DECEMBER 2019

DECEMBER   2019
Please, Have a Merry. Please. Oh, and get rid of the Orange Jerk!

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Saturday, November 10, 2018

THE SHOOTER

I admit the only element of this story that surprised me was that the assassin planned to use a church congregation as a cover for his get away. After he had murdered his target, he intended upon blending into the parishioners leaving Wednesday evening services. It was a diabolical and inspired plan. And it was about the last smart thing the would be assassin did. From that moment on, he started to shrink in stature, and intellect..And oddly, the same had been true of his intended victim.
The target lived in a two story Craftsman style home at 4011 Turtle Creek Boulevard, in Dallas Texas. The assassin realized the boulevard was too busy for a safe shot, and the front of the house set back too far from the street to provide a reliable shot. But his reconnaissance revealed there was a dead end alley in the rear which would get him to within a hundred feet of the home's windows. At that range the shooter couldn't miss.
And for an escape, running north through the alley would lead him to the parking lot behind a Presbyterian Church, which fronted on Oak Lawn Avenue. And just past the church, on Oak Lawn, was a bus stop, which would provide an inconspicuous getaway. It was, again, diabolical and inspired. By using the bus, he would not have to borrow a car. And his overcoat would hide the rifle from fellow riders.
The target was Edwin (Ted) Anderson Walker, a man with many enemies, almost all of them of his own choosing. A West Point graduate, he had been a hero in World War Two and Korea, being awarded both the silver and the bronze star, the latter with an oak leaf cluster, as well as the Legion of Merit. He had risen to the rank of Major General. But he remained married only to the Army.
In 1957 the six foot two inch combat veteran had been ordered by President Eisenhower to take command of the 82nd Airborne and the Arkansas National Guard, and to oversee the court ordered desegregation of Little Rock’s Central High School. So personally repulsive was this task to Walker that the general had tendered his resignation. The President, and old soldier himself, had refused to accept it, and told Walker to get on with the job. Reluctantly the racist General followed his orders, seeing to it that 9 black teenagers were admitted and attended classes at the Little Rock Public High School.
But Walker remained a racist and a radical. He tried to resign from the Army a second time in 1959, in protest of American participation in the United Nations, and of the “fifth column conspiracy and influence in the United States” of communists. Again his resignation was rejected. Instead the Joint Chiefs transferred him to Augsburg, Germany, where he took command of the 24th Infantry Division. But the General was already beginning to shrink.
It was in Germany, in the spring of 1961,  that Walker delivered a series of lectures to the troops on a program called “Pro-Blue”. As veteran Dick Thornton remembered it over fifty years later, “As Gen Walker addressed us, he pulled down a huge wall map of the world. It was rendered in various shades of red and pink. This was, he said, the degree of communist influence in each country. The United States got off easy with only a medium red color. We all looked at each other…rather mystified and uneasy with this commanding officer who seemed, to all intents and purposes, to be flat out crazy.  Gen Walker stated that it wasn't enough to be anti-red - you must be PRO-BLUE!  He gave us a list of books to be placed in all the day rooms - required reading for everyone.”  The General was now growing too small for his uniform.
The required books included many publications of the John Birch Society. Then, a small civilian newspaper aimed at U.S.Servicemen, the “Overseas Weekly” (colloquially known as the “Oversexed Weekly”) quoted Walker as calling President Harry Truman, ex-First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and Secretary of State Dean Acheson, as being “pink”.  The paper quoted Walker as calling journalist Edward R. Murrow a “confirmed Communist” and adding that 60% of the American press was Communist controlled. Walker counter attacked, calling the paper “immoral, unscrupulous, corrupt and destructive” - three of which it defiantly was. But the two star general then stepped over the line when he published a list of “Pro-Blue” politicians his soldiers should vote for. They were all conservative Republicans, of course. It almost seemed like he was trying to get fired. And he had finally done it.
Walker was relieved of his command and ordered to report for a psychiatric examination. Instead, on 2 November, 1961, Walker resigned from the Army for a third time. And this time the Pentagon accepted. Having resigned, Walker would now receive no pension and no benefits. Walker explained he wanted to be “free from the power of little men who, in the name of my country, punish loyal service to it. It will be my purpose now, as a civilian, to attempt to do what I have found it no longer possible to do in uniform.” Out of uniform for the first time in his adult life, he immediately shrank several sizes.
What he did first, in February of 1961, was to run for Governor of his home state of Texas. He managed to draw only 10% of the vote in the Republican Primary, and now many noticed he had never been that large to begin with.  In September of 1962 Walker helped to organize protests to the admittance of James Meredith, a young African-American, to the University of Mississippi.  Walker’s public statement, on 29 September, 1962, called the use of Federal troops in defense of integration  “a disgrace to the nation", adding it was, :" the conspiracy of the crucifixion by anti-Christ conspirators of the Supreme Court in their denial of prayer and their betrayal of the nation.”
A 15 hour riot broke out on campus that night, during which two were killed and six federal marshals were wounded. Walker was arrested and charged with sedition and insurrection, but in January of 1963 a Mississippi grand jury refused to indict him, and he returned to Dallas, hailed as a hero. His supporters seemed unaware at an additional loss in stature. Yet, if anyone had cared to look closely, General Walker was now shrinking more every day.  And it was his hero's welcome to Texas that inspired the would-be assassin, a small man all his life, to order a rifle, using the alias “A. Hidel”.
In early April the the would-be assassin insisted that his wife take his photo with his new rifle. He even told his wife, “If someone had killed Hitler in time, it could have saved many lives.”
After 8:30, on the night of Wednesday 10 April, 1963, the shooter walked down the alley from Avondale Avenue. In sight of the rear of the house on Turtle Creek, he crouched behind a wall, cradling his Mannlicher-Carcano 6.5 mm bolt action rifle. He balanced the rifle on the top of the chain link fence, and using the telescopic sight, aimed at his target’s head through the french doors, just 100 feet away. It was Nine O’clock when the assassin pulled the trigger.
Walker was sitting at his desk in his dinning room, working on his taxes. The lights were on and the shades were up. He heard a crack and thought it was a firecracker. Then he heard glass break, and he felt a sting in his arm.  He rose and walked around the desk, and saw a hole in the wall behind where he had been sitting. Immediately Walker went upstairs to retrieve a pistol, and so armed and feeling bigger, he went into the back yard.
Seeing nothing, he turned to face his house, and spotted a chip in the window frame. It was only then that Walker was certain that someone had taken a shot at him, and he called the Dallas Police. He did not suspect for a moment that the bullet might have missed him because he had grown so much smaller.
A Dallas Police officer dug the remains of the bullet from General Walker’s dining room wall, but it was too badly deformed to be of much value. However he saved it in an evidence bag. Following the path of the bullet showed that after clipping the window frame, the tumbling slug had missed Walker’s head by less than an inch. It came so close that part of the disintegrating shell's metal jacket had struck Walker in the arm. Had he been in his full size, it would have killed him. But then, had he been full size the shooter might not have shot at him...maybe.
Seven months later the assassin pulled the trigger again. This time he hit his target, twice. This time his target was riding in the back seat of a limousine. This time his target was President of the United States, John F. Kennedy. It was only when the Warren Commission interviewed Lee Harvey Oswald’s wife that they stumbled upon the solution to the mysterious rifle shot taken at General Walker. At the time Oswald had admitted to his wife that he was responsible for the attempt, and had also admitted it to George De Mohrenschildt, the husband of his wife’s only friend in Dallas. Fourteen years later, a Neutron Activation Analysis of the bullet recovered from Walker’s wall confirmed its connection with ammunition used on 22 November 1963, in Dallas.
The hatred inside Edwin (Ted) Anderson Walker, mocked by ex-five star general and President Dwight David Eisenhower as a “super patriot”,  had long since consumed so much of his soul that he was now  isolated from his old friends. He made a meager living from speeches to local John Birch Society chapters. Until, that is, the 66 year old was arrested once more, on 23 June, 1976.
On that night, just three blocks from his home, Edwin Walker followed Dallas undercover police officer, R.J. Stevens, into a public restroom in Cole Park. There Walker made a “physical advance” and was arrested on the spot. Officer Stevens had no idea who Walker was. Like another conservative Republican decades later, Walker pleaded no contest, posted $200 bail and later paid a $1,000 fine. He received one year probation. But history repeated itself again, less than a year later, on 16 March 1977,  and this time in Dallas' Reverchon Park. This time the general was charged with public lewdness and making “suggestive overtones.” Now, even the John Birch Society isolated him.
In 1980 the one organization he had served the longest,  the U.S. Army, quietly restored his medical benefits. And in 1982 it even forgave his resignation and restored his pension, in full; $45,120 a year. General Walker died of lung cancer, in his own bed, on 31 October,  1993, still a little man, dwarfed by the inner demons he did battle with, which he externalized as Communists and African-Americans..
I thank General Walker for his service to the nation we share. I am glad they restored his pension in the end. But, I must admit, I also believe the world would have been a better place if Lee Harvey Oswald had not missed General Edwin Walker on that April night in 1963.  Perhaps the notoriety the little assassin would have gained from that murder, would have made Oswald feel big enough, that he would not have felt compelled to pull the trigger again in Dallas,  on 22 November, 1963.
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Friday, November 09, 2018

ROCKY 1 A. D.

I would say the odds were that young “Rocky” Sabbatius was destined to die unknown, within 50 miles of his birth place, in the village of Tauresium on the banks of the Varda River, in what is today Macedonia. He was a very smart lad, and handsome, in a shy sort of way, a bit small by all accounts, but, his biggest failing was that Rocky was not overly ambitious. See, when Rocky was born the world still answered to bloodlines, brawn and ambition. But he was to be blessed by two strokes of luck in his life, which saved him from anonymity and failure. The first one was that he had an uncle who was very ambitious.
Flavis Iustinus arrived in Constantinople sometime around 470 A.D. barefoot and hungry, an ignorant adolescent. His only possession was his ambition. He joined the army because soldiers were fed, and he rose in the ranks because war favors competency over blood lines. Iustinus was eventually made commander of the palace guards. That made him wealthy, by normal standards, which enabled him to bring his sister’s boy to the capital of the Byzantine Empire, and adopt him under the name of Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus - Rocky. It turned out this may have been the smartest thing Iustinus ever did, because when the emperor, Anastasius I, died in 519 A.D, the precocious lad advised Iustinus to take on the purple himself. And he did, becoming the Emperor Justin I.
Now, palace politics being what they are, being the adopted son of the emperor made Rocky as likely to be poisoned as he was to be the next emperor. But this was when Rocky had his second stroke of luck.
One night at the theatre he met a lovely comedian, talented, gorgeous, and just about his size. Her name was Theo, and Rocky was smart enough to recognize that she was as smart as he was, and twice as ambitious.
Her father had been an animal keeper for the Greens. These were one of what were the strongest most influential social groups in the Eastern Roman Empire, sports fans. Although Christianity was the official religion of the Empire, and since politics was off limits for everybody except the upper classes, the real religion and the real politics in Constantinople had become the choice of supporting either the Venti – the Blue - or the Pasini – the Green, in the chariot races.
Each of these “clubs”, supported chariot races held in Constantinople’s Hippodrome, and were a sort of NASCAR, roller derby, ice hockey and Russian roulette all rolled into one, and with soccer hooligans thrown in for spice.
The drivers dressed in their club colors: leather helmets, knee and shin pads, and a leather corset. They were all young, and one of the most famous lived to the ripe old age of 27, before he died in a crackup. The horses had even shorter life spans.
Each of the 24 races held each day of the season (which lasted only 66 days) pitted up to six Greens and Blues against each other for five crash filled laps. The Christian emperors found this crash ‘em, smash ‘em preferable to old gladiatorial games because they were slightly less gory.
Everybody in town wore their team colors, usually a stripe along the legging or the hem of a dress or tunic. This started out as friendly rivalry, but the partisanship turned increasingly bitter until the fights between Venti and Pasini in the stands required that each group be given their own cheering sections. These fights were then morphed into gangs of Greens and Blues roaming the streets after dark, mugging and killing each other and random passerby. The politicians got involved for the votes, and used the thugs to intimidate their political opponents. Screaming at the opposing side, and even at the Emperor in the Hippodrome became the only chance the common folk had to make their voices heard.
The Greens were the largest and strongest club, and when Theo’s father died, her mother begged the Greens for a job or at lest a pension to support herself and her three daughters. The Greens turned her down. And that was why Theo had gone to work as an actress.
Rocky was smart enough to want to marry Theo, but he was prohibited by the law from marrying any woman below his social station. As an actress, Theo was a half step above being a prostitute, a recognized profession but you wouldn’t want your son to marry one. So, Rocky pushed his uncle to change the law. In 525 A.D. the happy couple became a happy couple, legally. This infuriated the nobility politicians, who spread false rumors about Theo’s shameless behavior, and noted that the Greens had tossed her out. Over night Rocky and Theo became rabid fans of the Blues. This may have been a mistake, because on August 1, 527 A.D., Rocky’s uncle died, and the shy kid from a backwater of the Empire, and an actress from nowhere, became joint rulers of a big chunk of the known world, the Emperor Justinian and the Empress Theodora..
Rocky had big plans to rebuild the empire, but to do that he had to increase taxes, and that again offended the nobility, who were the only ones who paid taxes. Things came to a head on Saturday, January 10, 532 A.D., when seven gang members, both Blues and Greens, were hanged for the murder of a minor city official. What brought things to a head was that only five of them died. Somehow two survived, one Green and one Blue. They took sanctuary in a monastery, which was quickly surrounded by soldiers, waiting to arrest them when they came out. Of course there was always the chance the entire thing was a set up, a little public play staged by the nobility to manipulate the masses. What we know for a fact is that the masses of people wanted those two men, one Green and one Blue, pardoned and freed.
All day long, on Tuesday, January 13th , the crowd at the Hippodrome glowered at Rocky, sitting up in the royal box. As the 22nd race of the day was run, the Blues and Greens began to chant in ominous unison, “Win! Win! Win!” ("Nika", in Latin). Rocky thought it was a good idea to remove himself as an irritant and sneaked back into the palace, which was adjacent to the stadium.
As soon as that happened the crowds exploded out of the stands and filled the nearby streets, in a full riot, burning, looting and killing. Almost half the city went up in flames. With nightfall, the gangs occupied the Hippodrome, which allowed them to keep an eye on the palace.
As if it had been planned in advance, bright and early Wednesday morning, Senators appeared at the palace to offer their advice. It seemed to them, said the politicians, that what would calm the crowds would be to pardon the two surviving thugs. Rocky agreed. Well, suggested the politicians, how about also dismissing the tax collector?  Rocky agreed, again. And that was clearly a mistake. The Senators now decided they were in control, and on Thursday the mob from the Hippodrome marched through the streets to the home of Hypatius, who was a nephew of old Anastasius, and proclaimed him Emperor.
In the palace, Rocky was contemplating a safe retreat by boat, urged on by some of his advisers. And then Theo stood to up. She may not have been much over five feet tall, but it was instantly clear she was the tallest person in that room.
Legend gives several versions of what Theo said, but in essence they all boil down to this, “Purple makes a fine burial shroud.” I guess you had to be there. But however she said it, Rocky and his advisers were embolden. Being powerful is a risky existence. And sometimes staying in power requires that you run a little more risk. Rocky and Theo decided to stay and fight it out with the nobility, and to fight smart.
On Friday morning, a royal advisor (a eunuch named Narses), slipped into the Hippodrome. Quietly he met with the leaders of the Blues, not their political masters, the nobility, but the gang leaders on the spot. He revealed his presence and displayed his badge of office, a ring with the royal seal. Then he reminded the Blue leaders that the Emperor had long supported them over the Greens. He reminded them that their “new” emperor, Hypatius, was a Green. And then he handed out the gold, and retreated. Within a few hours, after talking the situation over amongst themselves, the Blues, en mass, filed out of the Hippodrome. There was no confrontation, and no argument. The Greens were stunned.
And while they remained stunned, two masses of soldiers stormed into the Hippodrome from both ends and slaughtered the Greens, all of them. The soldiers then tracked down Hypatius and hacked him to death as well. Those helpful noble Senators who had offered their advice to the Emperor were arrested, their wealth was seized and they were exiled. And then, of course, the leading Blue leaders were slaughtered as well. In all some 30,000 people were butchered. No one dared to oppose Rocky again.
Rocky became known as “the Emperor who never sleeps.” He was constantly in motion, and seemed to  be everywhere, paying attention to everything. And he trusted Theo so much he officially made her his co-Emperor. He got his higher taxes. He rebuilt the city of Constantinople, building perhaps the most magnificent church in all of Christendom, the Haggai Sophia (Holy Wisdom), which still stands to this day. He rebuilt much of the Roman Empire as well, but the only parts of that which remain, are the ruins.
His lady love, Theo, died on June 28, 548 A.D., not yet 50 years old. She was made a saint in Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Rocky lived for another 17 years, dieing on November 14, 565 A.D. So successful was his reign, that he was also made a saint. And in a very odd way, his greatness was established by the riot that almost dethroned him. And by the woman who loved him. A little ambition at the right moment, can be a very good thing.
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Thursday, November 08, 2018

SENATOR WETBACK

I prefer to refer to him as Senator Wetback. His real name was Patrick Anthony McCarran, and this bitter xenophobic, contemptuous narcissistic windbag, represented the very worst in the American character. He  preached fear of the future, fear of our enemies,  fear of our friends and even fear of ourselves. It was Pat McCarran who gave the Health Insurance Industry their anti-trust status, allowing them to collude in setting drug prices.  It was Pat McCarran who fed America’s vile dead end phobia of Mexican immigration.  It was Pat McCarran who first used the Senate of the United States to bully and terrorize loyal American citizens. It was Pat McCarran who turned Joe McCarthy’s bungling histrionics into the best weapon the Communists had in the cold war. In short, it was Pat McCarran who planted the seeds of the poisons politics that Donald Trump would harvest.
Pat McCarran was born the same year that George Custer died on the Little Big Horn; 1876. He was raised on an isolated sheep farm outside of Reno, Nevada, 15 miles from his nearest human playmate. He remained an isolationist his entire life. He attended the University of Nevada Law School, but had to drop out when his father was injured. Pat would later pass the bar, studying on his own.
As a new lawyer Pat McCarran made two big mistakes. The first was in 1907 when Nevada Governor John Sparks offered the thirty year old an appointment as a judge. But Pat’s paranoia drove him to reject the appointment. He later admitted ruefully, “That was the first and only appointment that was ever offered to me.”
His second mistake was when he served as counsel in a divorce case, Wingfield v Wingfield. The husband, George Wingfield, was the Democratic political boss who ran Nevada politics. And by representing the wife, Mae Wingfield, Pat McCarran earned the undying enmity of the Nevada Democratic Party leadership. When he tried to run for the U.S. Senate in 1908 he was black balled. One party leader noted, “His reputation as a double-crosser is too well established throughout the state.” Twenty years later the black ball still denied him a nomination for a Senate run.
Pat McCarran was finally allowed to run for the for U.S. Senate in 1932, at the age of 56, primarily because nobody else wanted what seemed like a useless nomination. The Democrats had been the second party in Nevada since the civil war. But in the general election this “ rotund man with a double chin, wavy hair and a high-pitched voice, who often says "My hide yearns for the alkali dust and the desert"— was swept into Washington on Franklin Roosevelt’s coat tails. Pat then proceeded to spit on those coattails.
The new Junior Senator from Nevada (left - second row) opposed every element of the New Deal. “The innovations of executive power, indulged in by Jackson, promoted by Lincoln, expounded by Garfield, declared righteous by Roosevelt and philosophically promulgated by Wilson, appear to have been but forerunners, rivulets, as it were, contributing to a flood that now sweeps on, submerging the Utopian doctrines and theories of Jefferson and conferring unheard of and unfettered expansion to the executive” That kind of rhetoric got him re-elected in 1938 with 73% of the vote.
Now secure in his seat, McCarran made speech's along side fellow Catholic Charles Lindberg, preaching isolationism. “I think one American boy, the son of an American mother, is worth more than all central Europe.”  He condemned Roosevelt’s supposed “secret plan” to push America into WW II. After Pearl Harbor, it was McCarran's desperate attempts to justify his prewar opposition,   which gave birth to the conspiracy myths that FDR had purposefully ignored Japanese plans to attack Pearl Harbor. In fact it was McCarran's stinginess over military budgets that left the Army and Navy short planes and radar to intercept the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
After Pearl Harbor, however, Senator McCarran was certain that Nevada got it’s share of war spending, including the third largest manufacturing facility built during the war, Basic Magnesim’s $140 million plant, built at full government expense, and the town of Henderson, built again at government expense, to house the plant’s 15,000 workers. Pat won re-election in 1944 with 68% of the vote.
The war and time made Pat McCarran one of the nation’s most powerful senators, by making him one of its most senior Senators. By 1945 he had become the new political boss of Nevada, the new George Wingfield. Pat even filled the U.S. capital building with so many graduates from Nevada Universities that they became known as “McCarran’s Boys”. And after a couple of years working in Washington, many of the “boys” became part of the McCarran Machine, back home in Nevada.
Pat McCarran handed out just as many “black balls” as he had been handed. Federal Marshal Les Kofed explained to the Senator that Federal law prevented political appointees like him from making speeches in support of a local politician. Marshal Kofed explained, “Out of a clear blue sky, shortly thereafter,…I received a call from the chief deputy at Carson City, that a new marshal had been appointed, that I had better come in and turn in my keys.”
By 1950 Time magazine had begun describing the 73 year old Pat McCarran as “pompous, vindictive and power-grabbing”. According to the magazine he “staged a one-man committee filibuster against an “Emergency Immigration bill” to admit (250,000) D. P’s to the U.S  The D.P.’s were Displaced Persons, who had survived the Nazi death and work camps, but whose identification papers had been lost or destroyed. They were people without homes or a nation willing to accept them. What concerned Pat McCarran was that many of them were Jews. He argued that the “Emergency Immigration Bill” was supported by a particular “pressure group” with “unlimited money” - code words for Jews.
The DP bill had the support of President Eisenhower. But when it was first introduced into a subcommittee in the spring of 1953, Senator McCarran “demanded” a ten day delay while his wife sought medical treatment. When “Senator Wetback” instead surfaced in Los Angles, holding hearings for his own Senate Security and Intelligence Sub Committee, and asked for three more weeks of delay, the immigration hearings finally began.
Three weeks into the hearings McCarran managed to snooker the Judiciary Committee (parent committee to the subcommittee) into voting to delay any further action by the subcommittee. When most of the Senators realized they had been tricked, fisticuffs almost broke out. It took a week, but the delay was eventually overturned. Still, in the end, McCarran managed to kill the bill. And tens of thousands of desperate people were turned away from America's shores because of one bigott.
In June of 1952 Pat McCarran co-sponsored a rewriting of immigration law, declaring that “…we have in the United States today hard-core, indigestible blocs which have not become integrated..." More code words for Jews. "Today, as never before, untold millions are storming our gates for admission and those gates are cracking under the strain… I do not intend to become prophetic, but if the enemies of this legislation succeed in riddling it to pieces, or in amending it beyond recognition, they will have contributed more to promote this nation's downfall than any other group since we achieved our independence as a nation.” He could have had the same speech writer as Donald Trump, except McCarran, at least, knew lots of multi-syllable words.
Next came the program which, for me, earned the Senator his nickname, “Operation Wetback.” That  really was its name, and it was launched in 1954 after Senator McCarran’s prodded the bureaucrats of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. The program contrasted with the ten year old “Bracero” system, in which Mexican recruiters contracted to supply workers for American farmers and railroads.
By 1954 some 300,000 Mexican citizens were legally working in the United States on temporary “Bracero” visas. Few stayed in the United States at the end of their contracts. However those programs, which protected worker’s rights and wages, were disliked by employers. Racists forces in Texas had prevented that state from participating in the program for five years. But in 1954 this successful program was killed, in favor of mass deportations - the same approach promoted by Donald Trump, and producing the same outcome - rising food prices because of a lack of field workers.
The INS would later claim to have expelled 1.3 million Mexicans (not the 13 million claimed in recent mythology) under Operation Wetback.  But a closer examination of the data shows the service could only prove some 80,000 were expelled. The addition half a million were an estimate of those who left the country out of fear, but the number was more hopeful than accurate.
The U.S. Army successfully resisted joining Operation Wetback, and in an internal report written later carried the notation, "Thank goodness"   The program ended abruptly when seven “illegals” being deported by ship, drowned while trying to swim back to the American shore. The crew of the steamer transporting them, then mutinied against their captain, and against the entire program. In the conservative myth the mutiny may get mentioned but never discussed.
But Pat McCarran’s most powerful weapon was his anti-communism. In this he was merely echoed by Senator Joe McCarthy. McCarran also supported Spanish dictator Francisco Franco, to the point that he was called “The Senator from Madrid.” He was an equally fierce supporter of Chiang Kai-Shek, after Chiang and his supporters were driven out of mainland China and retreated to the island of Taiwan. So rabid was McCarran's defense that it was not until Richard Nixon visited China in the 1970’s that some sanity and common sense return to American Asian policy.
The McCarran’s Internal Security Act (of September 1950) required members of the communist party to register with the Attorney General. So onerous were the details of the act that between 1965 and 1967 almost all of it was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Walt Kelly, who drew the popular "Pogo" comic strip, chose to memorialize McCarrain with "Mole J. Macarney", a blind, paranoid creature, who spread tar on everything and everyone he touched.
Pat McCarran died of a heart attack in September of 1954, proving once again that politics is not about being right. It is about being re-elected. To most politicians, nothing else matters.
  - 30 -

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