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JUNI 1195S The Hb The Idaho Scimitar. No. 13. BOISE, IDAHO, JANUARY 25, 1908. Vol. I The Indecency of Idaho. It has been unanimously decided by the Supreme Court of the United States that it is only necessary to show that a man exhibits to the public more than one woman as his wife to prove him guilty of un lawful cohabitation. That is, it is necessary only to demonstrate, through common knowledge, that a man lives with more than one woman to render him subject to punishment that contemplates imprison ment. The Federal Supreme Court did not hesitate to promulgate such a conclusion and to apply it to the polygamists of the Mormon States, against whom the action that produced it was directed. On the sixth page of this issue of The Scimitar is printed a list of twenty Idaho men and twice or thrice as many women living in the condition de scribed by the decision of the Supreme Court. The person who compiled the list says he can find a hundred similar cases in Idaho. Although the law and the highest court authority say these offenders can be punished for crimes, they not punished. They live in defiance of law and morality and in defiance o'f sentiment based on the highest demand of society. In invoking the processes of law, it is necessary to employ human agents and such agents are elected to the positions they occupy by a majority of the voters that come under their jurisdiction. They are sworn to obey the constitution and the laws and to enforce the laws, and when they fail to comply with their official oaths, they are subject to such punishment the delinquency merits under the statutes. In many of the counties of Idaho the class of people against whom the decision of the Supreme Court was directed, under the laws of Idaho and of the Nation, possesses a majority and in other counties its alliance with the Republican party gives it a majority. In such counties prosecuting officers are as and officers entrusted with the execution of the laws are elected by the law-breaking majority and such officers refuse to enforce the laws against unlawful cohabitation. It is true that in so doing they violate their oaths of office and place a premium on crime. Should they attempt the execution of the laws de signed for the protection of society, they would be compelled to submit the cases wholly or partially to Mormon juries and one Mormon on a jury can defeat the ends of justice. Between officials who will not prosecute offenders and the Mormons drawn as jurors, such men as those mentioned in the list on the sixth page of The Scimitar are able to escape the operation of the law that has been sustained by the Supreme Court decision in all the counties that contain any considerable number of Mormons. The condition is the same in such counties as it would be in a county or any number of counties in which a majority of the population was in favor of horse stealing. Horse thieves could not there be convicted any more than polygamists can be con victed in Mormon counties. The Republican party declares by its votes that the immunity enjoyed by Mormon violators of the law is a right to which they are entitled, because their offenses are permit ted and encouraged by a so-called religious organiza tion, although the practice of horse stealing is much less demoralizing than the practice of polygamy. The founders of the State took early recognition of the situation and provided in their constitution that persons guilty of the offense proscribed by the Federal Supreme Court should not hold office, should not sit on juries, should not vote. The constitution of the State remains unchanged. It still declares that \ members of the polygamous religious organization shall not hold office, shall not sit on juries, shall not vote. Yet The Scimitar is able to point to many thou sand members of that organization who hold office, who sit on juries, who vote—all in violation of the constitution and of the sense of morality that abides in the Christian families of Idaho. They are able to do these unlawful things because they have entered into an alliance with a political party that upholds them in a domestic crime and in their volation of the organic law of the State. In return that party receives their votes and through their votes a few of the men of the party are elected to positions of honor and profit. There is not today a man holding an official State or con gressional or Federal place, under the jurisdiction of the State, who was not elected or appointed because he had agreed in advance that the polygamists within the State were to be protected against the operation of the law and the court decision by which they are outlawed. Public opinion, blind as the goddess that presides on the throne of justice, may say that Mr. XY rep resents his State in the United States Senate, in the House of Representatives, in the executive chair, be cause the constituency recognizes him as a statesman of capability in whom it reposes the confidence that greatness inspires. * Not so. He is in the Senate, the House of Rep resentatives or the State House because he has been able to barter away the honor and decency of the commonwealth in a traffic in which the virtue of wo mankind and the sanctity of the home is the price paid. Let those who enjoy "honors" of that character have them. They are not coveted by the good citi zenship of the State—not while hell yawns on the other side of the life line. It is the intention of the political organization rep resented by The Scimitar to restore the operation of the laws and the constitution, under the decision of the Federal Supreme Court—to enforce disfranchise ment against polygamists that now control the affairs of the people—to send to the seclusion of prison cells every man who has earned punishment—to purify the moral atmosphere of Idaho and inculcate self respect and pride in right doing. All who believe that there are wrongs to be righted in the name of pure American government are in vited to join in the crusade. It will persist until it wins a victory. A Gunpowder Plot. Reports of a sensational character coming from Paris and Rio Janeiro relate to a plot to blow up one or more of the ships of the United States naval fleet under command of Admiral Evans during the passage of the fleet through the Straits of Magellan, at the southern extremity of South America. The story appears to be tolerably well authenti cated, the discoverer of the plot having made record of events in convincing sequence up to a certain point. It tells of the departure of a small steamer, laden with explosives, from a northern German port for Brazilian waters. The missing link in the ac count relates to the transportation of the explosives from Rio Janeiro to the Straits of Magellan, where the so-called plot was to have been executed. The sensation originated in Paris and those who have handled it have not failed to connect Japan with the intended outrage. Paris is seething with prognostications of war between Japan and the United States and it is not at all unlikely that the alleged plot may have been concocted by an over excited imagination. The United States Chief of the Bureau of Navi gation discredits the story and gives a sound and sane reason for his disbelief. He said it would not be necessary for plotters to seek the far-away waters of Brazil or the Straits of Magellan for the com mission of an outrage of that character when it could be executed in any port or roadstead of the United States with little danger of detection. This is true. Terrorists or anarchists, or even Japanese, could lay mines in any nearby route of travel taken by the naval defenders of this country and the mines would be as effective at home as abroad. There is a flavor of unreliability about the portentious story that comes from Paris. Hard Times Prevail. There is not now so much cause for complaint of transportation congestion as has existed during the past two years. Hard times has come to the relief of the railroads and the commercial public. One has not so much to carry and the other has not so much to offer to the carriers. It is an abnormal condition not welcomed by either carrier or shipper. If, during the period of light business, the rail roads could prepare themselves for the return of the prosperity that taxes their facilities beyond their capabilities, adversity might not be without its com pensation. But the hard times that stagnates com mercial activity sends capital into hiding and railroad corporations are unable to procure the billion or so a year needed to bring transportation facilities up to the shipping demand of good times. Along with the decline in traffic comes general in dustrial prostration and in both departments labor receives a crushing blow. The army of the unem ployed is growing day by day and it is already clam oring insistently at the closed doorway of employ ment, and without effect. What was at first men tioned in a lightsome way as a bankers' panic is now recognized as a depression from which the country can but slowly recover. Not Satisfied. Collier's, which has not been right, according to results, on anything pertaining to the Haywood-Pet tibone-Moyer trials, says that Orchard's trial "will doubtless speedily follow and justice, though balked in its search for the master assassins, will exact re tribution from their instrument." Collier's evidently does not believe in the American jury system and the dogma of law that persons acquitted are innocent of the crimes charged. The parties of whom it says Orchard is the instru ment, two of them, were given trials freed from all suspicion of bias or undue influence, before juries that could not be improved upon for intelligence, honesty or personal integrity. The State and the community pride themselves upon the fulfillment of all the requirements of society in these particulars, knowing that they were in the gaze of the public and under suspicion. In the eyes of the law, in the technical sense, no suspicion should now be attached to any of the defendants. Yet Collier's, insistent on guilt from the beginning, still harbors a belief in guilt. What has it to say about the broad principle that justice is satisfied when all its terms have been com plied with? Would it prefer the vigilance com mittee and its rope?