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The baseballers training in Florida look at the newspapers, tilt back their caps, and call it a jinx. Mr. Roosevelt is rumored to have told a press conference with a wholesome laugh that it is an affliction of undoubtedly some seriousness for his friends the American people. Geologists deny that it has any greater significance than a coincidence of geographical sequence. One minister in Vermont, it is said, confidentially revealed to his parishioners that if it isn't a sign of divine irritation over the condition of world politics, then it must be a renewed heavenly assault upon man's original sin. Every one attaches some superstition to the phenomenon, and no one, as far as can be observed, makes a practical fuss over America's flood wave.
The meteorological fad of floods began in 1936 when warm rains melted Eastern snows, flooding the Connecticut Valley and causing a second inundation of Johnstown in Pennsylvania, Heavy rainfalls always produce floods in river valleys, but Americans having a social mind no different from their political mind, are averse to avoiding trouble, whether war or flood, by doing something about it beforehand. They prefer to stick to the waiting tradition usually illustrated by young men twiddling their thumbs in the parlors of girls that will only be "a minute," and to observe that conservative custom which scorns action until there is cause. Certainly necessity demands that precautions be taken in areas suited for floods, that reservoirs for impounding water be constructed in such weak spots as the Ohio Valley, where last winter was staged the second act of the watery drama.
With water damaging Los Angeles to the extent of three million and devestating much Southern California life and property, it is easy to think that the series of floods in America constitute a westward movement. Although little truth lies in certain movie heroes became real for a day, ob-the report that the migration was paralyzed when viously the wetting Hollywood got was the biggest spectacle since De Mille threw Christians to the lions. Whether this trend will move across the Pacific next winter and submerge all nice Japanese, no one knows. If such a thing happens, the United States will tear up its various interpretations of the flood wave, refuse ever to build for the future, and thereafter depend upon the gods.
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