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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (May 3, 1907)
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epistle on the Moyef-Haywood affair was a desper-"
ate effort to make the best of the very bad situa
tion In which Mr. Roosevelt plunged himself, when
he dragged the names of the Imprfsoned labor
leaders into the Harrfman controversy..
The less Mr. Roosevelt's friends say'about this
sorry affair the better.
It is probably true that neither Senator Lu
Follette, Mayor Johnson or Mr. Bryan would have
'linked together the names tif Harrlman, the rail
road king, and Moyer, Haywood and Debs, the
labor leaders, as types of undesirable citizens."
It is also pjrobably true that neither LaFollette,
Johnson or Bryan would have been willing to be
elected to an olflce of trust In a campaign financed
by the railroad, king, who was "My Dear Mr.
Harriman," while he was raising funds for Mr.
Roosevelt's. campaign, only to become the "unde
sirable citizen1' after his letter, complaining of
the ingratitude of princes, had become public
OREGON'S "BIG STICK"
The St. Louis - Globe-Democrat, republican,
says: "Mr. Bryan's new paramount issue is the
Initiative and referendum. Oregon has these de
vices in Its constitution, but considers them a fail-
lire. The word 'practical' seems to be missing in
the Bryan list."
But Oregon does not "consider them a
For up-to-date' information on this point, read
the May Issue of the Pacific Monthly, a magazine
published at Portland, Ore. In that number the
story of the initiative and referendum is "told by
Lute Pease,- a well known western writer.
Announcing the Pease article, the Pacific
Monthly management says: "The initiative and
referendum Is the law which has placed the state
' of Oregon in the very forefront of 'political pro
gress that has changed the form of government
from a representative government to practically
a pure democracy and that has t made corrupt
machine politics impossible by vesting in the peo.
ple the power of absolute self government."
Does that sound as though- Oregon "consid
ers them a failure?"
Following is an extract from the Pacific
Monthly's announcement of the Pease article,
iwhich Is printed under the title, "Oregon's 'Big
Oregon complacently confronts the pes
simists' of the republic with startling" state- '
""ments somewhat as follows: -
If our representatives do not represent
us, we have, power to force them to do so.
We' can reject any law that we don't '
Want, or ourselves enact any law that we do
We have knocked out the boss and the
We have just elected two United States
senators in twenty minutes without "boodle
or booze or even a cigar," and our legisla
ture has just completed a session of extraor
dinary" activity, i, untainted by any charge of'
"And for such achievement the state and
the United States at large may gtve thanks
for the persistence of a small -coterie, once
laughed at by politicians as 'pops,' 'cranks
and 'visionaries' led by a 'dreamer' W. S.
It can truthfully be said that no subject' -of
greater Interest, of greater moment to the
people of the entire country, has ever ap
peared in our national press. Let us hope
that every believer in our national slogan, "A
government of the people and for the people,"
may read the story of western freedom and
success, and that it may be the seed which
'falls', not on stony ground but in fallow fields
to sprout and spread throughout our nation.
The Pacific Monthly published at Portland,
Ore., ought to be as well informed upon Oregon
affairs as the Globe-Democrat, published at St
Louis. And according to the Pacific Monthly, Ore
gon does not consider the Initiative and referen-
dum a failure. On the 'contrary it regards iij as
the "big stick" with which the public interests'
may be protected.
THE PRIMARY PLEDGE
As this copy of The Commoner may be read
by some one not familiar with the details of the
primary 'pledge plan, it is necessary to say that
according to the terms of this phin every demo
crat Is asked to pledge himself to attend all of
the primaries of his party to be held between now
and the next democratic national convention, un
.less unavoidably' prevented, and to secure a clear,
-honest and straightforward declaration of the
-party's position on every question upon which-the
voters of the party desire to speak. Those desiring
to be enrolled can either write to The Commoner
approving the object of the organization and ask
ing to have their names entered on the roll, or
they can fill out and mail the blank pledge which
Is printed on page 14 of this issue.
A. W. Miller, Hartland, Me., sends three pri
J. 0. Jones, Kanorodo, Kan., sends ten pri
Sam James, Cornet, N. C, writes: "Please find
primary pledge. It Is a great pleasure for me to
sign tliis pledge, as I am in accord with Mr.
Bryan s views. Hope you will continue the good
S. S. Beggs, Echo., Wash., writes: "Inclosed
find forty-two signatures to The Commoner pledge.
- I have sent blanks to various parts of the countv
that I think will be heard from later. Wishing
The Commoner and democracy success, I am sin
cerely yours until reform democracy prevails."
Anton- Peters, Danville, III., writes: "I am
hereby sending this coupon with my signature
with address as a pledge to vote tho democratic
ticket once more and supporting your party as
I have done every time, you whs running for pres
ident jon tho democratic ticket."
IS THIS CALAMITY?
The Central Law Journal, published at St.
Louis prints this somewhat remarkable editorial: '
"Due. process, of law Is government itself.
This being true it necessarily follows that the
power of the president of the United States to
appoint federal judges, is the greatest function
of his exalted office; when this function Is in any
degree departed from, to that extent the president
shirks his greatest responsibility. Political cu
torn has been ushered into the secret places of
the most high, and THE RESULT IS A PROS
TITUTION OF ONE OF THE MOST SACRED
PROVISIONS OF THE FEDERAL CONSTITU
TION. This has come about by gradual process,
until the evil has become so intrenched, that even
the big club of the president will have to lie
wielded with tremendous force to drive this cus
tom to Hades, where it came from, to undermine
the most important function of our government.
The constitution of the United States came from
the people; it is vox popull. To allpw senators
and congressmen to pay their political debts, by
permitting them to select the federal judges, we
say, is nothing short of the prostitution of the
most important function of the presidential-office
So long as we hare' good and learned men, in the '
seats of the federal judges, the nation will be
safe for upon them depends the duo process of
law. THERE WAS NEVER A TIME WHEN
THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING GOOD AND
LEARNED MEN ON THE FEDERAL
BENCHES NEEDED EMPHASIZING MORE
THAN THE PRESENT. THERE NEVER HAS
BEEN A TIME WHEN THE MATERIAL SE
LECTED, AS A GENERAL RULE, WAS
WORSE. This is a matter so generally recog
nized by the members of the bar that it is nofc
necessary to cite cases. We find the worst situ
ations in th'o territories. It Is true that there are
many good federal judges, but these do not make
up for the poor material found in many other
places. We can only judge of the value of a cus,
v torn by comparing its good and bad results. Tho
results on the whole are so bad, there should" be
no hesitation on the part of the president in taking
upon himself the whole responsibility of seeing to
it that the right kind of material is selected for
the .bench. In the case of' the election of judges
the people must bo instructed as to the importance
of having well trained men for these most re
sponsible positions. The greatest lack of foresight
is shown in the provision in the constitution of
Oklahoma regarding the salary for the supreme
judges. It provides $4,000 a year and the result
is that those best able to hold such positions can
not afford to give up their practice to take them.
But if the president of- the United States has
lost sight of his greatest responsibility and does
not seem to appreciate the great need of giving
the most careful and thoughtful consideration to
the appointment of the federal judiciary, is it
strange that the people should not see the impor
tance of selecting and providing the means which
- will enable -them to acquire tho best ability to
"There is no surer way Of undermining the
foundations of a republic than to leave such ap
pointments to politicians, who use the confidence
reposed in them to pay off political obligations,
or give the office to some relative who is wholly
- incapable of filling the office, and when such abuse
and even worse abuse Is applied to the federal
judiciary we have the greatest possible menace
to the foundations of our government
44 With what fearful force comes the language
of Mr. 'Justice Grler, In the case of Marshall vs.
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad company, 10 How. 1. c.
335 (57 U, S.), and what a picture of oxlstlng
conditions. 'Influences secretly urged under false
and covert pretenses must necessarily operate' l'o
loterlously on legislative action, whefher Jt be em
ployed to obtain the passage of private or public
acts. Bribes in the shape of high contingent com
pensations, must necessarily lead to tho use f
Improper means and tho exercise of undue Influ
ence. Their necessary consequence Is the demor
alization of tho agent who covenants for them;, ho
Is soon brought to believe that any means which
will produce so beneficial n result to himself arc '
proper means;' and that a share of these profits
may have the same effect of quickening the per
ceptions and warming the zeal of Influential or
careless members in favor of Ills bill. Tho use of
such means and such agents will have fc.o effect to
subject tli6 state governments to the combined
capital of wealthy corporations, and produce uni
versal corruption, commencing with the repre
sentative and ending with the elector. Specula
tors in legislation, public and prlvatcj a compact
corps of venal solicitors, vending their secret In
fluences, will Infest the capltol of the union and
every state, till corruption shall become the nor
mal condition of the body politic, and it wllPno
said of us as of Rome 'Onine Romae venule
"Unless tho presidents of the United States
rise to tins responsibility the whole federal ju
diciary will bo under the" influence of life money
powers. The salvation, of the nation depends upon
tho kind of men who are given the responsibility
of duly administering Its laws. The importance
of great laws was shown I our last week's issue
In tho quotation from the Antigone of Sophocles,
and the maxim Lex non exacte definit sod arbltrto
boui viri permlttit. Great and good men will -make
and enforce great laws; and these 'make a' ,
state.' " "" '1
The Central Law Journal says! "There was
never a time when the Importance of having good
and learned men on the federal benches needed
emphasizing more than the present. There never '
has been a time when the material selected, as a
general rule, was worse." It will not lie necessary
for the president to use "the big club" to bring
about a reform in this respect. Let the presi
dent refuse to appoint inferior men or corporation
henchmen; let him insist upon the nomination of
men whose public and private record wlll bear
the closest scrutiny. If the appointments are bad
the president Is to blame.
W. R. Gray of Wylie, Texas, desires to learn
of the whereabouts of his son Jeff Gray. When
last heard from he was working at a restaurant
In Manitou, Colo., and then spoke of Joining the
army. He is eighteen years old, five feet ton
inches high, weighs about 175 pounds, has dark
brown eyes, and black hair, nis parents fear that
some violence has befallen him and will be thank
ful for any Information.
C. A. Phillips of Alderson, Mo., desires in
formation as to the whereabouts of James, 0.
Phillips, a native of Greenbrier .county, W. Va.,
and a soldier in the union army.-' He 'is about
seventy-six years of age.
SPRING WAKING '
A Snowdrop lay in the sweet, dark ground.
"Come out," said the" Sun, 'Come out!" J -But
she lay quite still and she heard no sound;,
"Asleep," said the Sun, "no doubt!"
The Snowdrop heard, for she raised her head.
"Look spry," said the Sun, "look spry!" '
"It's warm," said the Snowdrop, "here in bed."
"Oh, fie!" said the Sun, "Oh, fie!"
"You call too soon, Mr. Sun, you do!"
"No, no," said the Sun, "Oh, no!"
"There's" something above and I can't see through."
"It's snow," said the Sun, "Just snow."
"But I say, Mr. Sun, are the robins here?"
"Maybe," said the Sun, '"maybe;" , . ' 7 ,
"There wasn't a bird when you called''last year;"
"Come out," said the Sun, "and see!"
The Snowdrop sighed, for she liked her nap, '
And there wasn't a bird in sight,
But she popped out of bed in her white night-cap';
"That's right," said the Sun, "that's rlgfiT:!"
And, soon as that small night-cap was seen,
' A robin began to sing,
The air grew warm, and the grass turned green.
" M 'Tis spring!" laughed the Sun, -" 'tis Spring!"
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