The Occasional Joke

Nurse: Patient's name?

Centurion: Marcus Licinius Crassus

Nurse: And his date of birth?

Centurion: 115 BC.

Nurse: All right. And what is he here for?

Centurion: Cataphract surgery.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Another one from the archves

This was written, at least according to the date, on 01/01/2000, apparently to mark the turning over of the century or something. Not sure, actually, what I was talking about, but here it is, claiming to be a piece resurrected from a hundred years back.

Woode-Charles Intelligencer and The Scio Township Farmer's Voice

All the herein under found material is the sole property and the copyright of which is held by, in the year of our Lord, 1900, by the Woode-Charles Family, its heirs and assigns.



Ann Arbor: Although it is not our custom to rant or to take up lightly a potentially controversial position, this paper can no longer remain silent in the matter of this most dangerous and insidious tendency of our elected officials, loosely termed by them and even by those opposed to them as "progressivism." For so-called progressivism, make no mistake, threatens the very foundations of our republic and the cornerstones of our individual liberties. And lest anyone should consider the danger to be slight or the threat to be far removed, they have only to remind themselves that our state government is even now in the hands of a man very closely associated with progressivism, none less than the ex-Mayor of the City of Detroit, Hazen Pingree.

What are Governor Pingree's associations and his intents? Recall, first of all, that he is usually mentioned in the same breath with such wild- eyed radicals as Mayors Johnson and Baker of Cleveland, those very anarchists who championed the municipal ownership of utilities, taking the bread from the mouths of those who invested their hard-earned capital in the development of righteous monopolies. And is he, Pingree, not also stamped from the same mold as that raving madman, Robert La Follette, now striving to sway the good people of Wisconsin from their steady, American values and convince them to elect him, too, to the position of Governor? What can we expect from these savage, bomb- flinging fiends, if we allow them to continue their assault upon our virtues? Allow us to suggest a few likely if not inevitable consequences of the unchecked growth of the progressive view of society.


Is it not bad enough that mere laboring men now band together to stymie the legitimate aims of capital? What if, as they now threaten to do, the educated classes, such as doctors, continue their steps toward consolidation? We understand that in a very few years, a nationwide association of physicians may come into being, stifling by its very orthodoxy the creativity and enterprise of the individual experimenter and the noble institution of midwifery. And let us not even imagine the results of a similar combination of members of the legal profession -- the thought is too horrible to entertain.


It is commonly known that progressives hold as their highest aim the development of a society run by engineers and with efficiency its summum bonum. The tract published last year by Mr. Thorstein Veblen makes this extremely clear. What it does not state is the condition of slavery to which the majority of Americans would be reduced by such a lunatic philosophy. Imagine a society in which engineers were the leaders! Imagine the horror of even polite conversation, sprinkled with the language of the engine room, the drafting table, and the logarithm! Imagine the fate of a people, so besotted with technology that they allow themselves to be swept up in its cold, unfeeling embrace, abandoning the delights of the table, the hearth, and even the boudoir!


The progressives, as is well known, advocate nothing less than increased freedom and participation in society for women. However, if women are allowed these liberties, will not their unquestioned frailness require new devices and conveyances? What woman, burdened with children and livestock, can handle a full-sized carriage or buckboard wagon? Will it not be necessary for a family to have two vehicles, one for him and one for her? Will our streets not become choked to impassability with these new, miniature carriages, driven poorly and often in the improper direction?


Dogs and their bustling, robust American nobleness are another target of the vile progressives. It has been clearly determined from private documents that Pingree and his ring of accomplices have a plan to introduce small, foreign, even German dogs into Michigan, eventually supplanting our virile, healthy hounds with yapping, mindless little informers and socialists, carrying tales back to their masters in Lansing while you and I sleep the uneasy, dream-ridden sleep of the just but persecuted ...

(Note: the Editor, Mr. Woode, did not finish that last sentence in time for the paper to be set up in type, owing to a sudden fit. The management apologizes for the truncated nature of this week's editorial and hopes to resume a full and open discourse on the health of the state in the weeks to come. -- R. Ludwig Charles, Publisher.)


The Woode-Charles Intelligencer and The Scio Township Farmer's Voice is supplied with funds to continue its crusade for the rights of the businessman, the farmer, and the landed gentry by the kind offices of The Odd Town Tavern, where the sons of liberty and justice repair once a week to refresh themselves, seek enlightenment, and draw up lists of names for the coming week's tar-and-featherings.

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