion can be gathered from Wicked-pedia or sloppy scholarship otherwise that a certain person represented by the statue made statements or took actions which were oppressive to others, that because of the futility of the exercise, as their ultimate aim, to be consistent, would thus have to be to remove probably every single bust or statue in the nation and the world, you venture instead to the local football field of a college or high school and get out your pent-up anxieties from the pandemic lockdown by ripping down a goalpost. If caught, you can proclaim that you were merely showing school spirit, as the school represented by the goalpost was a rival of your school, and, being quite disturbed over whether there would be a football season this year, had no other choice but to act, thus potentially, assuming you would be willing to pay restitution to repair the goalpost, avoiding jail for vandalism.

Few people could honestly, upon close examination, be completely freed from the taint of some form of alliance or association with ideas or actions which, in some way, might be oppressive. As we indicated two days ago, if you have a smart phone, you are helping to support slave conditions in the workforce in China. The same thing is true if you wear Nike or Adidas shoes. So, if you have a smart phone, which most of the protesters and statuary removers appear to have as a necessary part of their equipage, indeed, appearing to many of them to represent their raison d'être, who are you to judge George Washington or Thomas Jefferson, or anybody else, for that matter? Go home, read, and think a bit, for a change. (Don't claim, incidentally, immunity from the charge by suggesting that your smart phone was made in Silcon Valley, not in China's sweatshops. Look more closely, inside it, at the component parts, and ensure that it was a purebred U.S.A. production, free from any taint of slave labor.)

You can, of course, try to claim the spring defense which Mr. Ruark suggests, exacerbated by the pandemic of this spring, though we suspect that most judges would not be terribly sympathetic to that one. Most people, when suffering from spring fever, even during the pandemic, have not felt a sudden urge to go out and rip down statues of Thomas Jefferson, George Washington or even Mickey Mouse at Disneyland, obviously a symbol of racism as there were no black Mouseketeers. A wise judge might sentence such vandals to six months of hard labor in the library, researching the lives of those represented by the statues pulled down, and then to submit a report of the research back to the court, typed on a manual typewriter, not a computer-generated product, to avoid the prospect of heavy cut-and-paste acquisition from the internet, a principal component, we venture, of the reasons for declining capabilities in abstract thinking, to be submitted to a panel of history professors at local colleges for grading, and to be worthy of not less than a "B", both in terms of style and content. We hope you are that lucky. Mr. Ruark, based on what we have seen of his views on penology, would probably sentence you to six months of hard labor on the roads, with a diet of hardtack and water, perhaps with a little lemon juice added every now and then, and on holidays, for flavor, resembling prisoner of war camp fare.

By the way, we would like someone in the media to have the courage to ask some of these protesters, especially those engaged in looting, rioting, arson or statuary removal, when was the last time they did anything concrete for the community at large to foster positive race relations, and to describe what that was.

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