THE CLEVELAND PRESS
THE SHELBY PUBLISHING COMPANY
Friday, October 26, 1928
C. J. Mabry ….. President
J. Nelson Callahan ….. Business Manager
W. J. Cash ….. Managing Editor
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Site Editor's Note: Read in "Hoover's Speech" as Cash practically predicts the coming of the Great Depression, the New Deal remedies, and the cries against it heard through the thirties and beyond that it was setting up a "socialist State". Again, the Great Debate--big government or trickle down. Who was correct?
Albert Fall was the key Harding Administration official, as Secreatry of the Interior, involved in accepting personal bribes for leasing government-owned oil fields to oil businessmen Harry Sinclair and Edward Doheny at Teapot Dome, Wyoming and Elk Hills, California. All three were indicted; only Fall was convicted and forced to serve a year in prison. Sinclair was later convicted, however, of jury tampering and lying to Congress. Harry Daugherty was Harding's political crony who was made Attorney General and was also implicated in Teapot Dome. After he resigned, two juries hung in 1927 on whether to convict Daugherty of conspiracy to defraud the government. (In 1932, Daugherty collaborated with Shelby's own infamous character, the Racist Reverend Thomas Dixon, to write The Inside Story of the Harding Tragedy--There he is again in the company of Princes, the Great-Wright Reveren' sticking his hand in the pie a final time.) "Teapot Dome" was the most infamous government scandal prior to Watergate. There were lingering questions during the latter stages of the 1928 campaign as to whether then and still Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover had been present at the 1921 Cabinet meeting in which the decision was made to adopt the policy of leasing the oil fields to private business. Hoover refused to answer the questions. (See Cleveland Press, October 30, 1928, "Hoover and Oil"; see also October 2, 1928, "Mr. Hoover's Stand", where Cash four weeks earlier exempts Hoover from the scandals of Harding's "Ohio Gang".) Blowing the lid off Teapot Dome was signal of the corruption rampant in Harding's Administration. Harding died of a heart attack at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco in 1923 prior to finishing his term and prior to the scandal reaching him personally.
Al gains. Betting odds drop from four to one to three and one-half to one. In 1916, the Street bet six to one against Mr. Wilson. And David Lawrence says the election is going to be much closer than most people believe.
A correspondent tells a North Carolina daily that it and the Chicago Tribune are the only newspapers which show an unbiased attitude in the campaign. Which, if you know the Tribune, would appear to be a somewhat left-handed compliment.
Judge Meekins falls to thinking about the bright sunshine outside the courtroom windows and absent mindedly sentences a man, just pronounced innocent of a liquor charge by a jury, to six months. Which, we gather, is the Anti-Saloon League idea of Prohibition enforcement.
William Allen White will answer Mr. William White on Mr. Hoover in High Point.
Washington bets three to one that North Carolina will go Democratic.
The women of Mars, says Dr. Robinson, a London psychic, who has found an affinity on the war god's planet, have big ears. Mars, we conclude, is the Paradise reserved for husbands.
A YARN-SPINNER DIES.
Old George Barr McCutcheon is dead. There wasn't anything literary about him. He was simply one of that Irvin Cobb-Rex Beach gang who go in for Tudor houses and Hispanos and steamy yachts instead of literature. But he could tell a yarn, what a yarn! Who, in the years of adolescence, hasn't read the breathless tale of the principality of Graustark, nestling somewhere in Central Europe at the foot of the Alps, of swords and a lady fair, has missed one of the chief delights of this modern era--or, maybe Graustark is no longer a part of today. Anyhow, we loved it once.
MONEY IN GOVERNMENT.
(from The Charlotte News)
The publication of William Allen White's new book, "Masks in a Pageant," is particularly unhappy. Released just after Mr. White has just finished hurling accusing generalities at Al Smith, it leaves him in the place of one who cannot reasonably admit continuation of Republican administration, and yet who will not reasonably take the alternative of helping put Democratic principles at the helm.
The book, which is already gaining for him the label "Boswell to Presidents," tells a story of the fight in government between democracy, the will of the people, and plutocracy, the trampling down by wealth of the rights of the masses. And in this area, Mr. White has made clear that the past seven and one-half years have been a period of subserviency to money and government. He treats the subject under three heads, "The Early Stuarts," "The Great Rebellion" and "The Restoration."
Under the first heading, he shows that during the administrations of Harrison and McKinley, money as such, ruled, though without ostentation. During "The Great Rebellion" which was given momentum by the work of the Democratic commoner, William Jennings Bryan, the rights of men were uppermost in government. He makes it clear that without Bryan's cry which roused the Nation to the need for reform, there would have been no Roosevelt, no Wilson, in the White House as the acknowledgement that the cause of man should be recognized in government. Harding, he shows, was the first line of "The Restoration," a period in which the rule of money has not only been open, as it was under Harrison, but blatant. And of Coolidge he says, he soon "made clear that he was heartily with the tendency towards Hamiltonian plutocracy." He adds in conclusion, "The Liberal movement which came to rest in 1917 had no resurrection under Coolidge."
The publication is unhappy, did we say? Yes, for Mr. White. But the thoughtful reader is grateful, since it shows White soundly marshalling his carefully-collected facts to justify his opinion; it is an impartial memory giving evidence that it is high time to end the plutocratic regime. Obviously the way to do so is not to vote for Hoover, about whom even the mighty voiced Borah said, in one instance, "He has no conception of the existence of the taxpayer." --The Charlotte News.
It was a bold speech Mr. Hoover made in New York. It was an arrogant speech. It was shot through with the theme that only a Republican is fit to rule, that the piracies of Big Business are fore-ordained of God, that to question the rule of plutocracy, of such flabby weaklings as Harding and Coolidge, of such immortal scoundrels as Fall and Daugherty, is to be guilty of blasphemy against the Holy Trinity. It was such a speech as Lord Hugh Cecil might make in the House of Lords.
Above all, it was cynical. To Big Business it holds out the earth and all that there is in it, saying: "Elect me President and it is yours. You may take the old brutal dogma of 'laissez-faire' to its ultimate limits. One thing only--don't get caught." To the masses, it holds out a bubble of glittering banalities, saying: "Don't be frightened. Even if you are the hindmost, the devil won't get you. Here's your share." And the last is more cynical than the first. It is predicated on the doctrine that the common man is a dolt, a great booby congenitally incapable of seeing beyond the tinseled platitudes with which Hoover seeks to divert attention from his crude offer to the Blackbeards and Stede Bonnets of modern commerce. Contempt runs through the speech as a Greek chorus. Underneath the "Te Deums" for Warren and Calvin and the Old Gentleman from Pittsburgh throbs the leit-motif of a sneer for the people.
Consider its shimmering cant. The Republican party, it says, is the party of individual liberty, of local self-government, of decentralization! That party which, under another guise, bawled in the Constitutional convention for monarchy, which made of the South Conquered Territory to have Negro rule rammed down its throat with a bayonet, which slew States' Rights--that party suddenly resurrects the doctrine of States' Rights! of individual liberty!
Individual liberty? A pretty dogma to cover a sorry business. So the buccaneers of the Main hoisted the Union Jack and scuttled galleons to the tune of pious mouthings. Individual liberty? Meaning the right of a Sinclair to bribe a Harding cabinet? The right of certain interest to rifle the pockets of the American people? The old individual liberty of the robber barons of the Rhine, the morality of the mightiest, the catch phrase of the freebooters of all times? What of the farmer who would build a corn mill on the brook which runs through his farm only to find that he cannot because a power company has acquired right (sic) to a whole river and "all its tributaries"? What of the millions who must pay tributes to a handful?
Ah, well, if the boobs will not accept Mr. Hoover's iridescent toy, he'll frighten them. He'll trot out the pet bogey of Reactionaries for the past hundred years--the bones of Karl Marx, of Socialism! Socialism? Bah, a tale for tiny tots, a bedtime story for little Maude. Socialism? Is it, then, Socialism for the Government to own forests, to operate post roads? Will Hoover hand over the forests to another Sinclair, the Post Office to another Doheny, because, forsooth, it is Socialism for the Government to engage in business? Was that radical barn burner, Theodore Roosevelt, right in his demand that it also own water-power? Who created such power anyhow? God or the companies? And what is the esoteric difference in the status of a river and that of a forest?
Socialism? To propose to take the monopoly to sell poison from criminals and have honest liquor sold under a State license system? Smith has not proposed State dispensaries as Hoover well knows. Nor has he proposed State operation of power plants. Hoover's long-winded discourse on bureaucracy is no more than a red herring. Socialism? To recognize that, when one-third of the people are chronically unable to meet their obligations, the nation already suffers from the greatest of economic ills? To understand that the proposal to market surpluses is the only scheme proposed which is more than sound and fury? To have Government aid these people on their feet?
IN GLASS HOUSES --.
Dr. Paul Garber, of the School of Religion--whose religion?--of Duke University delivers a blurb concerning the activities of "wet, subsidized partisan newspapers" before the Western North Carolina Conference of the Methodist Church. The eminent doctor furnishes an excellent example of the kind of dunderpate a member of the learned faculties can be when he decides to talk about those things concerning which he knows less than nothing.
The eminent doctor fails to be specific. Why doesn't he name these newspapers? Has he proof of his charges? If so, it behooves him as an honest man to furnish them to the people. If he hasn't--well, what kind of man makes such charges without evidence?
The people of North Carolina will, in fairness, take note of the entry of Duke University into politics. It will not be difficult to account for that.
Out in Arkansas they are about to start the old, dreary fight over evolution, the old futile attempt to stop up men's minds with statutes. And the other day the President of the American Association for the Advancement of Atheism came to Little Rock and set up offices to battle it. They arrested him and sent him to jail. And the following Sunday, the preacher who started the fight for the law defended the atheist and attacked the authorities for jailing him. Now, the newspapers of the city are panning both. None of which speaks well for Arkansas or Little Rock.
It is quite true that the atheist is ridiculous. He might look about him. He might reason. For, beyond contest, there is order in the Universe. And order does not exist without Law and Law does not exist without Intelligence. That Creative Force does exist then and that such force is intelligent is beyond reasonable dispute. Whatever one's faith or lack of it, he cannot escape that. The atheist doesn't. He simply closes his eyes and hits out in spite, after the manner of the most superstitious. But that is his right. And the authorities had no business in jailing him. The Assembly which passed a law making it possible to jail him was a foolish, stupid one. This is a free country and one may think and say as he pleases--without penalty. At least, that ought to be true.
The preacher deserves praise for defending the atheist. Few, in his place, could muster such tolerance. Withal, he is strangely intolerant. He seeks to stamp out the work of men's minds, to set the world in a mold, to halt the inevitable processes of flux and change. And to what end? Men are nowhere so ignorant as in the field of their own history. Its lessons go unheeded because they are unknown.
The effort of Congressman Steagull, of Alabama, to stir up prejudice against Herbert Hoover on the alleged ground that he accepts the doctrine of evolution is contemptible. It is nobody's business what their religious views are. And while we are at it we'll take a shot at that silly argument that Hoover is unfit for the Presidency because he is a Quaker and "wouldn't fight." We don't know whether or not he is still a Quaker by conviction, but, if he is, that's one of the very best arguments for him we know of. We aren't interested in his theology, but the Quaker attitude on war is about the only thoroughly civilized one practiced among us. Members of that sect were not backward in the American Revolution, nor in the South during the Civil War. When their homes are invaded, they fight well--and that's the only reason under Heaven for fighting at all.
We oppose Herbert Hoover for very definite reasons. Such rot as the evolution and Quaker arguments will be indignantly repudiated by all honorable men.
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