Baltimore Evening Sun (29 December 1913): 6.


The hospitable Sunpaper on the latest of the political perunas:

The short ballot, according to its advocates, is the chief if not the only road leading to real democratic government.

What! Another? What becomes, then, of the initiative and referendum–i. e. the long ballot, the endless ballot, the ballot covering everything under the sun? Are we doomed to see uplifters fall out? Does dog plot to eat dog?

A DAILY THOUGHT. What people call vice is eternal; what they call virtue is mere fashion.–George Bernard Shaw.

The Hon. S. M. Wood, the new editor of the Democratic Telegram, cuts loose in the current (his first) issue by printing a poem entitled “When Santa Claus Come” in the place that the Hon. George Arnold Frick used to give over to hand-painted oil-paintings of Maryland statesmen. The use of the present form of “to come” in the past tense is probably a delicate concession to the plain people who suck menial and moral nutriment from the Telegram, and so, I daresay, is the use of “he’d drive them deers” in place of “he’d drive those deer” in the third line of the poem, and the use of “neither of which are” instead of “neither of which is” in the leading article of the editorial page. In these days of malignant democracy, the vulgar must be kept well oiled. Even the estimable Sunpaper is not above slapping them, on occasion, with balmy unguents. O tempora! O mores!

Whether the Hon. Mr. Wood is genuinely one of God’s creatures or merely a new nom de graisse of the Hon. Aristides Sophocles Goldsborough, I am unable to say with authority, but in either case it is safe to prophecy that his conduct of the Telegram will afford its readers refined divertisement. In politics, it appears, he is a Progressive, but with one leg glued firmly to the earth. This dual allegiance reveals itself in his current issue, for in the poem I have mentioned he carols gloomily of the “oppressions that curse the human race” and in an editorial paragraph he apologizes for thus “dislosing a little of the radical spirit.” His motto, he says, is “Ichkibible”–the very essence of discreet compromise.

LEt the Hon. Mr. Wood be made welcome in the abattoir of Baltimore journalism! The Democratic Telegram, under the Hon. Mr. Frick’s editorship, was a rambunctious and racy gazette, and it is pleasant to see another live one in the editotial chair. The other weekly papers of Baltimore show a gradual degeneration, a progressive arterio-sclerosis. Time was when the Maryland Suffrage News, for example, was full of red-hot proposals for the unanimous mutilation of sinners, but of late it has sunk into platitudinizing. And the Municipal Journal has gone the same route; once full of bile and wormwood, it is now scented with heliotrope. May the Hon. Mr. Wood cut loose! In particular, may he keep a sharp eye upon the stealthy immoralities of the Sunpaper!

The Hon. D. Bachrach’s laborious pitchings and rollings in today’s Letter Column must give grief to every humane man. Notice his astounding answer to the first of my two Single Tax problems. I asked him how the community would profit, under the Single Tax, in the event the value of a dwelling house jumped from $7,493.18 to $10,560.87--and his reply is that “our busy assessors would soon have it in the tax bill.” What tax bill? Does the Hon. Mr. Bachrach actually stand up in meeting and argue that, under the Single Tax, houses would still be taxed? If so, let him cite his authority, giving chapter and verse in the Gospel According to St. Henry.

As for his answer to my second question, I leave it to the sorrowful inspection of the judicious. What he argues, in substance, is that the Single Tax would decrease my rent, and hence my living expenses. But how in the world is the doubling of taxes on land going to decrease the rent of land? Does the Hon. Mr. Bachrach actually believe that landlords pay taxes?

Fireside statistics in the estimable Maryland Suffrage News:

In this glorious country of ours [sic] * * * there are at least 500,000 prostitutes * * * and over 500,000 persons die from the effect of alcohol annually.

Going up! Even the Hon. William H. Anderson, that gifted mathematician, has never soared so high in his divinations. In his famous pamphlet on “The Effect of Alcoholic Drinks Upon the Human Mind and Body” he made two separate and antagonistic estimates of the mortality from the liquor habit. Turn to page 23 of that pamphlet and you will see a diagram showing that “alcoholism (and liver cirrhosis due to alcohol)” cause 33,129 deaths in the United States every year. And on page 22, directly opposite, you will see that estimate boldly raised to 65,897, or “one out of every 7.5 adult male deaths.”

Multiply 65,897 by 7.5 and you get 494,227–according to Anderson, the total number of adult male deaths” in the country. But this is 5,773 less than the total of deaths from alcoholism alone according to the suffragettes. Even supposing that all the adult males who die are killed by alcohol, there remains the disconcerting balance of 5,773. Can it be that there are also boozing ladies in this fair republic, or, as the Germans say, suafschwestern? If so, are any of them suffragettes? Let us have more light on this point.

Statistical information from the well-informed Hot Towel:

At least 200,000 persons in this city will celebrate New Year’s Eve [i. e., alcoholically]. That includes those who gather in hotels, restaurants and private houses. From an estimate made by an experienced bartender they will consume about 25,000 gallons of eggnog. * * * The [hotel] managers hope the merrymakers will spend at least $100,000. * * * More than $50,000 will be spent on champagne alone.

In other words, the bibuli will blow in more in one evening than the Anti-Saloon League has spent during the whole year. Ah, the sublime system of checks and balances!

What has become of the Greater Baltimore Committee? Who stole the sugar refinery? Has anybody seen the Salvarsan Fund?

A copy or “Dora Thorne” to any theologian in good standing who will say publicly, on his word of honor, that he believes the Anti-Saloon League to be a Christian organization.

Wait for the big show at Annapolis! The committee to investigate the Anti-Saloon League and the Civil Liberty League has been selected and eminent counsel has been engaged. Be patientm gents! The greatest vaudeville ever seen is upon us!