Let those flatter who fear, it is not an American art. –JEFFERSON tr The Texas House of Representatives, which has passed bills in the last few years which have done serious violence to civil rights, last week backed up Rep. Maury Maverick in his eloquent plea against a move to fire state officials who invoke their right to use the Fifth Amendment. A man is innocent until proved guilty : what greater principle of justice exists ? The Texas House refused last week to consider a bill which would in effect exclude state officials from the protection of that principle. This is another sign that the era of McCarthyism is fast sinking into the historical stream. It will stand with the era of the Alien and Sedition Laws at the end of the Eighteenth Century as a low mark in the destiny of the American tradition. It is good to be in the open air of American freedom once again. e Ri g ht to he eigoiei A story in this issue reveals, without comment, that Policeman Tom Reagan of San Antonio, president of the Texas chapter, “National Association for the Advancement of White People,” is a complete racial bigot. We deplore his prejudices. Nevertheless, all American citizens have the right to believe what they choose as long as they do not infringe on the rights of others. The San Antonio Police Department is trying to kick Reagan off the force. If they have evidence that Reagan’s racial prejudice causes him to enforce the law with partiality to whites or with injustice to Negroes and Jews, he should be summarily fired. If there is no such evidence, he should not be disciplined for his private convictions. A vigorous democracy is not frightened by the views of extremists. Let the American Civil Liberties Union take an interest in the case of Tom Reagan. Civil liberties are nothing if they do not apply to everybody and to all shades of opinion, however odious or dangerous they may be from the majority point of view. The sacred right of a man to believe what he thinks is true must include the right to be bigoted if it is also to include the right to be unbigoted. In the free society, no one has authority over the private opinion, for as John Stuart Mill asked in the last century, who can say forever that the single voice is wrong? 4 11/ Bartlett appears exclusively in The Texas Observer Office Manager Sarah Payne Associate Editor Bill Brammer Circulation Manager Jim Dyer Editor and General Manager Ronnie Dugger Field Supervisor Mrs. Dell Sackett `Now Friend, Take a Look at This Here Map OBSERVATIONS Can Serve Two Masters Joseph Pulitzer was a workingperrna, is recent death after 43 years as editor and publisher of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch marked the end of the life of a natural and honest crusader. Pulitzer’s father died in 1911, and his son could now proudly accept as his epitaph his father’s challenge to the Post-Dispatch upon his retirement in 1907: “I know that my retirement will make no difference in the cardinal principles : that it will always fight for progress and reform, never tolerate injustice or corruption, always fight demagogues of all parties, never belong to any party, always oppose privileged classes and public plunderers, never lack sympathy with the poor, always remain devoted to the public welfare; never be satisfied with merely printing news; always be drastically independent; never be afraid to attack wrong, whether by predatory plutocracy or predatory poverty.” Another publisher died within the same week. His name: Colonel McCormick. His paper : the Chicago Tribune. note to the Relugeeo Austin is beautiful this time of year. The killing frost is gone, and the city of the green is bursting with warmth and invitation. Barton Springs is open. The University has chosen a lovely girl as its sweetheart. The hills and lakes around are friendly as ever. Shoal Creek is cool and verdant, the grass soft in the shade. Oh ye money-changers who left in chase of Mammon! -.ASine Serieo The Scripps-Howard papers in Texas are to be commended for their fine series on the identity and affiliation of the lobbyists in Austin. We call it to the attention of our readers with our warm commendation. m g Touts 0*ml= Incorporating The State Observer, combined with the East Texas Democrat APRIL 11, 1955 *ASO 3 Published once a week from Austin, Texas. Delivered postage prepaid $4 per annum. Advertising rates available on request. Extra copies 5c each. Quantity orders available. Entered as second-class matter April 26, 1937, at the Post Office at Austin, Texas, under the act of March 3, 1879. MAILING ADDRESS: Drawer F, Capitol Station, Austin, Texas. OFFICE OF PUBLICATION: 504 W. 24th St., Austin, Texas. Phone: 70746. We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right–as we see it. We are dedicated to the whole truth, to human values above all interests, to the rights of man as the foundation of democracy : we will take orders from none but our own conscience, and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powerful or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit. By PAUL B. O COMB Written for The Texas Observer AUSTIN Testimony and admissions made before the Texas legislative investigators prove that highly respectable members of the Texas Bar have collected thousands of dollars in “legal fees” which were taken from the taxpayers of Texas. There is nothing reprehensible in accepting “tax money” as legal fees, as this is a common practice of all lawyers. But these “legal fees” were collected as payment for legal services pertaining to the “Veterans Land Deals” which have developed into the most scandalous series of transactions that have ever been exposed on the public records of Texas. All members of the legal profession who are permitted to practice law in the courts of Texas become “Ex Officio Members of The Court” and as such enjoy privileges and immunities not extended to members of any other profession or occupation. These “special privileges and immunities” granted the legal profession have been greatly extended and increased by a “Code of Legal Ethics,” worked out and adopted by the lawyers themselves. While all lawyers take a solemn oath to support the Constitution and the laws of the State and the Nation, it appears that some men in the legal profession are much more concerned with upholding their “Code of Legal Ethics” than they are with the Constitution and the laws or even with the plain declaration of “The Sermon on the Mount” Serving Two Masters The Sermon on the Mount is recognized as the very foundation upon which the whole system of Christianity is based. It is found in the fifth, sixth, and seventh Chapters of Matthew. In this sermon Jesus himself declared that: “No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted : -.76–the one and despise the other. You can not serve God and mammon.” This declaration is plain and clear enough to be, understood by anybody who can understand the English language, but apparently lawyers can not understand it. Which Master Despised? The Code of Legal Ethics permit lawyers to run for the Legislature and to not only promise, unequivocally, to serve the public which elects thein, but to take a solemn oath to support the Constitution and the statutes of both the United States and the State of Texas. This “Code” permits these legislators to make laws to control and govern industry and commerce and at the same time accept employment, either on legal retainers or as legal counsel, for the very same individuals and corporations who are affected by the legislation. The Texas House of Representatives is made up largely of lawyers, while an overwhelming majority of the members of the Texas Senate are lawyers, as are both the present Lieutenant Governor and the Governor of Texas. Of course a percentage of these “Lawyer Legislators” are honest men with a sincere desire to render patriotic service to their constituents. Others are so dumb that no intelligent individual or shrewd corporation management would hire them. But it is a matter of common knowledge that the greatest inducement for a lawyer to run for the legislature is to give him a chance to prove to the Corporations that he is “a very smart cookie.” The pay is so niggardly that no successful lawyer can afford to serve in the Legislature except for the fact that he may be able to pick up a lot of new clients. If he has any outstanding abilities and is not bothered by “scruples,” it generally works out very nicely for him. It is only a matter of “human nature” to decide which of the two masters will get his “devotion” and which will be “de ised.” An elected official can not ua in less than two to four ye; even if he is caught serving c porations and “despising” the pe\( ple who elected him. Besides that, his double dealing is both “legal and ethical,” and other lawyers will rush to his defense. On the other hand, the corporations pay him well and can fire him in two or four minutesor less. Who would you be trying to please if you were working for two different groups at one and the same time? The principles set forth and the declarations laid down in the Sermon on the Mount are unchangeable and eternal. They were true when the foundations of the earth -were laid, and they will be true when the earth is destroyed with fervent heat. The sophistries of high sounding codes of legal ethics, and the solemn pronouncements and dignified assertions about “the honor of the legal profession,” will only deceive the people who want to be deceived. The commonest of “the common people” recognize this type of legal mumbo jumbo as being pure hypocrisy, and nothing else. Lawyears who condone these things may kid themselves and swell up with self-importance. But diteb te . diggers and garbage workers know exactly what they are. The Real Danger This double dealing of duly elected public officials is a much more imminent danger to true democracy than is the threat of “Communist Infiltration.” It is possible that there are a few Commun. ists who have been placed in positions of honor and trust. But it is a proven fact that there are dozens of lawyers who were elected to serve the public who are on th payrolls of individuals and corpor tions who are demanding spec! favors for themselves. A maj portion of the hullaballoo ov’ Communism was started and CE ried on to conceal the very r\( danger of public officials who w\( and arepretending to serve tw masters.
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