If you read one thing about the Baltimore riots today, read this

baltimore-riotI have nothing useful to add to the discussion about the Baltimore riots. I think, though, that Kevin D. Williamson, who has been on fire for the past many months, has the most pertinent, and enjoyably written, commentary to date:

American cities are by and large Democratic-party monopolies, monopolies generally dominated by the so-called progressive wing of the party. The results have been catastrophic, and not only in poor black cities such as Baltimore and Detroit. Money can paper over some of the defects of progressivism in rich, white cities such as Portland and San Francisco, but those are pretty awful places to be non-white and non-rich, too: Blacks make up barely 9 percent of the population in San Francisco, but they represent 40 percent of those arrested for murder, and they are arrested for drug offenses at ten times their share of the population. Criminals make their own choices, sure, but you want to take a look at the racial disparity in educational outcomes and tell me that those low-income nine-year-olds in Wisconsin just need to buck up and bootstrap it?

Black urban communities face institutional failure across the board every day. There are people who should be made to answer for that: What has Martin O’Malley to say for himself? What can Ed Rendell say for himself other than that he secured a great deal of investment for the richest square mile in Philadelphia? What has Nancy Pelosi done about the radical racial divide in San Francisco?

[snip]

The evidence suggests very strongly that the left-wing, Democratic claques that run a great many American cities — particularly the poor and black cities — are not capable of running a school system or a police department. They are incompetent, they are corrupt, and they are breathtakingly arrogant. Cleveland, Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore — this is what Democrats do.

Definitely read the whole thing.

The Bookworm Beat 4-27-15 — “not yet the Apocalypse” edition and open thread

Woman writingMy brain is filled with Apocalyptic imagery, but it’s not because Obama is president, the Middle East is in flames, our southern border has collapsed, our economy is stagnant, Greece may drag down Europe, and Islamist’s are resurgent everywhere. It’s actually because last night, when my work load finally showed signs of a much-desired longish-term slowdown, I started reading two excellent books.

The first is Simon Sebag Montefiore’s lyrical and highly informative Jerusalem: The Biography, which takes the reader from Jerusalem’s pre-Biblical beginnings, to Old Testament and New Testament history, and then through post-Biblical history, all the way up to the 1967 War. It’s a lovely book, but I’ve just finished reading about Jesus’s crucifixion and am working my way toward’s the Kingdom of Israel’s destruction in 70 AD, so you can see why I’d be having an “end of days” feeling.

The second book that I’m reading, equally good so far, isn’t helping. It’s John Kelly’s The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of All Time, another elegantly written book that makes you realize the speed with which civilization can collapse (as if the recent Ebola scare wasn’t reminder enough). I think too that Kelly, with a historian’s true knowledge rather than a Progressive’s fantasy-science melange, might just be a climate change skeptic. It’s this bit of information that’s the giveaway, about the changing climate and demographic conditions in Europe in the five hundred years leading to the plague:

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Musings about the Leftist Man-God and his unshakeable belief in his infallibility

Michaelangelo hands of God and AdamI continue to be unpleasantly overwhelmed by deadline intensive work.  Breaks are few and far between.  The virtue of this is that, separated from the minutiae of daily news, I’ve had the opportunity to step back and focus on larger trends.  My musings today too me into the realms of Leftist Infallibility.

One of the most frightening things that characterizes the Left it its sense of its own god-like power and knowledge. That’s always been present in its atheistic tendencies (look at the bloodshed of the French, Russian, and Chinese revolutions), but we’re seeing a different version of it in the 21st century, one that I think arises because of “scientific utopianism.” When I say “scientific utopianism,” I’m talking about a sense that began with post-WWII culture and, all emerging data to the contrary, continues to escalate amongst Lefties.

Scientific utopianism used to be summed up in the old slogan “Better living through chemistry.”  That was a commercial line to sell products, both licit and illicit.  Amongst Leftists, however, it’s the belief that science — or, more specifically, their take on science — offers all the cures for mankind, not to mention the power to destroy mankind.

Back in the 1950s, although people understood that science could wreak unbearable havoc (e.g., the atom bomb), at the same time possibilities seemed so limitless and exciting. I think Disney captured it best in educational cartoons celebrating medical and scientific advances, in Tomorrowland, and in the Carousel of Progress. People envisioned a world of clean, easy, unlimited travel; perfect health; endless food and clean water supplies; the ability to wage war quickly, efficiently and, if possible, relatively painlessly; day-to-day comforts that effectively ended work; and comfortable control over the environment.

Barring that looming mushroom-shaped cloud, this scientific utopianism promised the Baby Boomers (and their progeny) that Nothing was Impossible. The ordinary consumer, not given to deep thought, understood these  “Better living through chemistry” and “Nothing is impossible” slogans to mean basic, and wonderful things, such as the eradication of polio and the introduction of the microwave often.

For the Leftist intellectual, though, these slogans meant something much greater: If nothing is impossible for man, who needs God? Man is God. So as not to offend those “voting morons in flyover country” (and yes, that is how the Left thinks of you), it’s dangerous to be tactless enough to admit that man is his own God, but the Leftist intellectual class certainly concluded that this was the case.

If man is God, he has asked all the right questions and, solipsistically, has all the right answers. Your Man-God has cleared the way for himself: His beliefs about the Big Bang (a Catholic priest may have come up with the idea, but it clearly means no God); climate (man is more powerful than the earth, and the solar system); diet (science or their accompanying Gaia worshippers, who are the crunchy version of God deniers, know exactly what you should and shouldn’t eat); medicine (which merges perfectly with the “man is God” ethos about science and food); and gender (mere biology is so limiting, and Man-God can and should transcend it) have create to the Man-God’s satisfaction a fully realized universe and moral doctrine. Moreover, given that this is a faith, whether achieved through white-collar science or crunchy Gaia-worship, this new Man-God, is just like that nasty, judgmental, homophobic, probably racist, and definitely misogynistic Biblical God in one very significant way:  He is infallible.

Except that every month a slew of news stories shows that your newly anointed Man-God  is not infallible. Indeed, far from it.  In a very short time, we’ve learned the following (and I’ll leave you to search for links, if you’re so inclined): butter in moderation is not bad for you; cheese in moderation is not bad for you; whole milk in moderation is not bad for you; salt in moderation is not bad for you; artificial sugar in any amount is bad for you; polar bears are not going extinct; glaciers are not vanishing; the Arctic and Antarctic are still here; hurricanes are not worse; the ocean has not risen to the proportions of that mythical Biblical flood; the Big Bang theory may be wrong; unlimited amounts of marijuana probably aren’t harmless; chocolate is healthy (I always knew this); coffee is healthy; vaccinations do not cause autism; and on and on. I bet that, even as you’re reading this, you’re mentally tallying up all the recent stories I’ve forgotten that turn conventional wisdom on its head.

The problem with having elevated yourself to the altar is that the view from there is nice. There’s a heady pleasure in seeing people bow down, worship, and obey your every command. The world’s collective Leftists are therefore unwilling to acknowledge their all-too-human fallibility. Instead, they’re doubling down on their assertions, predictions, demands, and sense of infallibility.

Think of it: In a Judeo-Christian era, when individuals or select groups arrogated god-status to themselves, they’d be appropriately ridiculed and marginalized. Now, they’re worshiped and we offer them the keys to our earthly kingdom.

The Bookworm Beat 4-14-15 — the procrastination edition and open thread

Woman writingI have work to do today, but no actual deadlines, so naturally I’m procrastinating like crazy. And what better way to do so than to share a few interesting things with you? How about my starting with the most inspirational. I’ll go from the sublime to the ridiculous, which means I’ll end with links to articles about Hillary’s candidacy.

Noah Galloway, American soldier, DWTS contender

Noah Galloway lost his left arm and leg in Iraq. His appearance on Dancing With The Stars was a little bit by way of being a gimmick because how can someone dance without an arm and with a totally lost leg (i.e., no knee)?

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The Bookworm Beat 4-10-15 — the mother of all round-ups

Woman writingThis is it — the ultimate round-up, consisting of more than 20 links that I’ve collected over the past couple of days and wanted to share with you. Nothing works better at squeezing a nice long blog post than a series of legal pleadings I really don’t want to write. By the way, these squiblets aren’t in any particular order, so you never know what gems you might not find as you scroll down.

The weakening of the Leftist mind

In an earlier post, I wrote about the fact that our younger generation has turned into a passive, sheeple generation, meekly towing the Leftist party line. Astute readers pointed out that, aside from the 1960s children, who were spoon-fed their rebellion by communist spies, past Americans generations also weren’t given to a rebellion. That’s true — but at least past generations were taught analytical and reasoning skills. If they desired, they could analyze and challenge their era’s zeitgeist. Our current generation can’t.

And how do I know I’m correct in reaching that conclusion? Because my reasoning coincidences with Daniel Greenfield’s. In a post about the closing of the liberal mind, Greenfield explains how so-called “liberals” have reduced themselves to this state:

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The Bookworm Beat 4-7-15 — the time “thief edition” and open thread

Woman writingOy! Even my interruptions keep being interrupted today. Still, I managed to gather together a few very interesting things:

Heading into a another cooling period

Even as the Left gets increasingly hysterical about “climate change,” which has become an all-purpose excuse for everything from drought, to deluge, to prostitution, actual data reveals that, to the extent the climate is changing, it’s getting colder. This is really bad because, as the California drought is reminding everyone, the one thing we can’t do without is water.

During warming periods, water trapped in ice is released, making the world a wetter and therefore more bountiful place. During cold cycles, though, there’s less available water, which severely cramps human access to arable land. Just think of Greenland, which was actually fruitful during the warming Middle Ages. Today, “Greenland” is a serious misnomer:

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We’ve raised the “sheeple generation,” because today’s kids wouldn’t dream of questioning authority

SheepleI was a little girl when the phrase “Question Authority” became the mantra for teens and young adults. To give that generation credit, even as they stopped bathing and warped their brains with drugs, they really did make an effort to challenge the shibboleths that the academic establishment and the media sent their way. Unfortunately, all of their ultimate conclusions were absolutely wrong, but at least they tried.

These wrong conclusions have now become the academic, political, and media shibboleths of the 21st century. War is bad; the current “science” emanating from the liberal establishment cannot be questioned; Israel is an evil, apartheid state; whites created a corrupt America so that they and their misbegotten creation must be destroyed; illegal immigrants are all victims of white hegemony and need to be welcomed with open arms; Muslim terrorists are merely disappointed job seekers; etc.

What’s terribly sad about the current generation of teens and young adults is that they wouldn’t dream of questioning these authoritative pronouncements — and this is true despite the fact that they are the first generation to have at their fingertips a powerful tool that gives them all the information they need to ask questions and, perhaps, come up with different answers.

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The Bookworm Beat 3-27-15 — “The World Turned Upside Down” edition and open thread

Woman writingWord must have gotten out that I have a temporary hiatus in the endless mountain of legal work that’s overwhelmed me, because the phone hasn’t stopped ringing all morning. Every time my fingers get anywhere near my keyboard, the phone rings, I glance at the caller ID and, yes, it’s a call I need to take.

The most interesting call I received came in a short while ago from a delightful, interesting man who will be speaking to a local conservative group with which I’m involved. His topic: Israel. In past weeks, some in the group have been a little worried that this man, a Democrat and Obama supporter, might inadvertently antagonize our group. Speaking to him today, though, I think he and our group will be singing the same song.  He seems to feel, as I do, that  — Obama is doing something unconscionably dangerous in allying us with Iran while giving Iran the nuclear go ahead, and something profoundly evil by sacrificing Israel to achieve this unconscionable goal.

I am deeply, deeply disturbed when I think what Obama is doing in the Middle East. By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes. This is not ineptitude or misguided faith. Obama, dragging the United States along behind him, is deliberately embracing evil.

All I can think of lately, and you’ll see why as you read further, is the British military band in 1781, at the Surrender at Yorktown, playing “The World Turned Upside Down.”

Don’t just blame Lena Dunham; The New Yorker published her

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Leftists: Damaged individuals who have formed a priesthood to take revenge on society at large

School-bully-001Near the end of his talk about American communists’ long-term plan (now coming to fruition) to flood America with a permanent Democrat majority through Hispanic amnesty, Trevor Loudon tossed in an interesting throwaway.  When someone asked him why Leftists would want to reduce the US to the status of a Latin American banana Republic, he said that, in a conversation with Tammy Bruce (a former hard Leftist herself), she told him “They’re all damaged individuals.”  That is, we have a powerful political movement made up of damaged people out for revenge.

That notion popped into my mind again today when I read on my Facebook stream the newest attack against the Tom Cotton letter.  (You’ll recall that the first attack was to call Cotton and the other signatories “traitors” and “Logan Act violators,” followed by efforts to claim that reserve officers violated various military codes.)  The newest claim that’s come to my attention is that Cotton and Co. are AIPAC’s puppets:

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The Tom Cotton letter usefully highlights Leftist stupidity

1364477366-tom-cottonI side with the people who think that Tom Cotton and the 46 senators who joined with him in an open letter to apprise the Iranians about the way our Constitutional system works did the world a great service.  As I’ll discuss at greater length below, the letter is a simple, beautifully written exposition about the American Constitution and its effects.  In addition, it’s a wonderful honey pot for calling stupid Progressives out of their dark caves and exposing their ignorance to bright sunlight.

The Cotton letter is really nothing more than an elegant primer about the balance of powers and the way in which Congress, which more closely represents the American people than does the president, gets to have a say in foreign policy.  For those of you who haven’t yet read the letter, or for those who would enjoy re-reading it, here’s the text:

It has come to our attention while observing your nuclear negotiations with our government that you may not fully understand our constitutional system. Thus, we are writing to bring to your attention two features of our Constitution—the power to make binding international agreements and the different character of federal offices—which you should seriously consider as negotiations progress.

First, under our Constitution, while the president negotiates international agreements, Congress plays the significant role of ratifying them. In the case of a treaty, the Senate must ratify it by a two-thirds vote. A so-called congressional-executive agreement requires a majority vote in both the House and the Senate (which, because of procedural rules, effectively means a three-fifths vote in the Senate). Anything not approved by Congress is a mere executive agreement.

Second, the offices of our Constitution have different characteristics. For example, the president may serve only two 4-year terms, whereas senators may serve an unlimited number of 6-year terms. As applied today, for instance, President Obama will leave office in January 2017, while most of us will remain in office well beyond then—perhaps decades.

What these two constitutional provisions mean is that we will consider any agreement regarding your nuclear-weapons program that is not approved by the Congress as nothing more than an executive agreement between President Obama and Ayatollah Khamenei. The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time.

We hope this letter enriches your knowledge of our constitutional system and promotes mutual understanding and clarity as nuclear negotiations progress.

There are a few things you need to notice about the letter to appreciate just how terribly Leftists are beclowning themselves. First, its tone is extremely respectful. It says nothing derogatory about anyone. Second, its content makes no reference whatsoever to the terms of Obama’s negotiations with the Mullahs. The only thing it does is offer information readily available to anyone who bothers to read the United States Constitution. (Reading the Constitution, of course, is as easy as plugging the words “United States Constitution” into Bing.)

This lucid, respectfully-stated summation of publicly available information has started a hysterical firestorm on the Left. The first cries were directed to all 47 Senators — Traitors! Logan Act violators! Both these insults were the products of stupid minds.

With regard to the treason claim, the letter certainly didn’t give aid and comfort to an enemy, which is the definition of treason. We’re not at war with Iran and the Mullahs do not appear to have received either aid or comfort ftom learning that Obama was over-promising. Indeed, they seemed angered and disappointed, which is how we like it when we’re dealing with people who, even though we’re not at war with them, have been at war with us since 1979.

The hysterics do not fare any better with the Logan Act claim. The Logan Act forbids unauthorized citizens from negotiating with foreign governments having a dispute with the U.S. An example of the type of conduct contemplated under the Logan Act occurs when a member of the armed forces travels to a foreign capital to engage in peace talks with an enemy that is facing off against our troops in a hot war on the battlefield. That’s a Logan Act violation.

The Logan Act, however, does not apply to United States Senators who send an open letter summarizing the Constitutional balance of powers. There is nothing in the Constitution that prevents Senators from visiting with, talking to, or trading information with foreign powers. Senators do it all the time, whether to gather useful information or to make nice with dictators. As long as they’re not entering into negotiations for international agreements, it’s all good — and if the Senator in question who does that is a Democrat, it’s still all good.

The Leftists seem to have figured out that, despite getting almost 300,000 signatures on their petition seeking Logan Act charges against the Republican Senators, that petition isn’t going anywhere — except that it will force the White House, when it responds to the petition, to concede that the Republican Senators had the perfect right to act as they did.

Balked in their quest for a collective spill of Republican blood, the Lefties have a new tactic. They’re now pointing to members of the armed forces and accusing them of having violated the military code.

Ground central for loony Leftist lies is the Daily Kos, which is suddenly extremely solicitous about the whole military code of conduct.  (Keep in mind these are the same people who still think John Kerry is a hero for having thrown someone else’s military medals over the White House fence and who include in their Big Tent  the whole cohort of screamers who spent the entire Iraq war calling our troops “baby killers.”)

The Daily Kos’s particular target is Jodi Ernst. I really can’t do justice to its fulminations, so let me quote. (Since I don’t feel like honoring the Daily Kos with a hyperlink, here’s a non-hyperlinked URL if you want to see the original: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/03/12/1370336/-Lt-Col-Joni-Ernst-should-be-court-martialed-for-signing-the-seditious-letter-to-Iran.)

It is a privilege to serve in the US military.  With that privilege comes obligations.  Following military law is one of them. When Lt. Col. Joni Ernst signed the seditious letter to Iran, she broke a serious law.

Lt. Col. Joni Ernst, the junior senator from Iowa, serves as a lieutenant colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard. As such, she is bound by the Iowa State Code of Military Justice.  Her signing of the seditious letter to Iran is a clear and direct violation of Chapter 29B.85 of the Iowa State Code of Military Justice.

29B.85  CONTEMPT TOWARD OFFICIALS.
Any person subject to this code who uses contemptuous words against the president, the governor, or the governor of any other state, territory, commonwealth, or possession in which that person may be serving, shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

This is very serious infraction.  We are a nation governed by civilians.  Our Commander-in-Chief is a civilian.  The government officials that hold ultimate authority over our military are civilians.  This is true at the federal level and the state level.  This has always been the case since George Washington was president.  He resigned his military commission to accept the position of president.   We have never in our history had a military ruler.  Military obedience to civilian authority is critical and essential if we are to maintain the democracy we inherited.   That is why “contempt towards officials” is such a serious matter. Lincoln enforced that discipline during the Civil War. Even with the imposition of martial law, Lincoln remained a civilian commander. Truman enforced the same discipline after WWII when he relieved Gen. MacArthur of his command. Obama enforced the same discipline recently when Gen. McChrystal was relieved of his command. There is nothing anachronistic about this fundamental principle.

Let me say this very slowly because we’re clearly dealing with teeny-weeny brains here:  There. Are. No. Contemptuous. Words. Against. Obama. In. The. Tom. Cotton. Letter.  The letter’s only specific references to President Obama are as follows (emphasis added):

Second, the offices of our Constitution have different characteristics. For example, the president may serve only two 4-year terms, whereas senators may serve an unlimited number of 6-year terms. As applied today, for instance, President Obama will leave office in January 2017, while most of us will remain in office well beyond then—perhaps decades.

What these two constitutional provisions mean is that we will consider any agreement regarding your nuclear-weapons program that is not approved by the Congress as nothing more than an executive agreement between President Obama and Ayatollah Khamenei. The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time.

The first reference notes with complete factual accuracy, and no disrespect, when Obama’s term of office expires.  The second reference notes with complete factual accuracy, and no disrespect, that without three-fifths of Congress approving any agreement between President Obama and Ayatollah Khamenei, there is no treaty, there is only an executive agreement.

Now, if the Cotton letter had gone on to add that President Obama, despite his status as a constitutional law teacher, is an ignoramus when it comes to the Constitution; or that Obama is obviously engaged in a serious fraud against Iran and others in the world to the extent they rely on him to deliver a treaty; or that Obama seems to have abandoned the limitations of the U.S. Constitution in favor of the power of a tyrant — well, any one of those statements might be deemed “contemptuous.”

That, of course, is not what our reservist Senators did.  Indeed, one could argue that reciting manifest facts about the Constitution’s language is the most respectful act a military person can perform.  It’s heartening to know that the men and women who put themselves in the front line know what they’re fight for — and it’s not the United Nations, which Obama is now trying to bring into the loop in order to bypass Congress.

Joni Ernst isn’t the only target.  Over at the Washington Post, Jonathan Capehart is just thrilled to write that a retired GENERAL also thinks Cotton was disrespectful:

I turned to retired Major Gen. Paul D. Eaton for perspective. He wouldn’t say Cotton and Co. were “traitors,” either. He had a better word.

“I would use the word mutinous,” said Eaton, whose long career includes training Iraqi forces from 2003 to 2004. He is now a senior adviser to VoteVets.org. “I do not believe these senators were trying to sell out America. I do believe they defied the chain of command in what could be construed as an illegal act.” Eaton certainly had stern words for Cotton.

“What Senator Cotton did is a gross breach of discipline, and especially as a veteran of the Army, he should know better,” Eaton told me. “I have no issue with Senator Cotton, or others, voicing their opinion in opposition to any deal to halt Iran’s nuclear progress. Speaking out on these issues is clearly part of his job. But to directly engage a foreign entity, in this way, undermining the strategy and work of our diplomats and our Commander in Chief, strains the very discipline and structure that our foreign relations depend on, to succeed.” The consequences of Cotton’s missive were plainly apparent to Eaton. “The breach of discipline is extremely dangerous, because undermining our diplomatic efforts, at this moment, brings us another step closer to a very costly and perilous war with Iran,” he said.

Somewhere along the line, Major Gen. Eaton (clearly the very model of a modern major general who sounds erudite but actually knows nothing), has lost sight of the fact that Cotton is not an active duty military man but is, instead, an active duty American Senator.  Cotton’s obligations lie with the American people, not with the President — especially when the President is not acting in his role as commander-in-chief but is, instead, acting in his role as sell-out and appeaser-in-chief.

Incidentally, if it wasn’t immediately obvious from Eaton’s remarkably uninformed remarks, he’s also a hard core Lefty.  Considering that Eaton is not only a moron, but also a sufficiently adept political animal to have held a high position during Operation Iraqi Freedom’s lowest ebb , before General Petraeus turned it around, I can only say that I, for one, am profoundly grateful that Eaton retired and is now reduced to making little clucking noises on Leftist media rather than having direct responsibility for American troops.  As a civilian, he’s just one of a herd of similarly-situated Leftist lickspittles.  Were he still in the military, he could do real damage.

Getting a Progressive to “yes” on conservative ideas

Flowers in the desert

Planting seeds in the Progressive desert.

I spent some time talking to an incredibly nice, helpful, genuinely kind hard-Leftist who has dreams of a President Bernie Sanders. The wisdom of years has taught me that one makes no headway with someone like this by saying “Are you out of your cotton-pickin’ mind?” I’d barely have finished my first sentence about the inevitable evils of true socialism before she would have raised her defenses and either tuned me out or attacked me — and really, I would have deserved it if I’d been that disrespectful and superficial.

What I tried to do was to work with her to get her to re-think her favored shibboleths while manifestly respecting her very real intelligence. I always hope that these efforts are like dropping wild flower seeds on an apparently barren desert. It seems like a wasted effort until the first rainfall….

I actually think I made a little progress with this Progressive, because I got her to agree with all of these core principles:

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Pamela Geller adds another chapter to my ongoing “Party of Poop” series of posts

dog-poopingAlmost since the day I started blogging, I have commented on the Leftist obsession with excrement.  My first post on the subject was in 2004 or 2005, when I was still a blogging neophyte:

Is it just me, or are people who come down on the liberal side of things much more inclined to rely on obscenities and scatalogical references? Whenever I read the comments liberals post at conservative websites, or even when I read the material liberals post on their own websites, I’m just inundated by wave after wave of swear words and potty references. I’m not going to sully my own posting with this kind of language, but you might want tovisit the comments gracing Diplomad’s latest, most-excellent screed about the UN. (I will admit, Diplomad’s title and article use the word “turd,” but it’s carefully introduced as a child’s peculiarly apt slip of the tongue.) Or go to the Daily Kos (which I find difficult to read, since it’s written along the lines of a high schooler’s “U R 2 kool” posting). You might check out this urinary description of Tom DeLay. I’ve always thought dirty language is the last refuge of the those who have little education, poor analytical abilities and, generally, little interesting to say. Any of you have any take on this?

I had cause to revisit that observation in 2006:

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