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The independent. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1902-1907, August 03, 1905, Image 3

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IA.UGUST 3, 1905
XShs Nobraoho. Indopondont
golden rule, but the glare of the dollar ha3 blinded the little ones of
the. nation. The worship of gold and of the pleasures gold will buy
has weakened the moral fibre of the nation, and has made it possible
for a single captain of industry, by manipulating the dishonest vota
ries of wealth in private station or in public office, to become the rich
est man in the world and a political dictator of unparalleled power.
Understanding these conditions more clearly than their fathers
and foreseeing the doom they predict, the men of the present genera
tion are seeking to counteract at every possible source the evil influ
ences which threaten the permanence of our institutions.
This, then, is the explanation of the moral and economic move
ments which have taken parallel lines. The same powers which are
opposing political reform are' to be found antagonizing moral reform.
In the cities the brewing and distilling interests, forever fearing the
suppression of saloons, oppose every attempt to destroy gambling
or minimize the social evil. A great tobacco trust: seeks ways
t( circumvent the laws against the cigarette. Whether the evil be
moral or political the money power is arrayed on the side of pro
tected lawlessness, on the side of the real anarchy that is maddening
the people while it prates of patriotism and practices plunder.
There have been twenty cases of smuggling at TJayonne, N. J.,
lately and in every instance the vessels employed in the traffic be
longed to the Standard Oil company. It is rather startling to have
the news broken to us abruptly in the daily newspapers that Standard
Oil has gone into the smuggling business, but the company has
committed so many infractions of the law that its newest venture
in the realm of commercial piracy will excite but momentary sur
prise. We may now expect the irreverent cartoonists to remove the
halo from the brow of John D. Rockefeller, clothe him in the guise
of an eighteenth century skipper, arm him with a brace of-pistols
and a cutlass and place him upon the quarter deck of "a long, low,
rakish craft." Such a picture is enough to make that gallant sea
robber, Captain Kidd, writhe in his grave from sheer envy:
One day giving a basket of potatoes and gold coins to a pastor,
and the next day driving a competitor out of business and into an
asylum or the tomb; one day endowing higher education with a.
fabulous amount and depicting for the edification of little ones the
beauties of righteousness, and the next day commanding the United
States senate to heed his wishes and ignore the wishes of the people,
John D Rockefeller presents a -most picturesque figure in
the history of nations. Compared with him even the highwaymen
of old romance Robin Hood and Claude Duval are but childish
The career of Standard Oil shows that in the United States the
law is not enforced against the rich and powerful. Senator Mitchell,
senile, decrepit and comparatively -poor is ordered away to a felon's
cell through the instrumentality of government prosecution, and the
people applaud, thinking that at last the law has been vindicated in
the case of a sovereign wrongdoer. But at the same time the com
missioner of education in the department of the interior issues a
biography of John D. Rockefeller praising him as a great and good
man. The senator who extorts money from an insurance company
or from a ring of land thieves is merely an amateur who has learned
a few of the dullest tricks practiced at 26 Broadway.
Nevertheless, the conviction of Senator Mitchell, the condemna
tion of Roosevelt for the Morton fiasco, the Equitable investigation,
the campaign against municipal graft and corporation theft, all in
dicate an awakening in the nation that promises to restore a reign of
law, in which justice shall not be blind to the crimes of the rich culprit
while punishing with rigor the slightest misdeed of the petit larceny
'Among the arguments sent out by the railway bureaus "without
'cost" to .the newspapers is one which threatens the public with a
mvsterious affliction known as "a distance tariff." It is argued
that the interstate commerce commission must establish a distance
tariff because the constitution forbids congress to enact laws which
will result in a discrimination against the ports of one state in
favor of those of another. It is also contended that if the commis
sion establishes a rate which enables a distant community to reach
the market with its goods on terms of equality with those of a nearer
locality sectional feeling will be aroused and there will be much
angry contention between the people of the several states.
Av distance tariff is a certain rate per mile. If a distance tariff
.were established it would make it impossible for New York apples
to be : sent into northwestern Nebraska at such a low rate that
they could undersell apple3 grown in 1 southeastern Nebraska. It
would make it impossible for the railways to carry coal from Colo
rado points to Omaha for a less sum that from theso same points to
Grand Island or Lincoln. Why then should a distance tariff bo
objectionable ? It has been tried in Iowa with favorable results.
Why should its results be unfavorable if applied to the entire
country ?
The answer of the railway bureaucrat is that it would destroy
"flexibility." By "flexibility" is meant that power which the rail
ways have of charging less for a long haul than for a short haul.
In defense of "flexibility'.' the railways declare that it permits them
to open up new territories and new communities to trade. Unless
; the: rail way gives a certain new community a preferential rate that
! community will never make progress; If preferential rates are de
nied a new territory its growth will be slow. . . . -
History does not record much philanthropy on the part of the
railways. The oldest settler cannot recall when the west was tho
beneficiary of tho "flexible" rate. To secure its railways the west
willingly paid eastern capitalists extortionate interest on the money
invested in railway construction. The west looked forward to tho
time when this usury should cease, but as the west prospered tho
capitalization of tho railways expanded and the western people aro
still paying extortionate freight rates to provide dividends on
watered stock. ;. " .
The "flexible" rate is and has always been more or less of a
myth. 'If the government finds it necessary to establish a distance
tariff the people may be sure that every community and every ter
ritory will be given a fair chance. Whenever the "flexible" rate is
used it is necessarily a discriminatory rate in favor of one community
or territory as against another community or territory. l-
- It must not be understood that a distance tariff requires a
fixed rate. It merely requires that when a rate is established from
one point to another tho intermediate rates shall correspond. If
4the rate from Denver to Omaha were lowered the rate from Denver
to Lincoln or from Denver to North Platte would be lowered accord-"
ingly. If the rate from Denver to Chicago were lowered the rate from
Denver to Des Moines or to Dubuque would be lowered accordingly.
There would be no discrimination in favor of the big center of com
merce as against tho less important commercial center. New Orleans
and other gulf ports, much to the sorrow of New York financiers,
would secure the bulk of the grain grown in the western states. There
would be no differentials favoring New York and necessarily there
would be a shifting of commercial prestige. But on the whole and
in the long run discrimination would be abolished and the people
would be benefited.
The postoffice department is confiscating the obscene picture
postal cards which have been sent through the mail in great abundance
lately. A campaign against lewd pictures in store windows is one
that should be undertaken in the cities and it woujd meet with the
approval of every right-minded man and woman.
Porto-Ricans have had some experience with carpet-bag gov
ernment and they don't like it. They have asked for self-government,
and this is such an apparent and scandalous breach of etiquette
under an imperialistic regime that the administration cannot forgive
or forget. ;
President Roosevelt agreed to have a free puff of himself in
serted in "Fads and Fancies," the New York blackmailing blue book
about snobs. A more fitting title for the book would be, "Snobs and
their Vanities." " -
Governor Mickey has at last won national fame. His adroit
ness and commanding ability as a pitcher, of horseshoes has earned
for him much space in .the newspapers.
The New York World calls attention to the report that Bryan
favors Folk for president and want to know who is Parker's candi
date. Who cares?
The government has decided to preserve the terrapin from ex
tinction. No such danger threatens the "lobsters."
- : "
Peary expects to reach the north pole in February. He must
think the pole contains a heating apparatus.
Part of the peach crop is a failure. Senator Depew is tainted

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