Baltimore Evening Sun (10 April 1912): 6.


Ah, that the Hon. Jacobus Hook had two chests, that he might wear two Preston buttons!

The betttng odds in the Eutaw street poker rooms, as the ticker brings them in:

1 to 400 that Harry gets 100 votes on the first ballot. 10,000 to 1 that he gets at least one vote.

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

The medical freedomists of Wisconsin, with, more originality than their anæmic brethren in Maryland, have hit upon an excellent dodge for flabbergasting their enemies, the hellbounds of allopathy. It makes itself visible in a series of bills prepared by the Hon Fred H. Hartwell, “of the executive board of the University Chiropractors’ Association” and lately introduced in the Wisconsin Legislature. One of these bills requires that all doctors’ prescriptions shall be written in plain English, another requires thatall drug labels be in English and a third provides that in every damage suit for death on the operating table the burden of proof shall be upon the officiating surgeon.

Obviously a clever attack, for it places the allopaths on the defensive, and uncovers much of the mediæval buncombe still lingering in their benign art. Once prescriptions are in plain English the genial spoofing of patients will have to cease and the bread pill will disappear from the pharmacopœia. It will be interesting, meanwhile, to hear the objections raised by the Wisconsin Drs. Bolus and Camomile to this first bill. No doubt they will bellow pathetically for their beloved dog Latin just as they bellowed eloquently a few years back against the use of the metric system.

The bill muffling surgery, if it is passed by the honest jackasses of the Wisconsin Legislature, will force every financially responsible surgeon, before deviscerating a patient, to get a legal release from that gentleman, his heirs and assigns, duly sworn to before a notary public more or less in liquor. This will aid the law of natural selection in two ways: First, by discouraging the reckless butchery of high-class men, and, secondly, by shaking the nerve of countless second, third and fourth class men, thus depriving them of the benefits of remedial surgery and hastening their exitus.

Meanwhile the ingenuity of the Hon. Mr. Hartwell should stimulate and hearten his confreres in other States, including Maryland. The local medical freedomists, at least so far, have confined their campaign to the manufacture and circulation of balderdash. Nothing they have done has worked any damage to the demons of allopathy nor even put the latter seriously on the defensive. They let the late session of the Legislature slip by without striking a single blow—unless the burlesque dime museurn manifestation of the anti-vivisectionists may be considered a blow. The soil was fertile, the Legislature was full of numbskulls, the numbskulls were eager to get into the papers—and yet nothing was done.

Let the freedomists go to the plate with greater ardor next time and beat out a few hot ones. A bill requiring a coroner’s inquest into every death in a hospital would be an excellent starter. Another sagacious measure would be one making doctors’ bills uncollectable from the executors and administrators of deceased patients. Yet another would be a bill requiring all physicians and surgeons to be re-examined once every 10 years—a plan advocated in the past by no less an authority than Rudolph Virchow. And finally, there are the three excellent bills of the Hon. Mr. Haerwell of Wisconsin.

Here’s hoping that the followers of Munyon and Pinkham, of Eddy and Still, of Janet and Lombroso will grow more active eftsoon. The art of medicine, in so far as it is sound, can lose nothing by a brisk frontal attack. Its truths will survive; only its lingering superstitions will go by the board. Meanwhile the combat will entertain us common people, and it will be extremely instructive to hear under oath, among other things, how the accident wards in some of our haspitals are managed.

Now that the Governor has signed all them reform bills the only thing to do is to wait an’ see who pokes the first holes in ’em.

My great and good friend, the Hon. Charles J. Ogle, secretary of the Direct Legislation League, has at me in today’s Letter Column for speaking disrespectfully of the Initiative and Referendum, the twin pets of his patriotic passion. Thus my contumacy:

Both appeal powerfully to folk whose yearning to say something is unaccompanied by anything to say.

And thus the Hon. Mr. Ogle’s counter hook to the glottis:

As Bryan, Wilson, Roosevelt and La Follette are the most prominent advocates of the Initiative and Referendum, the Hon. Mr. M. must allude to these as folk whose yearning is unaccompanied by speech, but that statement is not exactly borne out by the facts here, at all events.

Agreed, good Charles. All four of the gentlemen you mention are prize gushers of parts of speech. But are you not overlooking here the abysmal difference between mere speaking and saying something?

Even the newspapers don’t hardly take no stock no more in what a grand jury does no more.

Last year the City Council gobbled more than $60,000 of the taxpayers’ money, and then closed the year with debts amounting to $5,362. Laugh, suckers, laugh!

Boil your drinking water! Cover your garbage can! Get ready for typhoid. Swat the fly!

The more them bum newspapers make a sensation about Harry the more cheaper it is to get men to wear Preston buttons.

The news that the Hon. Jacobus Hook is assisting the Hon. McCay McCoy in the preparation of the nominating speech is good news to the stenographers who will take it down at so much a thousand words.

Spread the tarpaulins! Get into your mackintoshes! Make ready with buckets and sponges! The sad tale of newspaper persecution is to be turned on again!