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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Jan. 8, 1904)
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mont is more highly, regarded than -it la In most of
the largo cities of the "United States. "
I observed with Interest the enthusiasm
manifested' by the officials In the work being
done by the respective cities. At Birmingham,
Mr. Roland H. Barkeley, a member of the city
council, by request of tho lord mayoV, called upon
me, and not only showed great familiarity -with
tho work of the city government, but manifested
an intense desire to secure for his city the moin
ods that had been proven by experience to be tho
Mr. Black, recently mayor of Nottingham, is
a very successful lace manufacturer, and yot he
deemed as -much concerned about the affairs of
tho city as about the details of lus own busi
' ness. Lord Mayor Harrington of Dublin, Lord
Mayor Dixon of Belfast and Lord Provost Prim
rose of Glasgow, were all nllve to the Importance
oi their work, and seemed to make tho dlschaige
of their duties their chief concern.
In this connection, I desire to record my ap
preciation of the public service df one of the most
; interesting and agreeable men whom I have met
in the Old World, Mr. John Burns. He began his
' industrial life at the age of ten as a maker of
candles. He was afterVvrnrds apprenticed as a
machinist, and after acquiring proficiency in his
fyado followed that line df employment until his
'associates made him their representative in the
city government. Pie was soon: "afterwards' sent "
nto 'parliament, and has for some fifteen years
".represented his district iu both Oodles. ' He is
' only 45, buf his hair and beard are so streaked
with gray that one would think liim ten years
' older, fiefs u Jitfle below" medium height, strong
ly built, and very active, and energetic. A dlll-
'gent student, quick-witted-and effdeuve in speech,
it is' not surprising that he stands today among
the world's foremost representatives of the wage
'earners. Ho is 6pposod; to both arlnking and
" gambling; He receives no salary either as a
; member1 of the county' council or as member of
parliament, but is supported by his association
which pays him what is" equivalent to a thousand
' dollars a year. With this very' meagre income
he devotes his life to pltblfc work, and I have not
1 mot "a more conscientious' or unselfish public ser
' ' varit. And yet what Mr. Burns is doing ' on a
" large scale, many others are doing in. a lesser
" degree,- ; ' ' '
I wish' that' -all the"'citfzens of my country
could come into contact with the public men
i ,whop T.have met, and. .catchy something of tho,
f. .earnestness with whiqh they are" applying them
selves to tho solution of tho municipal problems
that prQss upon the present generation, it would -certainly
increase the velocity of American re
forms, and arouse that latent patriotism which
only needs arousing to cope successfully with all
' , difficulties. . .
Wliile U may seem that tho leaders of mu
nicipal government in Europe are somewhat al
truistic in their labors, there is a broader sense
vin which they are quite selfish, but it is that
laudable selfishness which manifests itself in
one's desire to lift himself up, not by dragging
down others or doing injustice to others, but by
- lifting up the, level upon which all stand. Those
who add to the comfort ana happiness of their
community are making their own lives and prop-r
erty more secure those who are endeavoring to
infuso. hop& and ambition into the hearts ofr the
hopeless and despondent are really working for
themselves and their children and working more
wisely than those who : re so short-sighted as to
. .believo that, the accumulation of inoney is tho
i only, object of life. ,: ,
Let us liope that the tirae.-'tfs near at hand
when the successful business :men In tho United
States, instead of continuing their accumulations
to the very end of life, will be satisfied with a
competency and when Jtliis is secured, give to their
country tho "benefit of their experience, their in
. telligonco and thelr. conscience, as many of the
business men ojEngland, Scotland and Ireland
. are now doing, w. J. BRYAN.
Teaching Boys to Shoot.
, Tv, a pamphlet issued by tho National League
of, Republican clubs, in 1891, and describing "the
jprinciples and policies of the republican party"
, t Jt was said: "In the affairs of the United States,
happily enough, the war department does not
cut a conspicuous figure."
Evidently "the principles and policies of the
republican party" have undergone a marked
change' since tho pamphlet referred to was issued
In his annual report, Secretary of War Root says
that ho knows of nothing more important in the
way of preparation for war "than to teach the
young meh of tho country to shoot straight;" and
he adds that "It is of no use to pay, equipsub
sist, rind transport & soldier to the battle field
unless ho can hit the enemy when he shoots at
Mr. Root says that two recent changes in con
ditions require that we make continuous and ac
tive effort in this direction. One of these changes
is "the greatly increased range of the modern,
rifles which determines battles while tho combat
ante are at a great distance from each other, and .
which make practice more necessary for good
marksmanship than ever before." The other is
"tho decline in the use of fire arms among tho
greater "part of our people." Mr. Itodt says that
it is not now the case as it once was that every
house has its rifle or shotgun, and that every boy
1 is taught to discharge these weapons'; and he ex
plains that it is probable that a majority of the
young men in the thickly settled parts of the
country have never fired a gun and would be quite
harmless to an enemy until taught to shoot. He
thinks that we should' ndt wait until we are act
ually engaged in hostilities, and he recommends
an appropriation for the promotion of rifle prac
tice and the formation 'of rifle clubs and con
tests to which citizens generally shall be ad
mitted. It cannot be ddubted that if such clubs were
organized, there would be many applications for
. membership. T,hq gun is a very attractive weapon
and there would be little difficulty in persuading
the boy to engage in target practice. And yet is'
it to the best Interests of 'this country that the
thoughts of r wtir bo ever kept uppermost-in the
' minds of o"ur citizens? Is it to the interests of our
government, to thev interests of civilization, that
on every occasion the boy be taught that war is
one of the chief features of life? Would it not
bo better if the boys, of our land could be trained
in the ar"t of peace?" Would it not be better if
they were persuaded to devote their energies in
obtaining an education, not' merely from the text
books, but also from humanity's statutes? Would
It not be better to teach them that the greatest
nation is the ,one that is foremost in peace, that
the most powerful government is the one that "
. makes every effort to lead1 in ,the goo'd 'order of
the World? ' ' , ;" '
, ' ts it possible that'dur boasted civilization has
made no greater 'progress, even at this 'day'in the '
presence of The Hague court of arbitration and
Within a few months after the czar of all the v
Russias made bold to suggest the disarmament
of the world, than- that an American secretary,'
referring to preparation for war, deems it rieces-'1
sary to say that nothing is more important than
"teaching the young men of the country to shoot
Is He a "Resistless Force?"
The Pittsb.urg Post printed a story to the ef
fect that Mty Rockefeller and his associates are
devising a. - combination of the steel and railroad
interests which will result in a monopoly of the
steel t traffic. Commenting upon this announce
ment, the Chicago Record-Herald, a republican
paper, says that whether the scheme is near per
ji fection or not, it points "merely to a natural evo
- lution." The Record-Herald draws a striking pic
ture when it says:
"Mr. Rockefeller's enormous fortune is
founded upon the most complete and elaborate
system of combination that has ever been
established in the country. Very early in
his career he conceived the idea of destroy
ing competition, and he carried It out with
extraordinary skill and a relentless persist
ence. His rivals were crushed one after an
other in their futile campaign for independ
ence, the chief instrument used against them
"being the railroad rebate. He should have
been an expert in rate juggling before his in
vestments made him a powerful factor in tho
directorate of railroad companies.
"He starts now in this new enterprise
with much greater advantages than those
which ho enjoyed as the builder of Standard
Oil. His methods are. approved by a phenom
. enal success. He has a much larger capital at
his disposal than any other man in the coun
try. He is already credited with a con
trolling interest in the steel corporation, he is
the owner of vast mining properties and of
fleets of lake vessels, and he Is the holder of
large blocks of stocks and bonds in many rail
roads. "Power to divert traffic follows as a mat
ter of course. He can do as he pleases with
freight that might make or break a carrier
company. His investments play into one an
other In such a way that he may favor this or
that one as it pleases him. That ho should
" VOLUME 3, NUMBER 51,
v , giv the enormous steel tonrfage to a pet rail
road would not be at all surprising. ti at in
his capacity as a railroad director he show 5
be kind to the steel corporation would be 2.
in keeping with his old practices."
And then, after making this showing this
aP?oliows:PaPer mata melancholy confession!
"The truth is that he has become a re
sistless force in the industrial world and
that he will proceed from one monopoly to
another regardless of all that is said and done
to prevent. If he could live to the age of the
patriarchs the United States would come to
be merely one of hia appurtenances."
Is it possible that in this government pre
sumed to be of, by and for the people, the man
who has done the things described by the Record
Herald has become "a resistless force?"
Is it possible that this man ,may "proceed
from one monopoly to another regardless of all
that is said and done to prevent?"
If these statements be justified, then who will
say that popular government fn this country is
. not in peril 7
This republican paper speaks truly when it
says: "If Rockefeller could live to the age of
the patriarchs, the United States Would come to
be jmerely one of his appurtenances." But, re
membering what this man has already accom
plished, realizing the great plan he is now un
dertaking, and reading in one of the great news
papers of the country that he has. become "a re
sistless force," and that he will "proceed from
one monopoly to another regardless of all that
. is said and done to prevent" then, it may be said
Mr. Rockefeller need not live to the age of tho
patriarchs in order to make the United Slates of
America "merely one of his appurtenances." That
deplorable condition for this proud government
would, at the present rate, bo brought about with
in comparatively few. years.-
But the Record-Herald is entirely too pessim-
x -istic. Mr. Rockefeller only seems to be "a re
sistless force." The time will come when the
. American people will call him and, all other men
who seek to manipulate this government to their
own selfish ends toa rigid accounting.
Every One May Help.
The special subscription offer mado by liie
Commoner lias met with a high degree of success.
Thousands of Commoner readers have co-operated
with the effort to enlarge the circulation of this
, publication, and it is desired that every reader
who believes in the principles supported by The
Commoner will lend a hand.
This subscription offer is similar to the lots of
five plan presented last year. Cards, each good
for one year's subscription to The Commoner,
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$3 per lot. This places tho yearly subscription
rate at GO cents each.
Any one ordering the cards may sell them
'for $1 each, thus earning a commission of $2 on
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price and find compensation in the fact that ho
has contributed to the effort to widen The Com
moner's sphere of influence.
These cards may be paid for when ordered or
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A coupon is printed below for the convenience
of those who are willing to assfst In the coming
THE COMMONER'S SPECIAL OFFER
Application for Subscription Cards
Publisher Commoner: T. nm Interested in In
creasing The Comrnonor's circulation, and de
sire you to send men supply ol subscription cards.
I agree to ufo my utmost endeavor to bell the
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to The Commoner, Lincoln, Neb.
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