Baltimore Evening Sun (25 September 1911): 6.


Three years seven months and twenty days more–unless–unless–unless–!!!

From an article on crooked politics in Seattle, by Burton J. Hendrick, in the current number of McClure’s Magazine:

In every great municipal contest almost identically the same elements can be found fighting for and against civic order and decency. There are usually ranged on one side the panders, the gamblers, the race-track touts and the other professional vicious classes; and in their company the bankers, the large business interests, the public-utility corporations and frequently individuals of wealth and fashion. Against them usually stand the bourgeoisie–the prosperous middle-class business man, the mechanic, the bookkeeper and the clerk, the churches, the men’s clubs and certain civic organizations.

Evidently Mr. Hendrick is familiar with the part played in Baltimore by “business men’s associations” in the Rasin campaigns before 1895, and by certain gentlemen of self-confessed eminence in the oblique doings of later years.

A man boarded a Gay street car on West Baltimore street the other morning carrying a dirty shovel, a bucket of wet cement and a filthy bag. In making his way across the platform to the port rail he held his luggage in front of him and it brushed the clothes of four or five passengers. The coat of one man acquired a smear of wet cement. Tho others got dust and lesser smears. The roughneck with the cement offered no apologies. The conductor said nothing.

The man whose coat was ruined, of course, should have planted a wallop in the roughneck’s eye and taken his chances in a fight and with the police. The thing happened in the Western district. Dan Loden is J. P. out there, and Dan mingles common sense with the law. I have no doubt whatever that he would have discharged the author of the wallop with the thanks of the court. But there was no wallop. The victim was in a hurry. He apparently thought that it was better to lose a coat than half a day. He did not even complain to the conductor.

But some day–and perhaps tomorrow—a passenger of less self-control is going to protest against such an outrage with his fists, and when he has done protesting and the offending paperhanger or plumber or cement-layer or whitewasher is in hospital and he himself has paid his fine, he is going to sue the United Railways for damages, and, what is more, he is going to get them. This business of carrying filthy freight on street car platforms, to the annoyance and loss of passengers, has gone on long enough. If the railways company is unwilling to call a halt, then a halt will be called by the public.

In the old days, when cars were small and there was little room on platforms, conductors were very careful to hold up persons bearing packages. Even women with market baskets were often turned away with the gentle advice that they take the next car. But the present cars have plenty of room and so the custom has arisen of permitting passengers to bring all sorts of freight aboard. In the dull hours this does no harm; not many men are on the platforms and with plenty of sea room they are able to step clear of filthy things. But in the rush hours they are helpless. When a painter comes aboard with his paint cans they are unable to get out of his way—and the result is work for the scourer.

On what ground does the railways company permit the carriage of paint cans, paperhangers’ paste buckets, fish baskets, whitewash, rolls of tin, plumbers’ furnaces and other such things on its car platforms? Time was, and not so long ago, when all freight of that sort was carried in wagons. Is the public served by admitting it to the cars, to the annoyance and damage of persons who have paid their fares for safe transportation? Is the law so absurd that it does not require a street railway company to see to the reasonable safety of its passengers?

No sane man objects to the transportation of ordinary luggage—market baskets, clean packages, suitcases, even baby carriages, rolls of matting and demijohns of whisky. But when a paperhanger comes aboard with his pot of paste, his dirty board and ladder and his rolls of chalky paper; or when a plumber comes aboard with his furnace, his acid bottle, his bag of tools and his filthy overalls, or when a peddler comes aboard with his filthy and odoriferous fish basket–then the time comes to make a loud and bitter protest.

Has anybody heard the Right Hon. James Harry Preston demand a recount?

From an interview with the Hon. Thomas O. Hayes, in this morning’s American.

The grand jury, as the grand inquest of the State, under its general powers to investigate all alleged crimes and obtain evidence of same, has ample power to have produced before them, etc.

No wonder Mr. Hayes was offered the presidency of the joestingized School Board!

“Activity at home and publicity abroad.” Such is the motto of the Greater Baltimore Committee, that camorra of incurable optimists. We are showing the activity and enjoying the publicity. The Washington papers carry display headlines upon their daily dispatches from Baltimore–dispatches telling of ballot-box stuffing, of repeating, of all sorts of atrocious frauds. Elsewhere the headlines are smaller–but still they are headlines. Baltimore is getting into the news. Our activity translates itself into publicity.

The May election started the good work. Such headlines as “Gang Carries Baltimore,” “Old Organization Wins” and “Reformers Are Ousted” appeared in papers stretching from Maine to the Mississippi. Editorials followed. No doubt it helped business. And then began the attack upm the public schools, with more headlines and more editorials following. In all the serious journals of the country our municipal doings have been discussed. The Old-Fashioned Administration is carrying out its promise to work our higher good.

From sycophants and rabble-rousers, from moralists and boomers–good Lord, deliver us!

The Voice of the People, as the swift winds heave it in:

My, my, ain’t it awful! I wonder how much Preston got beat by.

The lesson for the day is from the seventy-third Psalm, the nineteenth strophe.

A new motto for the Old-Fashioned Administration:

Vanitas vanitatum!

Boil your drinking water! Open the May ballots! Swat the fly!

When Weggs meets Biggs, then comes the tug of war!