Ronnie is talking about stopping by and pistol-whipping the man, but I think she's secretly relieved, because she's got to catch up with classes after missing four weeks. In the mean time, we're still not sure exactly what I'm doing
here. Lately, as the pay situation gets sorted out, and it's less likely I end my flight in Shanghai, I've been going up with the Koumintang lads. I can spot Aurora from the air, but I have to admit I can't tell the difference between a Russian tanker and a regular old tanker, and my suspicion is that the flag might be less important than the value of the cargo. Oh, well, not the first time the family's got tangled up with legitimist pirates in these waters. I find it hard to believe that we're going to put up with it for very long, but Washington is all tied up over facing up to the Koumintang without being labelled anti-anti-communist.
Speaking of which, notice how I talk about American political news for the back half of February without mentioning Senator McCarthy once? It's because I'm following Time, which has yet to give him a word in edgewise.
Yeah, that's a bit mean. But there's a cashier with emphysema at the grocery store that fills his orders. What makes him so special? (Her name is June. I checked.)
Time, 20 February 1950
|Wallace said a nice thing about a "statist" politician of the Song|
dynasty once. In unrelated news, Madam Chiang's Lattingtown
estate is still for sale.
Numerous writers point out that even though Tito hates Stalin, he is still a communist, and communists are bad. Carlton Hayes sounds like an awful person, or maybe it is the people who tell stories about him. Leonard Mullins of the Church of Christ points out that its converts can't be Communists, because real Christians can't be Communists, so there. H. C. Kiang tells a story on Henry Wallace. From New York. Where he is now living, and probably not in the bowery, either. Alton Massey, mayor of Kosciusko, Mississippi, writes to defend the Mississippi Penal Farm as a nice place, random shootings of convicts by trusties aside. Time disagrees, and gently implies that if Mississippi's defenders want to be taken seriously, they can try actually punishing the murderers in question. The Publisher's letter is very pleased with the way Time writes real good.
"Who's in Grand Shape?" The Secretary of Defence says we are. But we aren't! We're actually doomed, because America is so rich that it has way more H-bomb targets than Russia, which makes us vulnerable! So we need to spend more on the "foolishly neglected" armed forces --but not too much, mind you, lest it lead to statism-- and also cut social services and farm price supports. Meanwhile, I think Time liked Dean Acheson's foreign policy statement, and it certainly loved Harold Urey's comment that once Russia has the H-bomb it might use it to extort stuff. Like, for example, Denmark. Time (and Urey) are all a-tizzy over the "Russians put an atom bomb into a tramp freighter and steam it into harbour" plan. Apparently the Russians will tell the Danes they've done this, so the Danes have to leave the North Atlantic pact, and the Danes will say, "Yessir!" Because putting an H-bomb in a freighter is completely different from putting it on a B-29ski and threatening to bomb Copenhagen. And detonating it and blowing up Copenhagen if the Danes call your bluff wold be a perfectly reasonable thing that any old Communist leader would do.
"Power of Persuasion" If you're not following the coal strike and the injunction and the negotiations, this story will catch you up. Either the operators or John L. Lewis will cave, or the President will have to use his Taft-Hartley powers and damage his re-election prospects. Time is having a lot of fun with things that the President just has to do even though they mean that he'll lose in '52.
"About-Face" Congress has restored the $60 million aid package for Korea that it stopped three weeks ago to punish the Administration for not extending aid to Formosa. Now that Acheson has scraped up ten mil for the Koumintang, 42 Republicans came round to supporting the Korea aid in the House. Congress has also given Sister Kenny an unlimited "Get Into and Out Of America Free" because of her work with polio victims. Victor Kravchenko, also. Well, "Into," anyway. Congress also put up postal rates and authorised $500 million on Army, Navy and Air Force bases,including 7500 married quarters. Senator Douglas is the hero for getting Congress to cut the appropriation from $16,500 per home to $9000, because that's what the FHA is getting.
"Help Wanted" The Administration needs a new Under Secretary of the Interior and Army Secretary, and new members for the Federal Reserve and the Council of Economic Advisors, plus chairmen for the National Security Resources Board and AEC. When the feminists win, we will say "chair" and that will save me a whole word.
Representative Whitten of Mississippi has determined that the Buerau is spending more on entomologising and quarantining plants than ought. Also, Roscoe Pound, former Dean of Harvard Law, is upset at the way that judges are giving away the store what with their "human rights" and their "damages" for supposed "torts" that, in the old days, people would just suck up.
"No Clarion Cry" Time is very high on the Republican Party after this year's convention. Tom Dewey isn't, warning that the "me too" faction is a bunch of reactionaries who can't even win their states, never mind the nation. He reminds everyone that, yes, conservatives did win in New Zealand and Australia, but only after promising to keep their mitts off the welfare state. Time points out that Dewey is a big old hypocrite because he said mean things about the welfare state in a speech last Christmas.
"The Whiskey Rebellion" "Glib, arm-flailing Evangelist Dr. Billy Graham, 31, nearly got a temperance statute through the Georgia legislature until it didn't happen. Also, Carol Paight was found not guilty of mercy killing by reason of temporary insanity, steward John Harris was flung from a Pan Am Stratoliner when the door sprang open at 8000ft, while Marc Fisher Galati barely avoided the same fate on an Eastern airliner. And the infinitely sad and depressing story of heiress Mary Bullock Powers has come to an end.
"Nash" Klaus Fuchs spied for Russia because he is a communist, and communists are terrible. I notice that the idea that he was caught by an FBI team has somehow vanished from the story, it now being William Skardon, a military intelligence agent, who rolled him up. (Uncle George says it is probably because the British military intelligence bureaus are all top secret and it's a Q notice to even mention them, which is why Time couldn't get clearance to mention Skardon earlier, although why it had to make up that stuff about a FBI team tailing Fuchs through London I don't know. Also, just what Fuchs told the Russians is super-duper secret.
"28 Months to Go" With that long to go in the ECA, Europe's industrial production is up 15%, the dollar gap is down to $4.5 billion, allowing the US to cover it with the originally budgeted $5 billion/year, and the gap after ECA ends is down to a projected $2.5 billion/year, with the main "plan" being that Europe should sell harder and drop dollar purchase quotas, which will help because FREEDOM. Also, the President of the Philippines met with Nehru and now he is not pro or anti-Communist but rather a "doesn't care about communism" guy. Also, the French papers are all wet and scared over the H-bomb. Sissies.
"The War Without a Name" Remember James Burnham, who had depressing thoughts about the decline and fall of the West? Now he is out with The Coming Defeat of Communism, which sounds a bit more optimistic. It turns out that we are already at war with Communism, and not some namby-pamby cold war, either. It is an "unconventional" war, which must be waged with unconventional methods. These are to include lots of propaganda, money for anti-communist labour organisations, reaching out to potential anti-Communists like the Gaullists, the Vatican, Islam and the Koumintang. We should give money to the Ukrainian Insurgent Army and other assorted refugees, deserters, resisters and national liberation movements, and do something about the French Atomic Energy Commission, which has a Communist in charge, after all. Also, we should cut tariffs because FREEDOM. Anyway, we're winning, Communism is failing, press on (unconventionally) to victory.
"Again Berlin" A Red terror is rolling over Eastern Germany, says Time. It's ahead of the election, but does allow Time to go about Kristallnacht and the Fourth Reich rising again and so on and so forth. Mainly, we're worried that with so much unemployment in Berlin there will be riots soon.
"Frankie, Abel and the Torpedo" The Russians have also been up to this kind of stuff in Austria, kidnapping people and giving them a good beating, but Time is shocked to report that they're hiring American GIs to to the leg breaking. "Torpedos" are anti-Communist informers, if you were wondering. Also, there's some fussing over a Czech parish church which is having anti-Communist miracles in the form of a statue of Jesus that glows during Sunday mass, and the Belgian Chamber of Representatives are debating letting King Leopold back into the country, and it is snowing in Israel (and the rest of the Middle East), wiping out the citrus crop, the tomato crop and half the banana crop. Citrus is Israel's number one export, which I kind of knew, but the bananas are news to me. And in British Cameroon, the Fon of Bikom is in trouble for having 600 wives, which is deemed by some to be immoral. And so, a Roman Catholic lay mission was off across formidable rivers, and slippery mountain paths, accompanied by "fierce Fulani horsemen and hundres of the Fon's loinclothed subjects." It was found that the Fon was 80, had only 110 wives, of whom 44 were very old ladies he'd inherited from his predecessor, and that overall it was a good way of taking care of surplus women. Also, Russian movie houses are awful because of Communism, and Communists in Shanghai are awful, because of Communism, but the British charge d'affairs says that they're not, because he is weak and wet and British.
In this hemisphere, things in Argentina are often very strange, and usually involve Peron being awful, and so is Sao Paolo's Francisco Pignatari, but what do you expect with the Latin blood and all.
And Canada is a-tizzy over the resignation of the Archbishop Charbonneau of Montreal, who is off to a Catholic nursing home in Victoria and the titular see of the Bosphorus, all, perhaps, for opposing Premier Duplessis on labour issues.
"Well-Behaved Engine" Time catches us up with the ramjet, the contraption that consists of a pipe with a fire in the middle that heats up the intake air and ejects it at speed. Wright Aeronautical is very impressed with the control gadget they've put into it that adjusts the output of the fuel pump according to the inlet air pressure. It will push a big guided missile with 75,000hp, enough to get something big enough for an atomic package going at Mach 3, providing there's enough oomph behind it to get it to speed.
"Bomb Wind" The AEC and Defence Department have completed their study of the effects of the atom bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. The study was confined to blast effects, and was not encouraging. The fireball produced a very powerful shock wave, with a second one produced by the inrushing air that replaced it. Even stronger, newer construction buildings were badly damaged. Brick buildings shattered, steel-skeletoned buildings collapsed, glass-and-steel buildings blew in, which would have cut anyone near them to ribbons with flying glass. For better protection against atom bombs, the group recommends increasing wind resistance strength from 20lb/sq ft to 90, and reinforcing windows with wire mesh at "times of atom danger," with wire glass replacing glass in some cases. The blast study is emphasised because the group can't recommend a protection against heat, which will destroy all buildings within half a mile of kiloton-yield atomic bombs, and over much greater distances for hydrogen bombs. No word at all on radiation.
"Detwinkler" Stars twinkle, which is annoying. Scientists argue about why, which is also annoying. (It's not as simple as "the atmosphere does it.") Some graduate students at Birmingham University have come up with a photoelectric device that suppresses the twinkling, at least one star at a time.
"'Vigorous Sort'" Yale has replaced historian Charles Seymour as its President with Alfred Whitney Griswold, who is also a historian, and who is very vigorous. He'd better be, because he was a Yale undergraduate as recently as 1928.
"Pattern of Necessity" This week's cover story is Denver's Kenneth Oberholtzer, who is responsible, along with "other top-level U.S. schoolmen," with "setting public education policy." Denver seems to be doing pretty well, so maybe it will be the pattern, because some kind of pattern is necessary or maybe there is a necessity to it. By the way, the kids are currently calling each other "mopes" and "meals," and telling each other not to be a "squeegie" or a "sizzle." Oh, and there's a screaming controversy over whether Oberholtzer's approach of a "no-silos" "general education" inspired by John Dewey's "pragmatics" is actually teaching kids the three "Rs." (As an MIT man, who can crib Jimmy Chang's translation of the joke, I can tell you that's 'rithmetic and the other two.)
Texas is a funny place because Southern Methodist has courses in badminton, and people say lariat-twirling is next.
"Cause and No Effect" Devaluation hasn't hurt America's export markets, since while prices are up 16%, sales are up 13%, although the Department of Commerce warns of an 8% drop next year.
|By Hugo90 - https://www.flickr.com/photos/hugo90|
/4061792862/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w
"More from Less" W. A. Sheaffer Pen Company is doing just fine thanks to greater efficiency and productivity, so it is time to do a nice profile of Craig Sheaffer of same.
"Why Trains Don't Fly" The Southern Pacific is so tired of anti-train ads from the airlines that it's come out with its own anti-flying ad. Sample points: airport busses take a long time; turbulence is bad; nobody likes seat belts.
"The Closing Door" John Strachey told a rally in Scotland that only 250 Britons have incomes of $14,000 after taxes now, compared with 11,000 before the war. He thinks that is progress, but the Wall Street Journal thinks it isn't, because of FREEDOM. The opposite of freedom is Du Pont's "L-shaped desk," which is, in effect, a semi-enclosed office, which it has now licensed to seven furniture manufacturers so that everyone can work in a desk with two partition walls instead of being stuck in some dumb old office with a stupid corner view. Also, the RFC reports that it has lost 2 million on artificial rubber and 8 million on its tin smelter in Texas. Merrill Lynch, the big stockbroker/advising company has some complaints about . . . something and is urging its clients to call Congress and complain about . . . something. There is a shoe factory in New England. True fact!
"G. M.'s Entry" Time's version of the Allison-turboprops-in-a-Convair ship emphasises that it is GM putting itself in the picture when the big builders won't. I've expressed my reservations about these projects before. Putting two big engines into an airframe designed for a piston engine is asking for trouble from the engine fit point of view and also taking a gamble on solving the problems we can see out on the horizon. That's the advantage of the Viscount and the Dart. It's a small and simple engine that works for the Viscount because it was designed from the first for four engines. The American lines are right to think that twins work better, if the engine is right. But if it isn't right? Also, the Liner has already been a technical failure in addition to the overall market failure that's faced all the twins (and four engined types, too) going up against the DC-3. Convair figured that the aluminum-fibreglass "sandwich" would save them enough weight to make up the cost difference, and it didn't.
Art, Radio and Television, Press, People
"Headline of the Week" is "Mate Shot is Critical"
"Cops and Robbers" James Reston gave The William Allen White Foundation Lecture on journalism last week way down at the University of Kansas, which I think is in Kansas. (Could be Missouri.) He says that the Washington press corps is doing a terrible job of explaining things. It looks like Washington is divided between government "cops" who are in charge of concealing information, and reporter "robbers" who are in charge of finding it. And that's bad, you see. For example, the President didn't want any public discussion of the H-bomb.
"Cinderella Again" Charlie Plumb just killed Ella Cinders' husband, Bentley Patches, in a plane crash. Because he couldn't think of any ideas now that his cartoon character was married, and Heaven forbid he stop doing the strip after a mere 25 years or focus on a different character or anything. Death it is! Also, a bunch of papers are setting up a national news syndicate devoted just to the rackets.
The Whitney is doing a retrospective show of Edward Hopper's paintings. He's one of those guys who likes to paint ugly buildings and make them all memorable and stuff. And there was a big abstractionism street show in Manhattan with canvasses from Barnett Newman, Fritz Bulman, Lee Mullican, William Basiotes and George McNeil. Did you know that abstractionist paintings look like some kid did it? Oh! My sides!
"Neck and Neck" Radio and television aren't neck and neck at all. Claude Hooper's ratings show that radio is down from 81% of Manhattan nighttime audience to 19% for television; to 59% for television's 41%. The tv crowd say that there will be 36 million television viewers by the end of 1950, up from 12 million right now.
"Very Curious" Time knows an "Englishman" who thinks that bingo is silly. Well, he'll think Tune-O is even crazier. Because it is a radio bingo show and it's very popular, you see.
Robert Sherwood doesn't like Winston Churchill's painting, Errol Flynn is drunk, Marie Wilson and Ilka Chase are out for all the publicity she can get, Medal of Honour winner and Master Sergeant, James R. Hendrix, has a new ambition, which is to finish grade school. Rex Harrison and Lili Palmer are said to be dating, which, I am told, means that Rex likes the boys. William Dudley Pelley is out of the federal pen is probably off to the statehouse in North Carolina to serve an old blue sky law conviction. Nila Cram Cook, ex "Blue Serpent Goddess" has a new vocation, translating the Koran. Bill Blandy has retired, Dean Acheson is a Best Dressed Man, Mimi Benzell is the most beautiful woman in opera, J. Parnell Thomas has been transferred to the chicken house midway through his corruption sentence, and Mickey Cohen's mansion has been dynamited again. His neighbours are not impressed and wish that he would just go somewhere else to get assassinated if it is going to take so long. John Payne and John Huston are divorced; Mary Curley and Leo Curley (41 and 37) died the same day, she of cerebral hemorrhage and he of a heart attack while making funeral arrangements. Tbhey are the sixth and seventh of Boston Mayor James Michael Curley's nine children to die. That's horrible! Hartvig Frisch and Ernest Lessing Byfield are also a bit young to die, while Arthur Fletcher and Rafael Sabatini got a bit more reasonable tenures.
Cinderella shows that Walt Disney "still knows his way around fairyland." A "small army of artists" give the story a "dewey radiance and comic verge that should make children feel like elves and adults feel like children." It combines a fairy tale with a half dozen hummable tunes. The animation is a bit stiff in a few scenes, but that's the worst Time can say. Dear Wife shows that comedian Billy De Wolfe deserves to work on television, because "he could be turned off at will."
Samuel Rosenman brings us volumes X through XIII of The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, which is very important. You can tell from the fact that the four volumes weigh 35lbs! Time hasn't that much to say, so it eventually settles for telling us that Communism is bad. Thanks, Time! Men of Stones is Rex Warner's fifth novel about how communism is bad. Okay, "dictators." See, there's an evil governor of a prison island who wants to take over the world, so naturally he starts by making his prisoners worship him as a god. It ends badly for him, but also his critics, the moral being that all you need is love, but you have to be some kind of saint to love people. That's more review than I usually give middlebrow books, but I'm trying to figure out what Time thinks. (Or the back pages, anyway.) If it does turn out that we blow up the world with the H-bomb, this paper is going to have some explaining to do!
Aviation Week, 20 February 1950
News Sidelights reports that US jet engine makers are looking into titanium compressor blades as the first aviation application of the latest wonder metal, if the current price of $5/lb can be reduced to 50 cents/lb and it can be produced at 50 tons a day in a production plant, "a few years hence." Materials scientists predict that it will be the basic airframe material within five to ten years, and point out that it is the fourth most abundant material on the earth's surface. The Army Corps of Engineers is soliciting bids for a radar installation at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska that will be part of the continental radar screen that the USAF has on its high priority list. Each installation would cost $3 million. The transfer of the USAF Watson Laboratory (its electronics shop) to Griffis AFB in Rome, New York, continues to drag on. Aviation Week is not amused. TExas A&M's planned perfect-in-every-way experimental agricultural plane is getting an engine from Continental, an Aeromatic prop from Koppers, blades from McCauley, an undercarriage from Cessna, seat from Vic Patushin Industries, and an inertial reel for the shoulder harness from American Seating, while NACA is doing catapult aerodynamic tests to investigate the flow effect on dusts and sprays. General Norstad will replace Nathan Twining at Alaskan Defence Command, underlining its importance to the defence of the continent.
News Digest reports that the Lockheed F-94B will be the major night fighter in the USAF 1951 program, while the F-88 and F-93 will divide the penetration fighter buys. Representative Harry Sheppard (D., California) wants air force money for a jetliner, while the Post Office patiently explains why it doesn't need helicopters again. The Air Lines Pilots Association still wans an independent air safety board.
Industry Observer reports that the YF-93 afterburner test aircraft has flown 50h, but hardly any of that with afterburners firing. The good news for the B-45 is that it has passed some rigorous tests of its new target-towing installation. All the successful frontline bombers are converted to target tow aircraft before they reach the squadrons! (I'm being sarcastic.) Lycoming and Bell are exporting their wares, because they have successful products. Lockheed has by now made roughly a billion F-80s. NACA's new wind tunnel at the Lewis Lab is very successful except for needing all the electricity in Cleveland and keeping the whole city up and not in a nice way, either. Someone thinks that the Convair Liner will sell like hotcakes as soon as it's ready to start selling. Turns out that this is a logical error, too! I should think about suing MIT some time. Piasecki, de Havilland are having such good news months that they repeat the same news again for the same old thrill. If the Air Force is going to buy the B-45, Convair thinks it should buy the XB-46, too.
|They have a point, but no.|
|390mph. Sure. Absolutely.|
"$500-Million Program up to House" This is the big Air Force basebuilding programme we keep hearing snippets from.
"'Crash Sled Aids Impact Studies" And this is the Northrop monster rocket sled at Edwards again. This is new news, however, because the Air Force has started putting volunteers in the sled, just to see what happens.
"Ambassador Tried in Asymmetric Tests" While it seems more and more to me that the Airspeed Ambassador is another nice plane found dead in a ditch with Dakota skidmarks on its shirt, it turns out that it is a pretty sweet plane, able to maintain level flight at 98 knots with the right engine windmilling and the left at takeoff power, or 86 knots at a 5 degree bank. Cutting the left engine is much trickier, although the pilot was able to climb out of danger by increasing throttle to give 103 knots.
"Solution to Airport Traffic Jams" Sperry engineers told the annual meeting of the Institute of Aeronautical Sciences that that's what the new omnirange system is. I mean, it's good to hear, but it's a polar coordinate homing system, so the azimuth has to be exactly right or it just flies a hyperbola of death --or at least, within 0.1 degrees giving an allowed net positional errors of s50 feet at twenty miles. Sperry promises that it is accurate, and that it will be able to handle 85 aircraft of a 120 aircraft per hour rate at a ground speed of 120mph. (I guess the other 35 get dropped by the tower and are on their own.) The technique gives no speed measurement, so scheduling accuracy is vital, which lifts a few more hairs on the back of my neck. All this with a specially shaped antenna so that you can basically get its exact bearing from its precise sine wave modulation at any point in its rotation. Cool trick! If atmospherics are right, that is.
Bendix promises a flexible coupling giving torque loads of up to 300hp at up to 9000rpm in its new flexible drive coupling. Im not sure what Air Force requirement has given rise to all of these gadgets, although I imagine it is helicopters, but it is a good time for anyone who wants to put some serious mechanical power through a flexible coupling.
"CAB Reports on Nonsked Crash" The report on a DC-3 crash last year in Maryland highlights pilots flying too many hours and overloading. The TCA DC-4 crash at Gander last March was officially caused by the crew trying to land with both GCA and visual reference "under conditions of limited cockpit visibility." This is from the DC-4's "either you can have heat or clear windows, but not both" days, but the exact problem was that de-icing alcohol leaked into the cockpit through a worn seal. The fact that the "clear view window" wasn't open due to concerns over carbon monoxide fumes from the cabin heaters was a secondary problem. And also the pilot should have been watching the ground and not following just GCA, since he was too low throughout. If you're on GCA and can't find the ground, you need to make a missed approach, CAB reminds us. ALPA, meanwhile, asks airlines to use actual passenger weights and not averages, in case a football team crashes a DC-3. AA has ordered eleven more DC-6s, Air America is going to stop all coach flights before the CAB fines them all their money. The Dutch Travelling Bureau is going to make a round-the-world business trip on a chartered KLM Constellation. Various services are getting bigger and better and faster and more profitable.
Gilbert Magill, President, Rotor-Craft Corporation, Grand Central Airport, Glendale, California is super-duper pleased with Aviation Week's recent "How to Promote the Copter," and writes two full columns to expand on why investors should run out and put their money in small, just starting helicopter firms and not listen to the stupid financial advisors who keep telling them they're throwing their money away, etc, etc.
Editorial runs right over the Federation of Railway Progress like a DC-3 taking aim at a Miles "feeder liner." Seems the railroads aren't actually that interested in passenger service, if the runs between Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington are any indication. Aviation Week also is pleased to reprint a letter that supports its "safe airshows" stance. Daring!
Time, 27 February 1950
Readers have a variety of opinions about Clement Atlee, mostly pretty bad. Charles Weeks thinks that he is a "ruthless man" who will "sacrifice any person to his own beliefs," while John Pask Van reminds us that the ancient Romans had a welfare state, and look what happened to them.
Albert Papa is upset at farm price supports because he doesn't get any due to not being a farmer. John L. Cooley of Forest Park, Illinois is a dirty old man. Lloyd K. Garrison corrects a mistake in Time's profile of Hiss trial defence witness Carl Binger. Time has no comment. But it does print the letter! Two people write in about silhouettes. Our publisher has a story about Yakov Malik reading Time in the barber's chair, amongst other famous foreigners who read Time. Germ,ans find Time-speak confusing, and one American matron in Rome thinks that Time should be banned because of the way it makes her mad every week. (I think she's reading The Economist by mistake. Time is more ridiculous than awful. I blame Communism.)
"Cease Forthwith" The latest on the coal strike and the injunction, which the locals are still defying. Time follows with an entire story paraphrasing the Truman-Krok interview that you can get in the original if you want it easily enough.
"Mink and Orchids" Time went to the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner and wasn't impressed with the President's speech, although it was by the filet mignon, which was still warm when it hit the 1100 tables.
|"The planes are junk and there aren't enough of them!"|
"World Architects" That's your Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which is by all accounts worried about communism and frustrated with all the high-minded would-be architects of a new world who appear before it.
"Dixie Victory" The Rules Committee has kept the FEPC civil rights-in-employment bill bottled up in Committee with a 6-6 tied vote. And there's a bruising fight going on in Pennsylvania between "reactionary" Republicans led by "bright-eyed, apple cheeked, 87-year-old Joe Grundy and progressive ones led by "bluff, able Governor Jim Duff," 67.
"Jingling Jeans" The "nation's jeans jingled cheerily last year with a near-record $209.8 billion in personal income --just a clink and a tinkle below" 1948's 211.9. Rental and business income was down 9.5%, farm income down 20%, but payrolls and investment income almost made up for that.
"Harry's Day in Court" Let's catch up with Harry Bridges! He's on trial again. For lying about being a Communist, which, if they catch him out, will mean that the Feds can ship him back to Australia.
"Late Train Home" Two Long Island line commuter trains crashed in Rockville Center last week (February 17, to be precise, which Time is not), to the horrified witness of the proprietor of the nearby Sunset Inn Bar and Grill, "Mrs. Evelyn McTootle." Which is about the last funny bit of an accident that killed 30 people (Time says 26). The details are a bit horrific, in that the two trains were stainless steel monocoques, so that thick shards of steel were sprung inwards, dissecting, impaling and trapping people, and you had that gruesome, old-fashioned scene of welders working alongside scalpel-wielding doctors to save the 76 injured. Among those killed was a Times editor, so I guess I can forgive the slightly scattered coverage. Everyone is a bit upset about the "gauntlet track" layout through Rockville Center, which has already killed a lot of pedestrians, and the lack of automatic signalling, which Manhattan subways have had for 48 years.
"Abandon Ship" Another calamity, as a B-36 southbound from Alaska with seventeen crew on board had three of its engines catch fire over Princess Royal Island.
Now let me stop right there. The crew of a B-36 is fifteen, and some of the gunners will fly separately on ferries and relocations. Fifteen would be an operational mission; seventeen means weaponeers. Weaponeers means weapons. All it takes is for the weaponeer to insert a fissile core and the bomb is ready to go bang.
This isn't the only interpretation. The extra two might have been observers, catching a ride for some reason, or doing some radio snooping. But SAC does a lot of operational training, and, although you didn't hear it from me, they do fly with partial packages. Supposedly, because I also hear they fly with full packages in case the cold war goes hot while they're up.
So that's all pretty alarming. The article doesn't mention any of this, instead goes on to detail the plight of the twelve of the crew who made it to shore in the island wilderness of the far north coast that you can well imagine. Fortunately, they were picked up the next day by a fishing boat and a Canadian destroyer before they could die of being rained on. Five are still missing and I don't notice a mention of the plane. And the package, of course, if any. high explosive. And if the weapon were live, then there's a plutonium core out there somewhere. Scary!
"Six Down" The CIO has kicked out another six Communist unions, while Admiral (R) William Standley, wartime ambassador to Russia, is in the news for denouncing the San Diego city council's plan to dedicate its new veteran's memorial building to the Americans who "fought for the Four Freedoms," because apart most of the Four Freedoms are just communistic propaganda. Freedom from want! Hah! Freedom from fear! Boo! What's needed isn't these "freedoms," it is FREEDOM. Council got down on its belly and apologised and took the sign down, and is now looking through the Constitution for a better quote. Something something "three-fifths" should do it.
"The Kremlin is Willing" Will there be peace talks soon? Time is cautiously optimistic, especially since Mao is leaving Moscow with nothing but an alliance, money and a trade deal and not a plan to attack all capitalists tomorrow. Time happily speculates about secret clauses containing all the stuff it said would definitely be in the actual treaty. (Chinese labourers to Russia; Russian garrison in Manchuria; Russian "infiltration" of Southeast Asia.)
"Mr. Jessup and Company" Ambassador Jessup and Assistant Secretary of State W. Walton Butterworth (who always eats at McTootles') have swung down to Siam to check in to see whether the Siamese hate Communism enough. Time posits that Siam finds American foreign policy weak and indecisive, and ingeniously explains Siam's refusal to recognise Bao Dai's government as being due to Communist opposition, before blandly implying that Siam's Chinese community is a bunch of Communist Fifth Columnists.
And since those stories didn't have nearly enough Communism in them, follows a "Communists" subsection that is mainly about the ongoing trials in Hungary, which have now claimed an American victim. Time seems to be suggested we atom bomb him to freedom? Also horrible, other Communists in other countries. Giovanni Mannu, the Italian communist who won the lottery, and bought a nice new suit instead of sharing it with the party, is not horrible because he is horrible. Or is it the other way around? Nehru has warned the Nepalese to not be Communist and promised them military aid in the future, and has given Japan an elephant, which goes to show something or other.
"Out of the Cupboard" The British General Election is so exciting. The bacon and candy rations have been increased, and Winston Churchill is on the trail of a peace agreement with Russia. I'm not sure how you can have peace in the future when you don't have war now, but I think it is all code for not building the hydrogen bomb, which we can all get behind, even before SAC (possibly) bombed British Columbia.
Since France isn't currently having a crisis (I feel so lost!), the story for this week is a crime, instead, featuring very polite bandits.
"The Good . . . And the Bad" From Germany, a very nice lady whose sister was executed by the Nazis now runs a night school in being a Good German, while on the other hand one Wolfgang Hedler has won a seat in the Bundestag on the "Hitler was right" platform. He recently got into trouble for suggesting that Hitler was also right about getting rid of the Jews, and, even worse, a panel of judges let him off. While in Italy, the Communists are still as awful as they were twenty five years ago, when they caused Fascism by being too anti-Fascist. However, since they couldn't bring the Gasperi government down, it's all okay.
"Ruanda-Urundi: Two Cows in Every Pasture" Ruanda-Urundi is cow country, but the UN Trusteeship Council has decided that a million cows for 3.8 million people is a bit much. but can't agree on how to proceed, since just shooting the cows is likely to cause resentment, and buying them would be so expensive that it doesn't even need to be considered.
"Before Storms and Winds" Time has a new hero, General Sun Li-jen, who is preparing to lead the Koumintang defences of the beaches against the coming Communist storm. The Air Force and Navy are both more "disaffected," although Admiral Kwei Yung-ching is promising pay increases, which should be almost as effective as new patriotic songs for some, and prison terms for others.
"Cold War" Somehow, unbelievably, Canada leads the feature. The North American allies, you see, are conducting a joint winter exercise "[a]cross the mile-wide Donjek river, 170 miles south of Dawson," practicing stopping a foreign invader driving into Canada from Alaska. The 5000 army and air force personnel and 22 correspondents involved, think it's all a bit wacky. Useful lessons were learned. The soldiers didn't all die of the -35 cold, while the "all weather fighters" were all-weather enough to operate in the cold, but not the snow and overcast; the Army's new snow vehicle, the Weasel, was "a dismaying failure," while Canada's Penguin turned out to be too big to move through the woods. Observers suggested that dogs, mules and horses might be more feasible for the moment.
"Master Singer" Trinidad's Attila the Hun is Trinidad's 1950 calypso king. He likes to sing about politics and sex, like those earthy Caribbean Troubadours, and not like American musicians, who stick with just sex.
"Tact and Timing" Trujillo has asked the Dominican parliament to rescind his unlimited power to declare war, because it was getting everybody upset at the thought that he might, well, start a war with all the foreign powers he keeps threatening to start wars with.
"Betrayal" Various important people are convinced that if the American federal budget continues to show a deficit the current size, the American economy will have a "breakdown" in 1951, in the words of Alan Nourse. Agreeing are Charlie Wilson of GE and Herman W. Steinkraus of Bridgeport Brass. If you're scratching your head, remember that "Bridgeport" makes him Henry Luce's neighbour. Anyway, deficit will cause an "immoral administrative betrayal of a great economic system." Speaking of which, Imperial Russian bonds are on a tear on the stock market, even though they continue to be completely worthless, because some American bond traders are dumb, and some of the dumb ones hope that other traders are even dumber, and the dumb, dumber, dumbest cycle defies gravity. Also again, Floyd Odlum has sold his oil stake, which probably tells you something, and the RFC (and Commerce Department's) continuing move out of the businesses they got into postwar continues to amaze and please Wall Street.
"Test Run" The AAA's 1950 Model gas mileage test run sounds like quite the rally. The Mercury won at 61.27 ton-miles per gallon, with Cadillacs taking second and third, and a Kaiser Special and Frazer Manhattan took top honours among the higher price ranges.
"More For Their Money" Simon and Shuster's one-dollar book range is doing fine, as is American Airlines. US Steel's new "turbo-hearth furnace," which blows jets of air across molten puddles of steel is promising. Like the Bessemer Process that similarly uses air jets, it produces more steel than open-hearth, but it produces better quality steel than the Bessemer process.
Science, Medicine, Education
"Hot Factory" Oakridge's National Laboratory is a factory that produced less than 1/10,000th of an ounce of product last year. It (or they) are isotopes, mostly created by the chain fission of uranium in the reactors. The article doesn't mention what the isotopes are, but does go into the safety measures that make this highly radioactive working material safe to handle.
|Soon those cool watches|
that play a tune on the hour
will be available to everyone
"A Bear Named Gene" Zookeepers in the Washington Zoo have persuaded a polar bear and a brown bear to have babies, and now are inbreeding them in hopes of producing a new race of buff bears. You'd think the Dixiecrats would have stepped in on this by now.
"Bringing up Parents" Time surveys the amazing range of parenting books and articles around these days.
"Freely Give" Former Navy Dr. Gordon McNeilly is going to be a leper doctor in the South Pacific
"People Are Either" Lynn White, the "cherubic-looking medievalist who is something of an expert on the 13th Century origins of the mechanical clock" has been the president of Mills College since 1943. The rest of the article is mainly devoted to his opinion of women, which I am trying to keep the lid on, since if Ronnie heard it she'd probably take her automatic out of the toilet tank and drive down to LA to ventilate him with enough holes to let the Twentieth Century in. Although at least he thinks there should be women professors at women's colleges.
"Don Benedetto" Benedetto Croce is a nice old Italian philosopher who is not a Communist, which makes him a-okay in Time's book!
Press, Radio and Television, Art, People
|Now isn't that a chapter of American cultural history.|
"Cool Off" Time is very upset about the Krock interview, but vents in a very sly way, by covering the press conference where the President caught heck from all the other journalists who are upset about the President's favouritism. Fake pictures of Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rosselini are circulating in the Italian press, and the staff of The New Republic are grumbling about sharing office space with their much more successful stablemate, Antiques.
"The Mysterious West" Time continues to be of two minds about Soviet correspondents at US press conferences. On the one hand, it's all for freedom of the press. On the other, they're communists. This is especially upsetting to Time because two Voice of America correspondents aren't allowed to sit in the press gallery, because they are deemed to be "government propagandists." It has been suggested that perhaps the VoA men can be allowed into the press gallery, but that hasn't been the resolution so far, as it is still possible that the correspondents for TASS and the New York Daily Worker might be kicked out of the press gallery instead.
Hallmark has bought the rights to Winston Churchill's catalogue. That seems like the kind of thing that shouldn't be done in an election, but you'll just say that I think that because I am young. Marino Marini is having a show in Milan, while the Germans are putting on a show of all the abstract and such-like modern art that couldn't get a look in the Hitler days. Imdahl's Man of Sorrow is the quintessence of the show. Bernard Leach is an "occidental potter in an oriental tradition."
|This has nothing to do with Max Imdahl, but I like it.|
Igor Cassini and Prince Aly Khan make someone's 1950 "Best Dressed" list. Cardinal Spellman is leading a group of pilgrims to Rome to kick off Holy Year. Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso are very eccentric people and they paint strange paintings! The two go together! It's just science! Carol Channing doesn't want to play a birdbrain on stage because enough people already think she's a bird brain in real life. Robert Montgomery is trying to get Frank Costello's American citizenship revoked. Audie Murphy and Frank Sinatra are getting divorced. Elizabeth Taylor still doesn't have a date to wed Conrad Hilton, and Elliott Roosevelt and Gigi Durston are being banned from nightclubs for being almost as obnoxious as Sinatra. (I will leave Sergeant Murphy out of it, as he's been to the wars.) William Paley (48) of Columbia, has had his second child and first daughter with "Barbara Cushing Mortimer Paley, 32, youngest of the late Dr. Harvey Cushing's millions-marrying daughters." Now that sounds like some gossip I've missed over the years! Francis Spanier has married, John Miran Weeks, Santiago Cesares Quiroga, Jesse Clude Nichols, Schuyler Otis Bland, Jay Witmark and Tasker Lowndes Oddie have died.
The New Pictures
Stromboli finally gets a review instead of endless publicity. It's "an anticlimax in moviemaking," a "bleak, draggy little picture," and betrays both RKO's prurient advertising and Rosselini's artistic ambitions. Three Came Home deglamorises Claudette Colbert to do a pretty good job of the experience of a Japanese internment camp. Young Man with a Horn features a white man who is a jazz musician who marries Lauren Bacall who is an intellectual. She intellectualises him into hitting the skids, and so he is off to the Bowery to die, the film taking time out with a sequence "killing off the old Negro musician whom it has patronised all along." When Time notices that sort of thing, you know you've gone too far! Also, the jazz is bad. The Astonished Heart has Noel Coward trying to carry a bad script and managing to parody Noel Coward.
Ruth McKenney's Love Story is her first book and also her autobiography, sort of, which is bad; but also good, because she runs in the same circles as Time, so there's lots of juicy gossip with fake names to make it interesting. John Masefield has a book of poems out. He's that one who does ships and boats all the time, which makes him a manly poet. James Aldridge's The Diplomat is another terrible novel from the newspaperman, and Time thinks he should just stop.
Aviation Week, 27 February 1950
Aviation Week doesn't usually do leaders, but here's one, trumpeting a forecast aviation industry $2.6 billion revenue in 1950/1. It will be guns followed by airlines followed by personal planes followed by helicopters followed by airline revenues over expenses followed b yair coach followed by trans-Atlantic services. Or maybe I have the sequence wrong. It's a whole year, and a lot could happen, especially if the Reds actually do invade Formosa.
A lot of the substantial articles in this issue are the same kind of boosterism. Personal planes are a huge disappointment compared with immediate postwar promises by any measure, but the numbers are up, so for this issue, it's a glorious success story. Airports do boost air power! We get a summary of "planes used in agriculture," which is perfectly correct that there's a lot of them and it is a big field of aviation usage, but it is pikers for money and even less interesting for technological progress. I mean, this is the kind of coverage I expect Aviation Week to have, and that's good, but I don't see why I have to waste your time on it. So if you really wanted to know how American aviation research is organised, complete with loving organisation diagrams, I am the one who kept it from you.
"U.S Air Power Not Adequate for Needs" Technically, the US has more than enough air power for what it needs. It's only if something happens that there's a problem. The question is, what will happen, when? It looks like the Reds aren't invading down the Alaska Highway (who would-a thunk?) But they might try something in Europe. Frontline US strength for '50-51 will be a bare minimum 3300 first-line combat aircraft including 15 heavy bomber groups, 27 tactical bomber and fighter groups and six troop-carrier gorups. The Navy will go from 13 heavy carrier groups to seven, and three light and escort groups. CAGs will go from 14 to 9, ASW carrier squadrons from 8 to 7, patrol squadrons (egad!) from 30 to 20. Wait! This part affects me! Suddenly I hate President Truman, too! As the story goes, it eventually gets to the point where it admits that the problem is more-or-less that if we want more than 3300 aircraft, we need to accept junk. The Air Force is mad keen on an escort fighter but can't imagine what one would look like apart from the F-84s-on-the-wingtip of a B-36 plan, which is getting some gas accordingly. I can't help but think of the RAF's fast-and-high jet bombers. Maybe they have the right idea? It does mean that they don't have a bomber right now, but maybe a Lincoln is enough right now? I know, I know, I've been hanging around Uncle George too much. Even for the USAF, B-29s and B-50s are still the "mainstays" of the heavy bomber groups.
Everyone wants more radar; the Navy wants a bigger gun to replace its wartime cal 50s, and "automatic 'on target' devices," which is Aviation Week-speak for fire control this week.
"Navy's New Role in Air Power" The Navy has completed its swing towards a primarily ASW role, and is pushing ahead with the turboprop, as NACA says that it has been, if anything, too cautious with high speed props. Navy scaling down means a proposed 2142 USN aircraft with 5324 in reserve and procurement of 769 new planes in '51. The XP5Y-1 is the lynchpin of a "water-based Naval air force to supplement carrier air groups." This also means a revival of the flying boat fighter concept.
Meanwhile, in the real world, the Navy continues to receive the F2H-2 and Chance Vought F6U-1, even though it is not very happy with either. It likes the Douglas F3D except that its performance is too low, and the Grumman F9F and AF antisubmarine plane. Continuation contracts will keep the AJ-1 and P5M alive, while there's an order in for 45 more P2V-5 Neptunes. The patrol fleet may be getting smaller, but it is also getting better planes.
"Aircraft Industry Shows Production Gains" Most of the article is complaining that the Administration isn't hitting the 70 group target.
"Engine Industry Still in Transition" That's polite speak for the industry is still having trouble delivering a good turbojet, so it has decided to jump on the turboprop bandwagon instead, which, given the wreckage left in the British industry by Metrovick, Armstrong Siddeley and Napier, seems like a terrible idea. Just because turboprops fly slower and can be used on older planes doesn't mean that they're easier to make than turbojets! The American industry was patting itself on the back on the speed with which it moved to the axial engine a few years ago, but now its got nothing on the Avon, and thus nothing on Avon planes.
Robert McLarren, "Avionics: New Segment of Air Power" Aviation Week's crusade to get us all to take 'avionics" ('aviation electronics") seriously couldn't have a bigger booster than me. Except when it comes to Not Wasting My Time. Which this article does. The closest it comes to being useful is when it glances at the way that the services set requirements, but it's not very definitive, because I don't think the services are that definitive about it, yet.
"How ANDB Fits into Air Power Needs" America's future air navigation system remains in a bit of a flux, as how could it not when we're still talking about what the continental radar screen is going to look like. Obviously some planes --many planes-- are never going to have radar or much in the way of cockpit automation, so if they're going to land in bad weather, we need some way of bouncing a signal that the plane doesn't receive off it in such a way that it tells the plane what's going on as well as the tower. If I make any sense except to myself! It also makes sense that this should be a continuation of the "lanes" that guide planes across country, and so we get to North America's abiding interest in radio ranges to the exclusion of Europe's enthusiasm for blind landing aids. The ANDB has a huge job ahead of it deciding what the national system is going to look like, from the cockpit of the smallest personal plane up to the display tubes in the towers. WE've got VHF omnirange almost fully installed for radio ranges, ILS for landing at 145 airports finished or nearly so, an experimental Distance Measuring System programme, and Course Line Computers under development at Minneapolis Honeywell. Transponders, radar (air and ground) and an assortment of airport sensors and computers are under development.
"Air Power Needs Push Research to the Limit"
Aviation Week is very, very pleased at how fast American planes, rockets and missiles go. It seems as though other things are being passed over. Although missiles that "never come down" are a whole new world. Literally! One brave new world that we're not going to, however, is the atomic plane. Though the AEC is continuing research into an airplane reactor, so maybe someday.
"Cylinder Accumulator Development"Given that we're into direct-drive hydraulics these days, this seems like a strange subject for a two-page article, but it is from Bendix, and Bendix does pay the bills, so . . . Oh, wait, no, it's a cleverly disguised ad. Bendix does pay the bills!
"Britain --Useful Arsenal in World Power"
Boyd France[!] has a nice article via the MicGraw Hill World News Service on "France," where air power is coming back, with a target of 2100 military aircraft in the front line and a healthy transportation sector. They want to skip right through the Comet to the "Super-Comet" and are curtailing many of the interim types spasmodically pushed out in the first years after liberation.