Baltimore Evening Sun (16 August 1913): 6.


The Hon. Nathan R. Gorter, M. D., to the people of Baltimore:

Boil your drinking water!

Sound advice, but does the School Board believe in it? The public schools will soon open again. Will there be boiled water for the children, or will they drink out of the tap, as in the past?

Incidentally, what is being done about the current increase of malaria? Unless my pathological spies are gay deceivers, there is more malaria in these parts this summer than for a number of years past. The blame, no doubt, lies upon the mosquitoes, which are very numerous at present, and the blame for the mosquitoes lies upon the Job Hounds, who cut out the anti- mosquito appropriation on the score of economy. But there is always plenty of money for vapid booming schemes, and for the support of sycophants. How long will the people of Baltimore allow their health to be toyed with by a pack of barroom politicians and ignoramuses?

The Hon. William Collier, of Riverdale, Md., in protest against the licentiousness of the Sunpaper:

A prize fight between a white thug and a nigger is played up for weeks * * * while a world’s Sunday-school convention meeting at the same time in the nation’s Capitol receives an indifferent and wholly inadequate report.

Blame the Sunday-schools, and not the newspapers! Whenever a gladiator of the Sunday-schools does anything as dashing and entertaining as a gladiator of the squared circle, he gets just as much space. For example, the Hon. Sunday-school Field, LL. D.

The Edmond shooting case has got Baltimore more notice in the newspapers in five days than the boomers have been able to get in five years. Such is true booming! The recent advertising convention was celebrated as a sublime advertisement for this town. But was it? It was not. The New York Sun, for example, gave it between 30 and 75 lines a day, on an inside page. A week later came the legal battle over the late Mr. Painter’s viscera. The Sun gave it half a column a day, and on the first page. Moral for boomers: Shut off your wind machines and commit a few murders.

The fact that the annual consumption of liquor is constantly increasing in the United States, despite the alleged triumphs of prohibition on all sides, is giving the prohibitionist spellbinders and plate-pushers a chance to do a lot of tall explaining. More than half of the people of the United States now live in so-called dry territory, but the distilleries still work day and night, and imports of liquor are rising yearly. During the 20 years or so that the Anti-Saloon League has been “saving” the country, the per capita consumption of whisky and beer has increased from 15 gallons to 21, or say 40 per cent.

The Hon. William H. Anderson, unless I misunderstand him, attempts to explain these embarrassing figures on two grounds. On the one hand, he argues that all the increase in drinking is in the wet States, and on the other hand, he argues that the manufacturers of liquor have been accumulating vast and unsalable surplus stocks. Unfortunately for the hon. gent., neither argument is borne out by the known facts. In brief, he has no more support for his “evidence” in this case than he has for his “evidence” in all other cases. His alleged “proof,” as usual, is merely so much wind and poppycock, manufactured for the entertainment of Sunday-schools.

The editor of the Vindicator, one of the principal prohibitionist organs, is more frank and less ridiculous. He admits without any qualification that a copious boozing is going on in dry States, and that it shows no sign of stopping in the near future. To quote:

Nine-tenths of the prohibitory laws are in the hands of administrative officials who do not enforce them. The statute book is dry, but the State House and the courthouse and the City Hall are wet.

In other words, prohibition doesn’t prohibit. It is easy enough to get a dry law on the books: weak-kneed and crooked politicians are easily browbeaten and blackmailed into voting for it. But after it is duly passed, that is the end of It. The common people turn from the saloon to the blind pig with glad hearts. The death rate from delirium tremens continues to hold its own. Now and then a gang of pious sportsmen starts an “enforcement” campaign, and for a few weeks or months the community is raised to a high pitch of excitement by denunciations and raids, but soon or late the sport begins to tire, and after that things go on as before.

Such is the uplift in our fair republic. Meanwhile, no progress is made toward a solution of the liquor question. That the excessive use of alcohol is dangerous every sane man is well aware, and most of us would like to see it combatted in some intelligent manner. But the problem is now wholly in the hands of mountebanks and fanatics. A self-respecting man is afraid to offer a suggestion: he is sure to be reviled and lied about for his pains. The least accusation made against him is that he is in the pay of divekeepers. {...} shyster preacher within a day’s journey is instantly on his trail.

The net resultis that thinhs grow worse instead of better. We make no progress against the liquor evil. All we do is to swap the saloon, which was bad enough, for the speak-easy, which is ten times worse. Our annual drink bill continues to increase; as a leading liqnor paper lately prophesied, we will soon “forge ahead of all the other nations of the world.” What is worse, this conversion of the liquor business from a regulated business into a secret and criminal business is multiplying corruption in our politics. In such States as Maine and Oklahoma the protection of illicit liquor sellers has become the chief concern and business of professional politicians. Such is the effect of law-making by frauds and fools. This is what the pious Anti- Saloon League is doing for us.

Challenge to subscribers in the current Suffrage News:

To make this paper an influential agent for the extension of suffrage to women in Maryland it must needs have a larger circulation. What have you done to help?

Answer: I have done my level darndest, and angels could do no more.

Solemn warning to the Hon. Frank J. Callahan: The Hon. Goose Grease Altfeld is laying in a supply of verdigrease. He can sting as well as massage. The same technique which made the Hon. D. Harry purr and sigh may make a foeman yell.–Adv.