Baltimore Evening Sun (25 June 1913): 6.
From Prof. Alexander Geddes’ City Hall Iliad:
McCay and A. S. Goldsborough, Honest men of brain and fire. Two scholars of reputation, They are what our people desire.
And if not exactly what our people desire, then at least what our people have to stand.
Legislative program of the Anti-Saloon League:
1914--The local option bill. 1916–A bill providing prohibition for all wards that have gone wet under the local option bill. 1918--A bill establishing a special police force to enforce prohibition. 1920–A bill allowing informer’s fees to persons supplying evidence of corruption against the special police force. 1922--A bill establishing a special police force to spy upon and denounce the special police force. 1924–A bill establishing a special police force to watch the special police force charged with watching the special police force. 1926--A bill appropriating $5,000,000 for a special police force to watch the special police force watching the special police force watching the special police force.
The hour of 3 having arrived, it’s darn near time the Hon. Isaac Lobe Straus murdered the Sunpaper again. The Hon. Dashing Harry is also laying down on the job of late. Ah, the good old days!
Whether the recent shifting of police captains is to be regarded as no more than a routine administrative act, as the Police Commissioners seem to want the public to believe, or as the overture to some new sort of donkeyish crusade or other, as certain somewhat unreliable journalists hint--this is a question which only the event can answer. In either case, it is extremely unlikely that the decoy of organized deviltry in this town will proceed much further than it has gone already. The present tightness of the lid, indeed, is wholly unprecedented, and a few years ago it would have been almost unimaginable. It is now difficult for even the true illuminati to drink in comfort on Sunday or after hours, and as for gambling, it has been reduced to fugitive and shoestring proportions. Even the red-light district, once so gay, now bears the bleak, forsaken aspect of a circus lot on the day after the show, for though the police have actually closed only a part of it, their extraordinartly onerous regulations and the widespread (if inaccurate) reports of melodramatic raids have killed the spirit of mirth in the remainder. I stood in front of Bob Fosbender’s old place for 20 minutes the other night--and heard only seven pianos. It was almost creepy.
The closing of the rest of the Tenderloin would thicken the present gloom there but little, for that gloom now touches the maximum density possible in a large city. The whole region, indeed, may be said to be stopped on a dead centre. Repression has gone far enough to paralyze the old system, but there has not been quite time enough for a wholesale switch to a new system. Whatever the program of the Police Board. the near future will probably see an appreciable return of prosperity in the underworld. If repression is abandoned, then there will be a recrudesence, of course, of the undisguised gayeties of yesteryear. And if repression keeps on or grows firmer, then the underworld will resign and accommodate itself to the new dispensation, and we shall have the system built in New York by the crusading of Dr. Parkhurst, and in Chicago and other cities by the pious efforts of even sillier reformers.
Signs of such a change are already growing very numerous and evident, and no doubt they would increase instantly if the Police Board would formally announce a policy of repression. The present uncertainty regarding its ultimate intent is making many of the ancients of the Tenderloin hang on, despite the encircling gloom. Most of those who have escaped so far are in hopes that they will continue to escape. Rumors fly thick and fast. The betting ranges from even money to 10 to 1 both ways. How long this period of uncertainty will last it is difficult to predict, but the probabilities are that if the board defers its order for a general repression much longer it will find next to nothing to repress when it finally comes to the business. In other words, dispersion will be accomplished by its shadow going before. All the more prudent mariners will fly before the storm.
Meanwhile, the humane will sympathize with the Commissioners in their obvious dilemma, and connoisseurs will admire the discretion with which they have dealt with it so far. On the one hand they are bombarded by a small but exceedingly pertinacious body of reformers, whose belief in the potency of the policeman’s club is unlimited, and on the other hand, their common sense must show them the unwisdom of hasty and extravagant action. Besides, such action is opposed by an overwhelming public sentiment, and what is more important, by the vast majority of policemen of all ranks. No pressure from above, however violent, can quite eradicate a prejudice in the rank and file, and one of the firmest of all prejudices in the rank and file is that against vice crusaders, and against the woman-hunting they demand. The average policeman, being a man of normal decency, looks upon such busting as degrading, and it is that conviction, far more than his alleged grafting, which makes prostitution, once it has been dispersed, practically unmanageable and wholly ineradicable.
Two dollars for the name and address of an anti-suffragist who doesn’t except one woman when she argues that all women are unfit to vote.
Standing of the clubs in the National Tuberculosis League for the week ended May 31:
Baltimore.......................412 Philadelphia..........................341 Cleveland.......................372
Boston...................................238 New York.......................360 St. Louis................................232
Let the tax on bachelors be a dollar a day--and collect it daily! Too much trouble? Not at all. Collecting machines might be set up at all street corners–machines, that is, which discharged a dated receipt for a silver dollar. The same sort of receipt could be given at the tax office, and in the barrooms, drug stores and lamassaries (e. g., the Baltimore Club, the Third Ward Democratic Club and the Central Young Men’s Christian Association), that would be designated branch stations. Let the law require every bachelor to visit a police station at least once a month and exhibit his 30 or 31 receipts for the month preceding. Bacbelors too lazy toget their own receipts might buy them from brokers at a premium of 10 or 15 cents.
Boil your drinking water! Watch the Hon. Young Cochran slip over another one! Swat the fly!