Baltimore Evening Sun (21 October 1913): 6.


The expected has happened: the Hon. Martyr Sulzer has gone over to the Progressives. Thus the party of political mountebanks and bunco-steerers has engulfed the most eminent of them all. Thus the uplift claims its most exquisite hero. Sulzer is willing to serve the common people once more, at the same old heavy “sacrifice.” “I have consented to come back to Albany,” he says, “for the good that I can do.” One stands aghast before the astounding impudence of this plucked peacock. One stands no less aghast at the inconceivable credulity of the American people.

Can it be that they actually prefer a charlatan to an honest man? It begins to seem so. The Senate of the United States, once dignified by the best brains of the nation, is now a club of boy orators, long-haired Chautauquans and snide reformers. In the House of Representatives a few men of sense do battle with a vast troupe of clowns. The Governors of half of our States are idle posturers and word-chewers: the lost annual meeting of their “third house” brought forth an amazing emission of puerility and rumble-bumble. And the government of most of our large cities is in the hands of numskulls and worse.

Such is the net effect of “progressivism” after three years of rabble-rousing. There would seem to be no more room in our public life for men who approach the problems of civilization intelligently and unemotionally. All the advantage is now on the side of the buffoon The people keep on swallowing his perunas, even after they are doubled up with cramps thereny. They keep on cheering him, even after he has been caught with his hand in the till. No wonder such men as Oscar Underwood talk of retiring from politics. No wonder it is next to impossible, here in Maryland, to get first-rate, or even second-rate, men to run for Senator, Governor and Mayor. No wonder Tammany was afraid to renominate the late Mayor Gaynor–a man far too honest to stand any show against the Hon. John Purroy Mitchel, that humorless archangel and bouncing bag of gas. How long will the Hon. Woodrow Wilson last? An educated and reflective man, he has had a long, long season: I give him one year more.

My spies bring me news that the anti-suffragists are down and out. Half of them have gone over to the suffragettes and the other half have switched to Bergson, psychical research and the Montessori method.

Who will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Star-Spangled Super-Mahon’s exposition? It lies between Enrico Caruso and Col. Jacobus von Hook!

Sample examination paper for sixth-grade pupils, after “sex hygiene” is taught in the public schools:

  1. What is a blastoderm?
  2. Give a succinct account of Haeckel’s biogenetic law, and state your reasons, if any, for believing that it is bunk.
  3. Give a brief sketch of the life of the Rev. Dr. Sylvanus Stall.
  4. Suppose a wine-bibber to be married to a saufschwester, how many of their grandchildren will be astigmatic and how many will die in the electric chair? Draw a Mendelian diagram showing your solution of the problem.
  5. Describe the worst moving-picture film you have ever seen.

From various quarters comes the suggestion that the proposed Salvarsan Fund, instead of being distributed among the hospitals, be used to set up a special clinic for social diseases. This is a question for the medical members of the Maryland Society for Social Hygiene to settle, but meanwhile some of the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed plan may be noted. The chief of the former, of course, is that a central clinic will enlist the highest quality of professional co-operation, and give coherence and precision to the whole campaign. It would be rather a waste of money, I take it, to supply a drug so expensive as salvarsan to some of our local hospitals. Whatever their good intentions, they are improperly manned for such work, and in the absence of adequate official supervision it would be impossible to reorganize them. Besides, there would be no means of forcing them to keep accurate records–and it is on the statistical side that the proposed experiment offers some of its largest possibilities.

But against the plan of a central clinic, devoted wholly to luetic patients, lies the fact that the very advertisement of its special purpose would keep many such patients away. Whether justly or unjustly, a considerable social odium still goes with lues, and it bears upon the poor man just as harshly as upon the man who can pay his way. Nevertheless, this poor man is generally willing to seek treatment, provided he can go to a special clinic. But it is doubtful that he would care to go to a special clinic with a plain sign above the door. And unless he is brought into camp, of course, the whole enterprise will be futile.

This difficulty, however, is not insuperable. It should be easy, indeed, to devise some means of overcoming it. And meanwhile there can be no question that the Salvarsan Fund is needed. The cases collected by the Maryland Society for Social Hygiene show two things very clearly. One is that the social diseases are widely prevalent in Baltimore, and that many perfectly innocent persons, including little children, are infected. The other is that salvarsan is a highly efficient remedy for the worst of these diseases, and that even when it does not permanently cure, it quickly relieves disability and materially reduces infectiousness. A single dose of it may mean a worker restored to industry, and a dozen innocent persons saved from contamination.

Caruso be damned! I vote for Colonel Jacobus!

Ancient and comforting maxim of the American people:

A suck is born every minute.

Nevertheless, the general decline of the birth rate, that best proof of advancing civilization, is affecting this species also. My spies bring me news that the moral graft is not what it used to be. Day by day it grows harder for the pious wiskiniskis to wring contributions out of the public. Even the Sunday-schools, so I hear, are tired of the endless procession of collectors, each with his astounding tales of sin and his sure cure for all the sorrows of the world. Thus malignant morality is hit in its collection plate, which is to say, in its heart, lungs, liver and lights. On some awful tomorrow, no doubt, things will come to such a pass that the managers of moral sporting clubs will have to pay for their own sport.

Risk a quarter on three months’ subscription to the Maryland Suffrage News! If you don’t get your money’s worth, come to The Evening Sun office and I’ll give you your money back!--Adv.