Baltimore Evening Sun (31 January 1912): 6.


The daily thought from “Also sprach Zarathustra”:

Life is hard to bear! But do not pretend to be so frail! We are all good he-asses and she-asses of burden.

The ideal prescription for a Mahonic-super-Mahonic campaign committee:

Prominent Baltimoreans............................. 30% Ward Heelers.............................................. 60%
Honest Nobodies......................................... 5% Good-Natured Perfumers ........................... 5%

The less you hear about them boomers the more Baltimore seems to be gettin’ along.

Forty secondhand copies of the Old Town notebook, morocco bound, for the name and address of any gentleman, not obviously in his cups, who believes that the Hon. Jake Hook really fears that the merit system would maroon him among scrivening niggeroes.

Twenty-five thousand dollars to put it over—but not a darn cent for typhoid!

Only 59 days more of rumble-bumble and slobber-gobble at Annapolis! Already a smell of spring is in the air!

Betting odds in the downtown anti-homes, as reported by my Peter Prys:

67,756,763,967,291,761,012,007,654,380,182,991,356,544,729,736,649,782,097,761, 351,003,429,777,357,826,937,847,278,277,362,359,001 to 1 that the Board of Awards won’t put nothing over on Bob when the time comes to award them paving contracts. No takers.

And curst be any man who denies that the members of the Legislature of Maryland, one and all, have the underlying honesty of corpses at the morgue and the stupefying sapience of middle-aged serpents. Since January 1, 1720, at 12 o’clock noon, Annapolis has not seen a single grafter or a single jackass! Connoisseurs of purity and of intellect come from Asia, Africa, Europe and Oceania to feast their eyes upon that incomparable sanhedrin.

Contributions to a thesaurus of American synonyms for taxpayer:

Sucker, Goat, Cow, Bank, Slave, Come on.

Boil your drinking water! Notice the Prominent Baltimoreans on the Ward Heelers’ Boosting Committee! Send your pennies to the League for Medical “Freedom”! Cover your garbage can! Keep the lid of your seldel shut! Swat the fly!

They do say that “Bill” Broening will soon be gettin’ ready to get ready to get ready to try them stuffers.

In today’s Letter Column you will find a vitriolic epistle from an eminent New York rhetorician lately summoned to the aid of the local anti-vivisectionists. This epistle refers to a letter from one of the latter, printed in The Evening Sun of January 20, and denounced by me, as disingenuous and mischievous, in The Evening Sun of January 23. The said letter referred to certain experiments made to test the value of the so-called Calmette test in the diagnosis (not in the cure) of tuberculosis, and quoted a report upon those experiments made by Drs. S. McC. Hamill, H. C. Carpenter and T. A. Cope, three very reputable men. Here is how the report was quoted:

Practically all our patients were under 8 years of age, and all but 26 of them were inmates of St. Vincent’s Home (Philadelphia), an institution with a population of about 400, composed of foundlings, orphans and destitute children. The cases in the home were tested in routine by wards, irrespective of the condition from which they were suffering, and in the great majority of instances without any knowledge of their physical condition prior to or at the time the tests were applied. We purposely deferred the physical examination of these children until after the test had been applied. * * * In addition to the tests designated in the tables, we have applied, the tests to 17 infants ranging in age from 4 weeks to 5 months.

You will note, near the end of this quotation, three stars—indicating a hiatus. Well, what belonged in that hiatus? A reference to the original report discloses the following:

for two reasons, first, in order to be unbiased in our interpretation of the results, and secondly, in order to make ourselves especially vigilant in searching for tuberculosis lesions in those who reacted. We had the children under absolute control throughout the entire period that the tests were being made, a special nurse having been employed for their exclusive care.

In other words, this anti-vivisectionist letter-writer, following the well-known example of other local mullahs of the cult, cut out every word explaining and defending, on reasonable grounds, the action of the doctors—and then proceeded to denounce them solemnly as cannibals. (Cf., “a wholesale swallowing of babies.”) Is this astonishing? Hardly. The anti-vivisectionists do it constantly. One of their favorite dialectic devices, indeed, is to conceal or obfuscate the defense of an adversary—and then to accuse him by innuendo of having no defense at all. Such is the moral morality!

Whether or not the three doctors, in the case under examination, proceeded discreetly, I am not competent to answer of my own knowledge. All I can do here, as a laymen, is to take the opinion of persons better able to judge. Anti-vivisectionists, I am convinced, are not such persons. In most cases where I can fairly test their opinions and their knowledge, I find those opinions to be ridiculous and that knowledge to bogus. Whenever I see them in conflict with an educated physician—that is to say, with a man who has devoted his whole life to the study of the human body in health and disease—my inclination, as a person still legally sane, is to put the physician’s hard facts above the anti-vivisectionists’ mere fuming and fury. An M. D. of the Johns Hopkins, I am convinced, knows far more about medicine than any pack of nice old ladies, male or female, in Christendom. And in that view, I believe, I am joined by all persons who have a decent respect for knowledge toilsomely acquired and a healthy contempt for sophistry, idle pretense and mere wind music.

Who this Mr. Farrell may be I don’t know. Perhaps a Christian Scientist, as most of the more noisy anti-vivisectionists are. Perhaps a galloper along some other short cut to wisdom. But whatever his private brand of epistemology, I an convinced that his general hostility to medical research, as revealed in his letter, is sufficient to make his opinion upon any given problem of research of no value. When, sticking to the proper anti-vivisectionist last, he protests against needless cruelty to animals, then I am with him. But when, proceeding to reckless attacks upon medical research, he sets himself against all intelligent seeking for knowledge, and argues that because one experiment fails or is otheirwise ill-advised, all expertments should be prohibited, then I dismiss him without further ado.