Baltimore Evening Sun (9 April 1912): 6.


There are those who do not believe that all people are fitted for popular government. The fact is, we know they are not. Some of us dare not say so, BUT I DO.—William H. Taft.

The stailtding of the clubs in the National Typhoid League for the week ended March 16:

Baltimore...........................894 Philadelphia.......................000
St. Louis............................292 Boston................................000
New York..........................105 Cleveland...........................000

It may be only an idle rumor, but I do hear that the super-Mahon’s first annual message, to be sent to the Narrenhaus next Monday night, is to be written in a mixture of blood, quinine and tears. Get ready with your handkerchiefs and your sponges!

Boil your drinking water! And then bake it! And then paint it with iodine! And then bury it!

Every time the City Council meets it costs the taxpayers of Baltimore more than $1,000. Laugh, suckers, laugh!

A million dollars for a new bridge to the Brooklyn poolrooms, but not a darn cent for typhoid! ———

{Chinese characters}

Several ingenious correspondents, lately discussing, in The Evening Sun’s letter column, the chronic and notorious mendacity of reformers, have ended by agreeing upon the fact, but without arriving at its cause. What, then, is that cause? That reformers are invariably liars we all knew long ago. But why? Simply because they all fall into the error of assuming that social problems are simple problems, to be disposed of by simple answers.

Nothing, of course, could be more absurd. The truth is that most social problems, far from being simple, are so atrociously complex that no answer to them is possible. But to admit that fact would be to admit that most reforms are essentially vain and ridiculous, and therefore reformers do not admit it. On the contrary, they deny it—and by their denials they attain, without further effort, to the exalted position of liars of the first rank. And by an exactly parallel process the anti-reformers who oppose them climb with them to the same dizzy dignity.

The local option row presents a case in point. On the one hand the “wets” argue eloquently that alcohol is necessary to human freedom. and on the other hand the “drys” argue eloquently that alcohol is the cause of all human misery. Both, of course, lie shamelessly. But in the lie of each there is still enough truth to give it plausibility. The “wets” can easily prove that to take away a citizen’s jug is to invade his personal liberty and the “drys” can easily prove that alcohol actually makes drunkards. In brief, both sides are right—and both are wrong. When either side claims that it is altogether right, it lies. And when the other side charges that it is altogether wrong, it lies.

Too hasty generalization is to blame in both cases. Each side assumes that whatever is true in detail must be true in gross. The “wets,” noting that abstinence from alcohol fills him with bile and makes him swear at his wife, concludes that prohibition would turn the whole country back to savagry. The “dry,” remembering how he used to play the slot machines and beat his children before he stopped drinking, concludes that alcohol is the cause of all deviltry and woe. Each is right in his specific instance and wrong in his generalization. Each tells the truth in such a way that it becomes an untruth. Each is that most dangerous of all liars—a perfectly honest liar.

So far, the Hon. Jacobus Hook is the only member of the club who wears his Preston button with his full-dress evening dress suite. The rest lay off at 6 P. M. and call it a day’s work.

Mahon is something to be surpassed! Mahon is not a goal, but a bridge! Beyond Mahon lies the super-Mahon!

Why go to Delaware for a boss rabble-rouser? Is there no talent at home? Or is home talent shy?

Meanwhile, my chirurgical spies send me news that the coming summer’s epidemic of typhoid in Baltimore promises to be one of the most entertaining in years.

From political posturers and muscle dancers, and their attendant spotlight men, press agents, clapperclawers, scene shifters and union musicians—good Lord, deliver us!

Psychotherapy is the. theory that a sick man who believes that he is well is less sick than a sick man who believes that he is Napoleon Bonaparte.

The Crane-Anderson bout was a hot one and gave the crowd first-rate sport—but just wait until Doc Carroll comes back at poor Jim Trippe!

Contributions to the repertoire of manias and phobias:

Dentopbobia—the fear of Roosevelt. Johnshopkinsophobia—the fear of intelligence. Hookomania–an irresistible impulse to give away cigars.

If the Hon. Jacobus Hook were really a gentleman he wouid send me more of those excellent green lead pencils. Sharpened to fine points and dripped in strychnine they adapt themselves almost ideally to die Kakerlakjagdkunst. Also they are very convenient for literary composition.

Spread the linoleum! Lay out your oilskins! Get ready with mops and sponges! Again that sad tale of newspaper persecution, of slaughtered innocence, of heart-breaking, tear-squeezing martyrdom!

An anti-vivisectionist is one who gags at serum therapy and swallows malicious animal magnetism.

Two more men succumbed to Bob Lee’s candied eloquence yesterday and are now wearing Preston buttons, thus making a bag of eight in seven days.