Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Sept. 1, 1915)
VOL. 15, No. 9
?. 4 fiVt
p x t .
A New Danger
Tho Hearst papers have discovered a new
danger, as will be seen by the following:
"William Jennings Bryan, who railitantly op
poses preparedness, is quoted by the Washington
Post as follows:
" 'The jingoes are now talking about spend
ing $300,000,000 on the navy and $160,000,000
on tho army, or $450,000,000 per year getting
ready for wars that ought never to come. Four
hundred and fifty millions a year would amount
to about $5,000,000,000 in eleven years. That
sum would gridiron the United States with hard
roads twelve miles apart, so that no citizen
would live more than six miles from a good road
which would enable him to go everywhere.'
'Hard roads twelve miles apart would be an
excellent thing for this or any country, provided
they were exclusively for the use of the people
of tho country.
"But if Russia were now networked with hard
roads twelve miles apart it is very likely that
tlie drumming of German guns would today be
disturbing the minds of the. people of Petro
grad." So good roads will be a menace unless we are
prepared to keep the "enemy" whoever nt is
from using them!
The manufacturers of battleships, armor plate,
arms and ammunition are given a new excuse
for insisting that the money be given to them for
get-ready-ness instead of being used for good
roads. And this argument against good roads
suggests other arguments of the same kind
and just as good. If good roads will make it
easier for tho enemy to travel inward and are,
therefore, dangerous, what about automobiles?
Our people are buying something like a half
million now autos every year. At four persons
to the auto, each year's crop of autos will carry
two million soldiers. What if the enemy comes
and seizes them will not autos help this imag
inary invasion against which we are asked to
prepare? Would it not be safer to abolish autos
and thus retard the advance of the invading
( But the horses would bo left, and they
could bp used by a hostile army, even if there
were no autos; shall we kill the horses in an
ticipation of a possible attack? And the cattle
might they not furnish milk and food for foreign
If wo would be absolutely secure against
this threatened assault we must tear up the
railroads, burn the bridges, destroy the wagon
roads, do away with all means of locomotion,
and convert the country ,into a desert: But why
this frenzy? Why not go on about our business
upon the assumption that the rules which we
apply to neighbors will, when applied to na
tions, enable us ,to live together in a spirit Qf
fellowship and co-operation. Love begets love
-r-J we would have friends we must show our
W. J. BRYAN.
..The exact breadth and- depth of the democ
racy of the New York World is shown in its re
cent double-leaded appeal to the members of
the state constitutional convention to step aside
and allow the Hon. Elihu Root to write a new
constitution for that commonwealth. Evidently
the World thinks that the better training a man
has as a corporation lawyer tho more satisfac
tory constitution ho could mould for the free
born people of a great state.
ANOTHER MAN NEEDED
The Chinese legation at Washington has is
sued tho following statement:
"Jn an academic discussion as to whether a
republic pr a monarchy was more suitablo for
China, Doctor Goodnow's conclusion that inas
much as tho republican form of government had
no fixed method of determining presidential suc
cession, the monarchial form of government for
this reason would bo safer and more satisfactory,
conforming, as it does, moro to the genius of
the Chinese people and tho historical develop
ment of the nation, but ho did .not say. whether
' .this was the proper time for such a change."
- Sw.eU, it this is tho kind of advice. Dr. Good-
nowr is giving, China liad abetter, get notber-ad-
tvieer.. Tho republic of China Jias a right to ex-
-pect.from tn. AMERICAN adviser advico -more
in harmony . with -American idals axtcUinstttu-i
tibns. ., .-..-v .., . J. r W, J. -,BRYAN. .
NO PLACE FOR AMERICANS
Under existing conditions, common sense
alono should deter Americans from visiting Eu
rdpo except on important business. There never .
was a better time for tourists and sight-seekers
to stay at home. That any person should neg
lect the precaution of securing passports is in
comprehensible. Yet Ambassador Page's warn
ing is doubtless called for by tho thoughtlessness
of some of his fellow-countrymen who have un
burdened upon him their troubles.
The forgery and wrongful use of American
passports inevitably has aroused tho British au
thorities, and where Americans were accustomed
to pass freely they must now be prepared for
rigid examination. On tho continent the obsta
cles to freedom of travel are everywhere greater.
It is useless to complain. Every nation in the
circumstances must consider its own interests
first, regardless of the convenience of foreign
ers. The privilege of belonging to a neutral na- .
tion does not carry with it the privilege of dis
regarding foreign laws and regulations.
No doubt Ambassador Page has already had
more than enough experience to satisfy him with
Americans who have sought to make national,
questions of their petty personal grievances, The
safe course, as he suggests, is to keep away from
England, and in Europe generally the rcpresent
atives of our government will second his advice.
New York World.
CARDINAL GIBBONS TELLS OF HIS TALK
WITH WILSON ON POPE'S PEACE PLEA
A Washington dispatch, dated September 2,
says: Cardinal Gibbons said following his Inter
view with President Wilson and Secretary Lan
sing: I presented to the president a peace message
from Pope Benedict, with suggestions for peace.
The president received the message with grave
consideration and me with utmost cordiality.
It is probable I will get from Rome tomorrow
a release from the pope on the text of this mes
sage for peace and I shall make it known to the
I may say gratification is expressed generally
over the peaceful and just settlement of the dif
ferences between.the TJnited'States and Germany.
It is assumed that those desirous of peace in
the Wqrld think this a most "favorable time to
try and bring about peace.
The United States is the great neutral nation.
Neutral nations want peace.
I talked with the president and Secretary Lan
sing about Mexican conditions, but my talk was
I presented no protests from Catholic meet
ings as to conditions in Mexico.
We can safely leave our foreign relations in
the hands of the president.
I was pleased to know that the .president could
recall meeting me in Baltimore. He studied at
the John Hopkins university, and he told me of
meeting me while there.
My visit to the president and to Secretary
Lansing was most satisfactory and conclusive.
A Call of the Camp
One of the jingo papers perpetrates the fni
"The training camps for citizen soldiers of
which the middle west representative will be a
Fort Sheridan are the flowering of a new and
"It is a mistake to suppose that these train
ing camps are an ephemeral military fad, and
that when the world is at peace again the camps
themselves and the ideals upon which they were
created will be forgotten.
"On the contrary, the establishment of these
training camps for citizen soldiers marks an ad
anced departure from old-line theories of mil
itarism. They will make history. They are
probably the beginning of a wave of practical
patriotism that will include the teaching of all
male citizens in the United States at least the
rudiments of military tactics."
It insists that "voluntary enlistment in these
training camps "is a patriotic duty." As it
would be unpatriotic for a qitizen to fail to per
form a patriotic duty it becomes important to
know who is to define "duty." Has congress
voted a call to arms? Has the president issued
a summons to drill? Who are these men who
assume to decide for the American people what
their duty is and then brand them as unpatriotic
if they fail to obey these impudent orders issued
Who are they? Aside from the jingo editors,
they are officers of the' National Defense league
and of the Navy league (private organizations,
self-created) who have appointed themselves ex
clusive custodians of national honor and special
guardians of the nation's security. This claim
to superior patriotism is a slander upon the rest
of the country. If any one desires to spend his
vacation in a training camp, let him do so, but
these camps will accommodate but a very small
per cent of the men available for military ser
vice, and those who attend these camps need not
plume themselves, upon being more patriotic
than the millions "who go on about their busi
ness the men who fight when 'the countryneeds
fighters, and work when the country needs
workers. W. J. BRYAN.
Henry Ford, the millionaire automobile man
ufacturer, is in grave danger of being perma
nently installed in' the black books of the navy
league, the league for national defense and the
various other organizations that have been try
ing to throw a scare into the American people so
that they may buy more munitions of war. Ford
iridignantly denied a story that he had enlisted
in the business men's training camp, and de
clared that he had no desire to enroll himself
for instruction in .professional murder. Mr. Ford
is apparently unaware of the refining power
given to, killing by donning a uniform and obey
ing an officer's command.
MR. BRYAN ON DUMBA'S RECALL
At Minneapolis, Minn., September 11, Mr.
Bryan gave out the following statement as to Dr.
"The situation was such that the ambassador
could hot remain. He could no loncrer rmiri ot
to his country the service expected of an am
bassador, because he could not enjoy from this
government the confidence necessary for a prop
er discharge of his duties. This does not com
pel the breaking off of diplomatic relations,. and
our government wisely accompanies the request
for recall with an assurance of good will."
For a great many centuries men held to the
opinion that woman was created, to be .either the
bond-servant of a toy and a plaything of the
male. Nobody openly contends for that doctrine
in these days, but it would require the services
of the once celebrated Philadelphia lawyer to
discover the difference between that idea and
that which really lies behind the declaration
that woman's place is in the home. That ia Sp
last bulwark of the anti-suffragist now, and e
really means that he considers their nroner
sphere to be in serving the men rather than An
v livingvtheir.Qwn lives as a sentient human -being
-BEWARE OF THE IDES OP NOV.KjyiBER '
- Gussie .Gardner is singii j a solo entiOed- if
I 'wore Caesar." Well, if he keen ,, .;
the-fall, of 1016 his cottuW1
i responsiye.servrce'and paraphase a ballad I which
, -wasuon.ular during the lastdays of Gasar ? .
Ninety per cent of the men and women of the
United States desire that the country remain at
peace with all other nations of - the world. Per
haps ten per cent would like to see our einbroil
, raent out of a desire for adventure or for profit.
President Wilson is representing the ninety per
cent, in pursuing a policy ..hat he firmly believes
will prevent our entanglement. The fact that
the ten ler cent are making more noise than the
ninety per cent is misleading nobody, and least
of all is it deceiving the man who is responsive
at this time for what the immediate future holds
for us as a nation.
Col. Roosevelt has been citing Switzerland as
a shining example of the safety that lies in iuii
preparedness for war. His idea is that Germany
did not strike at France through Switzerland
because the Swiss have a better trained ana
equipped army than had tho Belgians. A better
explanation is that an army can advance faster
through a level country ""than dno made up
largely of lakes and mountains, and the Ger
mans chose the easier way.
.Up to,date the government of the United States
has .not apologized, to the-government or uer
many, for, the incendiary . attack upon that na
tion made by Colonel roosev.elt in his 1 ia"b
burg speech, made under the auspices ot u
r,American.arniy. The reason is. that the SJe"
mentof Germany -has.. not .demanded what i m
administration .would be, morally bound to g"
Powered by Open ONI