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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Jan. 1, 1922)
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An Astonishing ri
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. 22. No t
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Tho Chicago Tribune, under the tltlo "Some
thing to Think About," presents the most, sur
prising defense yet given of tho use of intoxi
cants, a defonso which, if true, would not only
threaten tho continuance of prohibition but even
discourage the cultivation of a temperance senti
ment. Tho arguments aro so amazing that tho
"Wots" have probably purchasod for freo cir
culation all surplus copies of tho paper contain
ing tho odltorial. It quotes Turkey and Russia
as flroof of tho harmful (?) influcnco of total
abstinonce. It says "Turkey-under Abdul the
Damned was dry, as Turkey, has been always
since its conquering rise, and Russia under
Lonino lh.o Terrible has been dry, and un
der them both humanity as organised,, in na
tions , has reached its coarsest, most ferocious,
brutalized and hopeless form. Bone dry Turkey
has the lowest codo of mprals over known in
anything' called a civilization. It has debased
its women, permitted them only bodies and no
souls, and has slaughtered helpless subjects
with air almost holy zeal." Contrasting tho con
dition in two countries that are dry tho Tribune
turns to Pranco and Japan as illustrations of
what can be done under the stimulus of alcohol
'Tho groatost intellectuals of the world, tho
French, aro wine drinkers, the greatest Asiatics
aro wine and spirit drinkers, tho greatest empire
malcoVsi&ro spirit and alo drinkers, tho nation of
greatest artists, centuries considered, raises
wide grapes on every other patch of ground and
pushes its vines to tho edgo of the hot lava of
Vesuvius; and tho greatest concentrators of in
dustry', commorco and national power, tho Ger
mane, aro wine and beer drinkers. Vorbum sap,
or lit' vino Veritas, or lips that touch liquor shall
never touch mine."
'Bttt 'why does tho Tribune go to Russia, Tur
key, Franco and Japan for illustrations when it
can find them at homo? Averages do not count
in :a matter of this kind; the test muBt be made
with thd' Individual. Can the Tribune select a
group of drinkers and show that they' are su
perior 'in refinement, in wisdom and in justice
to a' group of teetotallers? It can easily bo
shown that men once refined and wise and just
haveboen degraded by drink; can tho Tribune
show where coarse natures have been refined,
brutes purifed and criminals reformed by the
substitution, 0f intoxicating liquors for water?
,f ,tfye Tribune wants to discuss groups let it
takfl ,ouv .churches whore the largest percentage
of, teetotallers is found and compare tho stand
ing ptho church members with, the standing
OMh$ saloon's customers. Wili it say that total ,
abstinence among .church members is debasing
and. that tho use at intoxicants by the patrons of
the saloqn is elevating?
Another comparison: Will the Tribune , say
that the women of tho United States (who drink
less on the average than the men) are cqarser
and. ttqr brutal because of their tcft&l absti
nerttfnd that the men, Avho on the average
drink, more than the women, make themselves
superior t the, women by their indulgence in in- '
.Ho asfcs, his readers to substitute speculation
for,. dogmatism, but why substitute imagination
for -history? U ho will read tho life of Daniel
he wil. find that ho made a tpstanuVby prov
ing that wine was not necessary, won the right
tp exclude intoxicating liquor from his bill, of
faro. t The verdict has stood unchallenged for
twenty-fly centuries. ,' ;.
Nof wonder the writer of tho editorial 'began
by, saying "This is bound to be an unpopular
editorial any way we put it" that is the only
evidence the editor gavo that he was not him
self under tho influence of liquor when he wrote
it. Possibly ho had Had just enough to unhinge
his roason and put his pen at the dictation of
his throat. It certainly was an appetite not a
brain bra heart, that was talking'when he wrote
this" editorial. ' ' W. J. BRYAN.
The, Detroit. News..
'. ,5J THE EAsY,YOjtB)l! J" '"..'
The wdrld is sPon to'have andpjtor'tunityto1'
understand more clearly than it'hWtfdfore what
Christ meant when he1 Said "My ycJke is'easy
and ' m burdQn is light." Individuals have
learned by experience hbw much: easier Christ's''
yoke is than the yoke of the devil and how much'
lighter His burden,-but now the "world is about "
to throw off the devil's war yoke and- learn' the '
relief that is to be f6und in following the teach-
ings of Christ and how easy is his yoke. The
learning of tho schools has been turned to the
inventions of Instruments of destruction, battle
ships, dreadnaughts, and super-dreadnadghts,
bulletd, and bursting shells, submaritfds, bohibs'f
dropping from air and poisonous gas, until civil-'
ization trembled on the brink of, the 'bottomless '
pit. Now the world is to face about repudiate1 r
its evil advisors, reduce its expense's-, and1 take' '
up the march toward a peace that will rest'uprtf'
friendship and cooperation. The sting of'' the1'
angels1 a Bethlehem seems about toi be' realized''
if we may Judge by the Spirit that'has animated1"
tho Arms Conference at Washington-. ."'
W. J. BRYAN.
PROHIBITION frNFORqEMENT IMPROVING1;
The enforcement of thp Prohibition law is. im-'-proving.
Commissioner 'Haynes is weeding out
the -inefficient and Unreliable ofilciajs,, and pub-v
lie sentiment more und more strongly supports
the law. The business men are learning that they
can not encourage the violation of liquor laws
without encouraging the violation, of-other laws.
The Ten- Commandments are of little vajue if
exceptions are. tolerated. The good citizen
neither violates the law,:himself;nQr encpjirages.
violation by others. It is not o, matter of 'opin-v
ion; it. is a question of.Joyalty to the govern-r
ment. , -
The bill which attempts to give to fedeni
courts Jurisdict on over locar lynching reflect,
no credit upon its partizan advocates. Tho m.?
posp of thp measure is to.pleasp the colored vnt
of the north but it will annate more vole
than it wins fa the Republican , party.
The race question i is a Yery, serious nrohinm
to deal with-tao sorjous to 'be used for polS
purposes. . It ought to, be- approached in an on
tjrely different spirit. Lynchings in the south
are not as numerous 'as they used to bo and nT
lynching of-the blade men is by no means con
lined to the-south. Race riots in northern citiM
ought to .warn the Republican - leaders of thl
danger of further inflaming race paBsiou Tha
states that have to deal with the crimes that
2wai i? 1yinchiln18' ouSht t0 be permitted to dea
With the lynchings also. To lay greater em
phasis upon the form of punishment than unon
the character of the crime - is apt to mislead
those wttkwaiom the Republican politicians ara
attempting to'dirry favor.,, . -
-Republicans who put the permanent welfare
of their country above i immediate party neces
sities Will foe 'slow to ahnfofcrirfnf fh,-a t :-A
dfstinc'tiveiy partizan measure- proposed durinc
this g6faerationl- " - -t c-ro. j ,btjvam b
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Tho cduntry will learn with deep regret-of the
death of Henry "Wattersbn. His great ability,-' his
long experience, his picturesque style rind his im-
pressive and genial personality gavo him a con-
spicuous place among the nation's journalists 'j
He was a unique character. No one can fill his"
place. A multitude of admiring friends Will
share the sorrow that the illustrious editor's
death has brought upon -Mrs. Watterson, for so
many years his companion and comrade.
W. J. BRYAN.
The Census Bureau aim ounces that New Bed-
ford, Mass., has the largest percentage of illiter-
acy of any American city haying a population of '
one hundred thousand or more. ' '
Please page Senator Lodge.
.Fir ?e tf?i? ,us t0 rGi01ce overdue condition
of affairs," but it is not importinent to pbint out
that a lot of those fellows who justified' robberv
prices during the last few years by the senten
tious declaration that business is business havo
about reached the point where their business is
uui u. (juomt'Bu iiiy lunger.
It is not likely that submarine warfare will
bo suspended in time to keep the dissatisfied
masses from sinking the Republican ship v
The following was one of the leadine
Planks of Tlie Commoner's National Lccr
islntivo Program, first published in the
February, I02it issue:
'The United States should immediately
endeavor to asscmblq tbe-representativel
of the leadinpr nations of the world in a
, Blncere effort to brlng.about disarmament
THE FOREIGN DEBTS
The Edis ?' 1922
140 Nassau Si, .. . ' ",' --'
NewXprN.Y.-,,; -, ";V
Dear Sir,: fi(, ( t.
l am in- receipt ot your, .favor-enclosing ad
vance copy, of your editorjalon As we forgive
our debtors' Responding tp,your, request for an
opinion I. beg -to say that nave , for eighteen
months .beea advocating the use of the debts
due us.fpf the .purchase of vworia ;peace. I first
presented;, Jhe proposition at the Democratic Na
tional ponyontion in 1920 and ha'xe since con
tinued t? urge it wherever opportunity offered.
I 'do nqt-favorthe (cancellation of .these debts
unless the, cancellation . is .accompanied by some
provision f.or world, disarmament, Unless tho
Enropoftn nations vara Teady to tura away from
war andibegia the building.,of; permanent peace
upon friendship and cooperation thecancellation
of the (lebttf might do more harm than good. In
fixing the indemnitees to be collected, the Allied
Nations had in mind their indebtedness to the
United States and expected thecollection of the
indemnities to assist in the payment of the debts.
If the debts were cancelled 'without any re-adjustment
6f the indemnities, if would aggravate
the situ'atiOh rather than relfevp it.' W the Allied
Nations, yill take the eleven billions that they
oive us and so distribute it as' to 'produce what
Secretary. Hughes has described as the "will to
peace, we.can well afford to -cancel the debt but
we cannot, in my judgment, afford 'to' release the
debt if tlid' restored credit is" to be. used in get
ting ready for another war. "
Very truly yours,
W. J. BRYAN.
IRISH FREE STATE
Both Great Britain and Ireland are to be con
gratulated' on the establishment of the Irish
Free State.' It settles a dispute centuries old
and will, contribute toward the peace of the
world. It is a compromise and, therefore, not
satisfactory to either aide, but nearly all prog
ress comes by compromise.. It. is the best
that could be done under the circumstances.
It is unfortunate that DoValera cpuld not join
in adyising ratification, but he will not be denied
bis share in tho triumph that comes with the
final realization of Ireland's hopes.
W. J. BRYAN.
LEAVE IT AlONE
An effort is being made to transfer tho For
estry bureau to the Interior department. Bet
ter leave it where it is. The Secretary of Agri
culture has less to look after and' forestry res
ervations are closely connected with agricul
tural development. It is difficult io consider
one without the' other.
Disarmament on- land Beems to havo struck
ia7mag. Investigation may disclose the fact that
the real snag is to be found in the fact that
some of the European nations still regard war
qs a necessary part of civilization;
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