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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (March 1, 1916)
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VOL. 16, NO. 3
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act on tho same principle as the western and
European nations, that is, enforce the decisions
of tho wholo tribunal on disputes between
Asiatic nations in so far as these decisions were
approved by a majority of the Asiatic nations.
Tho plan proposed by Mr. Taft's league, with
tho modifications above suggested, would enable
all the nations to bring their wisdom to bear up
on all disputes, while each group would enforce
the decision as botween members of each group.
This would cover all disputes except those be
tween nations belonging to different groups. In
such cases sufficient length of time could be
given for the parties involved to consider the
recommendations of the International body, and
it is almost certain that time and investigation
would bring about a peaceful settlement.
The modifications proposed would save us from
being drawn Into European and Asiatic contests
and it would enable us to retain the Monroe
Doctrine In Its full force and vigor. Such a plan
would doubtless receive tho approval of the
American people because it secures all that is
valuable by International agreement and yet
eliminates the dangers embodied in the plan
which has been advanced by the League to En
force peace. While nothing can be done until
tho war Is over, it Is well for the friends of
peace to bo considering the various suggestions
that are being made, for out of discussfon comes
truth and truth 13 that which should be desired
above all things else.
W. J. BRYAN.
THE OSTRICH ILLUSTRATION
On- another page will be found a fable by Mr.
Peterson which has been going tho rounds of
tho papers advocating militarism. It is repro
duced in order that the-readers of The Commoner
may see how far afield one may go if he elimin
ates moral considerations when reasoning about
human affairs. This illustration, like the dog
illustration, is constructed upon tho brute level,
and makes no allowance for the Influences that
affect men. These illustrations are only good
on tho theory that man has no conscience and
must be dealt with purely as a brute, and this
theory precludes tho possibility of progress and
surrenders all hope of a time when men may
These illustrations are valuable, not because
they support the doctrine of preparedness, but
because they show the hopelessness of the phil
osophy of force and fear the philosophy upon
which the jingoes rest their hope of peace. As,
among animals, might is right, so among advo
cates of preparedness, might is the only argu
ment considered. If their philosophy prevails
our nation must abandon all its claims to moral
prestige, all of its hopes for better things, and
descend to the brute level to fight out all differ
ences, "with tooth and claw."
It is not strange that tho Christian conscience
of tho nation Is being more and moro aroused
by this challenge to all that is high and en
nobling. The more the subject is d'sucssed and
the better it is understood the more certain will
be the nation's reaction against the entire pro
gram into which the manufacturers of munitions
are endeavoring to scare tho nation. The pres
ent expenditure of two hundred and fifty millions
for the army and navy is enough for the time
being and should not be increased during the
war. After the war, when the excitement has
subsided, we can plan for the future with more
-Intelligence. National policies should be deter
mined when the people are calm, not when they
aro angry or frightened.
C ABUSE TO BE EXPECTED
The advocates of Christ's doctrine of peacs
must .expect Abuse it is proof that they preach
MaTt' 5:11-12: "Blessed are ye, when men
shall, reVile you, and persecute you, and shall say
all manner of evil against you falsely, for mv
sake. . , J
"Rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is
your reward in Heaven: for so persecuted they
the prophets which were before you."
Instead of leaving war to be brought upon the
natlqn by any reckless American who chooses
to ride on a belligerent ship it would be better
to leave it to a referendum vote and let tho de
cision be made by the people who must support
tho government with men and money.
It is better to bo jeered at by jingoes who are
trying tb get up a war for other people to fight
than to 'draw imprecations from mothers of sons
lacrificed In an unnecessary war.
European or Jingo Style, 101G
Vnel Sam to th War Criffltt: "Now I'm rtady for you."
American or Civilian Style, 1700
"Observe good faith and justice to
wards all nations; cultivate peace and.
harmony with all. Religion and moral-,
ity enjoin this conduct, and can it be, that
good policy does not equally enjoin it?
It will be worthy of a free, enlightened,
and, at no distant period, a great nation,
to give to mankind the magnanimous and
too novel example of a people always
guided by an exalted justice and benevo
lence. Who can doubt but, in the course
of time and things, the fruits of such a
plan would richly repay any temporary
advantages which might be lost by a
steady adherence to it." Washington's
The Chicago News, in discussing the recent
murderous attack upon Columbus, N. M., says:
"Since Carranza gained the ascendancy in
Mexico Villa has been trying persistently to
force intervention by the United States in Mex
ican affairs. His latest dastardly exploit, the
raiding of Columbus, N. M., is a part of his gen
eral plan to stir up war between the two na
tions. "Incursions by the bandit forces of Villa into
territory of the United States and the killing by
those forces of American citizens on American
soil, certainly can not be allowed to go unpun
ished. "Villa and his fellow murderers will have to
bo put out of the bandit business effectively and
with the least possible delay.
"If possible, however, their punishment, swift
and adequate, should be administered in such a
way as not to bring the United States into con
flict with the recognized government of Mex
ico." This is sane and sound. Compare it with, the
Chicago Tribune and note the difference. The
Tribune has been demanding armed intervention
for months, and it seizes upon this new outrage
to renew its demand.
Villa's attack was dastardly and deserves se
verest punishment, but it should not be allowed
to draw us into intervention.
GOOD WISHES FROM A FRIEND
March 19, 1916
The hand of Time has turned his glass,
To make a new-born year,
And in the days that quickly pass,
May shadows ne'er appear.
Mav morning sun bring brightest rays
No cloud obscure its light,
And stars come twinkling on their ways
To guide you through each night.
Mav Health her blessings on you pour
To shield you from all ill,
And Grief and Sorrow pass your door
Sweet Peace your whole life fill. '
Distinction Without' a
A large majority of both the house and the
senate favor warning Americans off the armed
merchantmen of the belligerents it is not a
question of right but a question of duty. But
those holding these views were divided on the
vote some voting at the request of the Pres
ident to lay the warning resolution on the table,
some voting "No" on the tabling resolution.
As the situation stood it did not make much
difference which way they voted; both groups
can justify their action. The real object had
been accomplished by the discussion. The peo
ple of the United States are not willing to go to
war to vindicate the right of Americans to take
these risks; neither is congress. The President
knows it and we can now return to our work and
await the results, confident that the jingoes can
not drive us into war or put the American army
and navy at the .command of a European mon
arch to be used to fight out his- quarrels.
W. J. BRYAN.
A TEMPERANCE LESSON
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David Lloyd-George, the great British "states
man, preaches a powerful temperance sermon
in the following dispatch: ,. .;.;"
"Replying to a deputation of the'temperance
council of the Christian churches, David Lloyd
George, minister of munitions, said the police
.records showed a reduction of something-like 40
per cent in drunkenness throughbut the country.
He hoped the nation would be convinced that
success in war largely depended upon removing
the drug upon its efficiency caused by drink.
"However successful in the war the country
might be, he added, he was convinced that vic
tory in this matter would -he the greatest of all.
"'During last week,' said Mr. Lloyd-George,
'I have found it my painful duty t6nbecorme the
greatest spirit distiller' in the world. T have
taken over the whole of the patent still distil
leries in the kingdom and as many pot still dis
tilleries as I can make use of.
" 'I am doing my best to provide whisky for the
Germans, and if the whisky pellets Which I am
distilling do half as much harm to the Germans
as the alcohol would have done to the people of
this country, I will bo satisfied.' "
Some good will come out of the war if Europe
learns to avoid the evils of alcohol And why
should not America profit by the lesson? Alco
hol is a poison it weakens the body, impairs the
mind and menaces tho morals.
WHY WAS ROOT SILENT THEN?
Ex-Senator Root's attack on the President for
not going to war with Germany because of the
invasion of Belgium recalls the most effective
part of the answer made by Demosthenes to
Aeschines in the Oration on the Crown.
Aeschines charged Demosthenes with a fail
ure to prepare proper measures against Phillip,
and Demosthenes silenced him by saying, Jn sub
stance: "You were there, why did you npt pro
pose better measures? If you knew of better
measures and did not propose them you were
unpatriotic; if you did not know of any. better
measures then, why do you criticize me now?"
t So the President might enquire of Mr. Root,
it you thought, when Belgium was invaded,
that we should declare war against Germany,
why were you silent? Tf you did not THEN
think that it was a cause for war, why do you
now find fault with me for not advising war9"
. The President wijU find it expedient as well as
right to remain, a champion of the cause of
peace and repel Mr. Roosevelt's assaults, upon
it, rather than allow the ex-president to "taunt"
r w-K8 .hlm int0 accepting the war pro-
SS;W Jj.itar.1Sm.l00ks better in a rough-rider
uniform than in the gown of a scholar. .
The jingoes have divided the American people
2rt w leSl TUey defme themselves as the
aiW 2tl? ,fmericans, and their opponents
as the "white livered" Americans. If they are
25 rrll ?ntmePe the ctry adopts their
ally adopted 7 d tbeir plans re actu"
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