Baltimore Evening Sun (23 July 1912): 6.
[Run over from yesterday.] felt that a judge, even when wrong, was at least a faithful and well-meaning officer—a man who, whatever his limitations in character, education and intellect, at least did his darndest. No more. Bitter experience has corroded that old faith. The people have discovered, not only that a large number of their judges are thorougly dubious fellows, attracted to the bench by its opportunities to help themselves and their friends, but that many more are cheap pettifoggers, with immensely greater respect for a quibble of law than for common justice, and that even more are indolent ignoramuses, knowing little law and nothing else.
The result has been a sudden outbreak of popular indignation. On the one hand proceedings are taken against individual judges, at retaliatory elections or by impeachment or public outcry; on the other hand, laws are proposed curbing the ancient powers of the whole judiciary and making it frankly and directly subservient to the public will; and on the third hand, as it were, laws are passed taking away from the judges their old right to punish their critics and enemies out of hand, without the slightest regard for justice—such laws, for example, as that passed by the House of Representatives on July 11 (by a vote of 232 to 18!), providing for jury trials in contempt cases.
Thus the judicial arm, for long untouched by soap and water, undergoes a furious scrubbing. Thus the virtuosi of bogus dignity ride the rail. What the end will be no man can say with assurance, and few men care to predict. The people, after punishing a few of the more grossly vicious judges, may leave the system itself practically unchanged. On the other hand, they may attempt to reorganize it from top to bottom, delimiting the rights of the bench anew and providing swift and terrible penalties, not only for downright corruption, but also for that superior laziness which is ten times as dangerous.
But whatever the mode of reform, one of its fruits is bound to be a general decay of public reverence for the judiciary, a benign and welcome consummation, too long delayed. Uncritical reverence is the most costly of all public vices. Once the people begin to fancy that a given man or institution is beyond human weakness, that man or institution begins to consume them. We shall be the better for it when we cease to hold judges in awe, and they themselves will be the better for it. No man can do good work so long as his work is accepted as perfect without examination. To play the part of a god is beyond human talent. The man who tries it always comes to grief.
Meanwhile, the exceptional judge—i. e., the judge of reasonable capacity who honestly does his best—has nothing to fear from rising dissatisfaction with his craft. On the contrary, he is made conspicuous by his merits, and the public is disposed to grant them freely. Even the man of quite mediocre gifts, if only he shows fairness and assiduity, can attain to a large measure of respect. The people do not ask for genius on the bench; all they want is common diligence. And when they behold it they are not slow to honor it.
A Progressive is one who believes that the common people are both intelligent and honest: a reactionary is one who knows better.
Don’t forget to go to Back River next Sunday and help drown the Blue Laws! The United Railways will have plenty of cars on the line, with seats for fully 10 per cent. of the people. The United does not discriminate against Sunday drinkers. It is tolerant and humane. It has sinned itself.
Further contributions to the directory of intolerable pests:
Beeritones Phonographs The Salvation Army Barbers Weddings Soft drinks Tax bills Vaudeville Actors The super-Mahon.
The more them stuffers wish the summer would be over soon, the more they wish it wouldn’t.
That tom cat in Amityville, Long Island, who was lately shaved by a bolt of lightning, is getting a lot of undeserved space in the newspapers. Any man who has ever been shaved by a Baltimore barber could tell a tale far more harrowing. It must be rather startling, of course, to have one’s whiskers stripped by lightning, but at all events, lightning does not follow up the assault by smearing the victim with “witch hazel” made of wood alcohol and mayonnaise.
Come on, Colonel Pabst, let us have a few carloads of that American Muenchener. Only thus can we hope to beat the satanic Anderson.
Another way for the victorious Wilson men to get the genuine support of the organization would be for them to make oath that they will never seek nor accept jobs from the new President.
Progressivism: the Peruna of politics. In brief, a mild narcotic, producing a pleasant glow, but leaving the disease itself unchecked. What is needed, of course, is a radical surgical operation, without anæsthetics. Universal manhood suffrage is the cancer that eats at the vitals of the republic. No improvement will ever be real until that cancer is cut out.
Betting odds in the Eutaw street poker rooms, as reported by the police:
10 to 1 that Harry don’t take anything less than Ambassador to France. 1 to 10 that some if them stuffers don’t never go to no jail.
Sagacious reveries from “The Physiology of the Human Body and Hygiene,” by Geheimrat Prof. Dr. John Turner, Jr., chief medical officer of the Old-Fashioned Administration:
Vowels are compound musical tones, produced only in the larynx, said some vocal teacher. (Page 289.)
Tobacco is a common and nauseous habit, especially chewing tobacco. It is a plant freely used and grown in America. (Page 139.)
The large intestines are a continuation of the small intestines. They are larger than the small intestines. * * * (Page 203.)
Blood is used in the human being or animal, because we need some internal medium, now that we are made up of numerous amoeba and special cells placed at a distance from each other. (Page 56.)
A Progressive is one who believes that his own yearning to grab a job is more pleasing to a just God than the other fellow’s yearning to hang on to it.
A Progressive is one who seeks to repeal the immutable natural law, so greatly revered by Darwin, that the sucker shall be stung. A reactionary is one who ratifies it—and then tries to escape it himself.