ACCORDING to assurances reaching this country from many sources, the German retort to the last American note will be "conciliatory." Judging by the sinking of the Armenian, the German desire to conciliate the United States must not be allowed to interfere with the practice of killing Americans in the war zone. Discussion of the bearing of the Armenian case upon the controversy, however, must be postponed until a full investigation of the facts has been made. In any event, the tension of American public opinion has been very much relaxed. It is believed that war will be avoided.
A convention of working women was held recently in New York City. Teachers and office cleaners, glove and shoe makers, beer bottlers and telephone operators, garment workers, waitresses, candy and brush makers, stenographers, clerks and laundry workers, met to discuss industrial problems, to consider conditions in industry and shape and direct them. Even in the first days the difference in the character of this convention manifested itself in a spirit of fellowship and festivity, in verses and songs, in nonsense rhymes and general merrymaking.
In the the Malay Peninsula, when a magician wants to dispose of an enemy he makes an image like a corpse, a footstep long; then, to achieve his purpose, he follows this recipe: "If you want to cause sickness, you pierce the eye and blindness results ; or you pierce the waist and the stomach gets sick.
The sympathies of Spanish people in the present war are determined by the color of their home politics: clericals and conservatives are pro-German, liberals and revolutionists are pro-French. Special incidents like the invasion of Belgium, or moral considerations as to who may have been guilty of breaking the peace, do not count for much with either party.
One great thing the matter with Congress is congressmen. There are other things the matter with it, but the chief trouble is the men who make it up. Back of these men, and converting them seemingly into mere manifestations of it, is the terribly ancient system of doing Congressional business which pertains in the Capitol at Washington. In a sense the system is the matter with Congress, not congressmen; but if ever liberation is to come it will be had at human hands, and the hands will be those of the slaves of the system who alone can strike off their shackles.
The Supreme Court has decided that no state may forbid an employer to compel a workman to leave the union under penalty of losing his job. This is not a new decision, but the Court repeated its belief in the propriety of the principle and refused to change the law. The result is that it will take the consent of the legislatures of three quarters of all the states in conjunction with Congress to make illegal such a practice. How has such a result arrived?
One public benefit has already accrued from the nomination of Mr. Brandeis. It has started discussion of what the Supreme Court means in American life. From much of the comment since Mr. Brandeis's nomination it would seem that multitudes of Americans seriously believe that the nine Justices embody pure reason, that they are set apart from the concerns of the community, regardless of time, place and circumstances, to become the interpreter of sacred words with meaning fixed forever and ascertainable by a process of ineluctable reasoning.
THERE is a catchy reasonableness about the German-American argument that our neutrality is unreal unless we forbid the export of arms. Germany having lost command of the sea, American traffic in war supplies helps the Allies. If the position were reversed, our neutrality would still be impugned, but not by the German-Americans, and we should be written down as the partner of "Teutonic" militarism. Partisans aside, there is, we believe, a growing body of pacifist opinion, represented by men of the ability and character of Dr.