Daily Update: Thursday, February 9th, 2017

02-09 - Josepth McCarthy Wheeling Speech

We have no Saints for us to honor today, but on this date in 1950 Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin gave a speech in Wheeling, West Virginia to the Republican Women’s Club in which he waved a list of “known Communists” working in the State Department.

The Senator’s words in the speech are a matter of some debate, as no audio recording was saved. However, McCarthy is usually quoted to have said: “The State Department is infested with communists. I have here in my hand a list of 205 – a list of names that were made known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping policy in the State Department.” There is some dispute about whether or not McCarthy actually gave the number of people on the list as being “205″ or “57″. In a later telegram to President Truman, and when entering the speech into the Congressional Record, he used the number “57″. The origin of the number “205″ can be traced: in later debates on the Senate floor, McCarthy referred to a 1946 letter that then–Secretary of State James Byrnes sent to Congressman Adolph J. Sabath. In that letter, Byrnes said State Department security investigations had resulted in “recommendation against permanent employment” for 284 persons, and that 79 of these had been removed from their jobs; this left 205 persons still on the State Department’s payroll. In fact, by the time of McCarthy’s speech only about 65 of the employees mentioned in the Byrnes letter were still with the State Department, and all of these had undergone further security checks. At the time of McCarthy’s speech, communism was a growing concern in the United States. This concern was exacerbated by the actions of the Soviet Union in Eastern Europe, the fall of China to the communists, the Soviets’ development of the atomic bomb the year before, and by the contemporary controversy surrounding Alger Hiss and the confession of Soviet spy Klaus Fuchs. With this background and due to the sensational nature of McCarthy’s charge against the State Department, the Wheeling speech soon attracted a flood of press interest in McCarthy; however, he was never able to prove his sensational charge. In succeeding years, McCarthy made additional accusations of Communist infiltration into the State Department, the administration of President Harry S. Truman, the Voice of America, and the United States Army. He also used charges of communism, communist sympathies, or disloyalty to attack a number of politicians and other individuals inside and outside of government. With the highly publicized Army–McCarthy hearings of 1954, McCarthy’s support and popularity began to fade. On December 2nd, 1954, the Senate voted to censure Senator McCarthy by a vote of 67 to 22, making him one of the few senators ever to be disciplined in this fashion. He remained in the Senate, and died in 1957. (Fortunately, our Government today in 2017 is make up of dedicated public servants who would never dream of using ad hominem arguments.)

Last night our New Orleans Pelicans lost their NBA game with the Utah Jazz by the score of 94 to 127.

I woke up this morning at 8:30 am, and did my Book Devotional Reading. I then read the morning papers while I ate my breakfast toast. I finished my laundry, did my Internet Devotional Reading, and filed and paid the Federal Income Taxes for 2016 (I cannot file and pay our Louisiana taxes for 2016, as the forms to file are not yet final).

Richard and I left the house at 12:30 pm; we ate Chinese for lunch at Peking, and at Wal-Mart Richard got my salad supplies for me. We returned home at 1:30 pm, and I uploaded my December 2016 and January 2017 photos from my phone to the hard drive of my computer. I then continued reading What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe via Kindle on my tablet, then ironed my Casino pants, apron, and shirts, and made my lunch salads for Saturday and Sunday. We then watched Jeopardy!; I ate the last of the steak, mashed potatoes, and baked beans, and Richard went and got fried chicken from Crispy Cajun for his dinner. I will now finish today’s Daily Update, and I will read the next chapter in The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life by James Martin while taking a bath, then read a few chapters in 50 Philosophy Ideas You Really Need to Know by Ben Dupré before going to sleep. Our LSU Lady Tigers (16-7, 5-5) will be playing an Away College Basketball game with the Ole Miss Lady Rebels (14-8, 3-6) tonight, and I will post the score of the game in tomorrow’s Daily Update.

Tomorrow is the Memorial of Saint Scholastica, Virgin (died 543). Richard and I will return to the casino to begin our work week of dealing to rich drunk Texans, and on my breaks I will start reading The Death House by Sarah Pinborough via Kindle on my tablet (it’s our next Third Tuesday Book Club book). From 3:00 am to 11:00 am I will be fasting, and at 11:00 am I will go to the Clinic to have blood drawn for lab work ahead of my February 16th, 2017 appointment with the Renal Physician. In the afternoon I will catch up on some stuff around here. Our #5 LSU Lady Tigers will begin their College Softball season with a home game against the Oklahoma State Lady Cowboys, followed by a game with the Penn State Lady Lions (Home). Our New Orleans Pelicans (20-33, 2-6) will be playing an Away NBA game with the Minnesota Timberwolves (20-33, 2-7); I will record the scores of the softball games and the NBA game in Saturday’s Daily Update. The Full Moon will arrive at 6:34 pm, and a Penumbral Lunar Eclipse will occur at 6:45 pm.

Our Parting Quote this Thursday afternoon comes to us from Ed Sabol, American filmmaker. Born as Edwin Sabol in 1916 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, his Jewish family moved to Blairstown, New Jersey, where he grew up. While attending high school he excelled in several sports, and set a World Interscholastic Swimming record in the 100-yard freestyle race. He continued his noted swimming career at Ohio State University. He was selected for the 1936 Olympic team but refused to participate because of the games’ connections to Nazi Germany. He had some success in the theater as an actor, appearing on Broadway for the production of Where Do We Go from Here. He served in World War II, and upon returning to civilian life, worked as a clothing salesman out of his father-in-law’s factory. In his spare time, he often used a motion picture camera, received as a wedding gift, to record his son Steve’s high school football games. Inspired by his own work, Sabol founded a small film company called Blair Motion Pictures, named after his daughter Blair. Sabol won the bidding for the rights to film the 1962 NFL championship game for $5,000, double the bid for the 1961 championship game. The film of that game impressed NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle, who asked the owners of the NFL to agree to buy out Sabol’s company. Although the owners rejected Rozelle’s proposal in 1964, they agreed a year later and renamed Sabol’s company NFL Films. He received $20,000 in seed money from each of the league’s fourteen owners, and in return would shoot all NFL games and produce a highlight film for each team, aided by his son Steve, who said, “The only other human endeavor more thoroughly captured on 16-mm film than the National Football League is World War II.” The presence of NFL Films’ cameras allowed for the preservation of video footage from many of the NFL’s 1960s era games in an era when sports telecasts were either broadcast live without any recording or whose films and tapes were destroyed and recycled for later use, a practice that did not fully stop until 1978. Without the presence of NFL Films, there would be no surviving footage of several of the early Super Bowls. In 1995 Sabol officially retired from NFL Films in his role as President and chairman, turning those duties over to his son Steve. In 1996 he was elected to the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. On February 5th, 2011, Sabol was elected to the Professional Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio (died 2015): “We began making the game personal for the fans, like a Hollywood movie. Violent tackles, the long slow spiral of the ball, following alongside the players as they sidestepped and sprinted down the field. The movie camera was the perfect medium at the time to present the game the way the fans wanted to see it.”

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