The courier. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1894-1903, January 08, 1898, Image 1

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Entered is the rosTorricn at lijcoln as
ihe'CWR pimihud mmm go
Office 1132 N street, Up Stairs.
Telephone 384.
Cosiness Macaeer
Subscription Kates In Advance.
Per annum 81 M
Six months ?5
Three months
One month. ........
Single copies &
There are many political and his
torical reasons why the water pump
ing. contract should not-bc
Mr. Thompson. In the first place it
would strengthen his influence in city
matters, and thatinfluence has already
stunted the municipal development of
liincoln. With an honest and effi
cient mayor and a reduced number of
councilmen, say two, there is reason
to hope that the city could be run as
economically as a private business.
There are several concerns in the city
which make their own electricity and
operate their own pumps. If the Lin
coln and the Lindell find it economical
to run their own water and lighting
plants, why not the city? Mr, Thomp
son is not using every influence at his
command to convince Dr. Hoover and
Manager Humphrey that they would
save money by accepting his services.
The present council has among its
membership an employe of the gas
company and others who owe their
positions to Mr. Thompson. These
men arc gratefully endeavoring to
convince their associates and the com
munity that their patron lias only
beneficent intentions towards the
city which he needs only the oppor
tunity to prove. The Courier's ex
perience with city politics teaches
that every movement towards purify
ing the ballot, punishing corrupt city
officials, obtaining fresher water and
Various other non-partisan efforts to
ameliorate the condition of our
wretched city has met with a resist
ance, impalpable at first, but event
ually traceable to Mr. Thompson's
office. In spite of all efforts city poli
tics are not any better. In Lincoln
at the present time they arc worse
than ever. For that very reason there
is hope that we are about to improve.
We have had Bud Lindsey and Frank
Graham and we know that their sorb
means an inefficient administration.
There are signs that the Spring pri
maries will nominate men who move
in an entirely diffcrentsfociety, unless
we strengthen the influence which
has created the present deplorable
state of things. t
Omaha is just strenuously trying to
shake off the yoke which we are trying
to slip overour necks. The heaviest
taxpayers of that cityattended a mass
meeting a few evenings ago and were
of cne mind as to the inexpediency of
renewing the contract with the water
company. If there is anything in
democracy it ought to have a fair
trial, which it will neverget by shirk
ing responsibility. If the city has the
opportunity it will connect the sta
tions and run all the pumps by elec
tricity generated at one station. By
using this method we shall save much
more than ten thousand dollars and,
besides, retain what autonomy is left
us. If we fail immediately to run oui
water works at the same expense or at
less than Mr. Thompson has offered to
do it for us, we will atjeast not.have.
blocked future attempts at improve
ment nor rewarded the heavy villain
whose plots against the innocent de
serve disappointment.
Philadelphia's cession of her duties
to a company is a favorite argument
witli those who advocate Mr. Thomp
son's wishes. They say that because
the city has never conducted the de
partment economically it never will.
JSo city in this country has solved the
problem of municipal government yet,
but failures and experiments arc
bringing the sure result nearer all the
time. The contract system, if it be a
good one, should not be limited to the
water works, but should include all
the municipal, functioos.of police, fire
protection, strectclcaning, etc. Such
an arrangement would destroy all
sense of individual responsibility and
the community would lose the power
of united action. The French have
never been able to colonize, while the
English have colonized the world. The
latter have the communal sense which,
nevertheless, can be destroyed by dis
use. The failures to accomplish geed
government in the rities of the United
Slates are not without their educa
tional use. The fruit of a hundred
years of mistakes is not to be de
spised. If the people of Lincoln feel
that they arc not capable of selecting
men who can run the city with the
success that Dr. Hoover and Mr.
Humphrey have attained in running
hotels, and the ability that Mr
Thompson has shown in steering the
Gas company, they will refuse to let
Mr. Thompson pump the water.
There is ro doubt that the large
majority of the people of Lincoln are
opposed to gambling but it Is noticea
ble that very few of them are brave
enough to say so over their own signa
ture in a newspaper. One of the city
papers has requested an expression of
opinion from readers on the subject of
gambling and received a number of
anonymous replies which, very prop
erly, the paper refused to print. AH
publishers have the same experi
ence. Indignant citizens who wish to
anonymously upbraid the city govern
ment or some other guilty object of
disapproval are in the habit of send
ing their wasted efforts to a publisher,
perfectly willing that he should suffer
vicarious punishment for their an
athema. Before assuming charge of
TiieCoukieu the publisher thought
that all men were compound of bravery
and chivalry. Individuals of the sex
differed in mental power but to her
imagination they had all the strong
arm and the brave heart. Observation
of the seamy side of life which is the
only view obtainable in a newspaper
office has shown that bravery is almost
confined-to thcfermtle sex. 'Thcmale
animal, who in a state of nature
fought all intruders has Income such
a refined diplomat that when a frank
expression of opinion would benefit
the whole community as well as him
self and his family he is afraid to put
his name 'to an expression of righteous
wrath. He is afiaid of the withdrawal
of patronage, or cf revenge from the
gamblers, salcon-kecpers and mayors
who arc breaking laws framed to pro
tect the young. And because he is
afraid he misses an opportunity to rid
the city of a class he really detests. The
grand jury is brave because it is com
posed of sixteen men who arc protected
from reprisals by the secrecy with
which its proceedings are conducted.
It'htts extraordinary powers of inves
tigation not allowed the regular pros
ecuting officers. Its star chamber
methods are a terror to evil doers and
the effect of its approaching investiga
tion is already apparent. It is, of
course, idle to predict whom it will
indict, but the geed arc not alarmed.
It will at least clear theatmespherc for
a while.
In the week preceding the Christ
mas hoi idajs a poor woman was wan
dering about the shops of Chicago
lcoking enviously at the toys on dis
p'ay. Her little crippled son had con.
ceived a childish passion forawwjly
dog on wheels. Not bebig able to get
work and without any money she
finally stole one cf the hundreds of
wooly dogs in the shops. She was
caught and taken to jail where she
told her story. She was immediately
pardoned. Her story of starvation
and Illness was verified, benevolent
people sent food and clothing and
more wooly dogs than the lame lad
could lead at once. All of which is
just as it should be. But If the poor
woman had resisted the temptation to
steal, she and her boy would have
probably starved and frozen Indefin
iteljv As it is, as a direct result of
yielding to temptation she found em
ployment and friends and her boy
spent a hilarious Christmas. Tterc
is nothing wrong about this story ex
cept the moral and that is dislocated.
Improvements arc being made so
rapidly in electric machinery that
machines three or fouryearsold have
lost much more than half their orig
inal value. The first electric railways
that were put in are operated at
three or four times the expense re
quired to run them now. The Lin
coln Gas and Electric company proba
bly has a quantity of antiquated an
tiquated by the last three years of
electrical discoveries machinery on
its hands and it is very clever of Mr.
Thompson to make an arrangement,
so that if the city wishes to get rid of
the-bargain with him it will buy his
The chairman of the waterworks
committee is the foreman of the gas
works. There may and there may not
be some connection between this and
the fact that the expenditure exceeds
the income of the water department.
There may and there may not be some
connection between this and the op
position dircctedagainst every attempt
of the council to lower the expenses of
the department by concentrating the
four pumping stations into one by the
use of electricity and by makingevery
user of city water pay his water tax.
With the control of the water depart
ment it would be easier to secure a re
newal of the city lighting contract
which in the not distant future will re
quire to Im; renewed. If the city once
finds out how cheap electricity is it
gains a point of vantage very much to
be deplored.
Speaking of bravery it does not take
much now to stand up for evolution
but it did ten years ago. Today the
batteries have- changed about. Only
a man bigoted to the point of indura
tion dare attack evolution and only
then when he gets behind a pulpit.
Dr. David Starr Jordan of Leland
Stanford university, in his lecture be
fore the teacher's convention, would
have been listened to ten years ago by
the good people cf Lincoln in a pained
silence instead of the hearty and sym
pathetic applause which greetedhis