Re: the right to purse excellence

Charles (
Fri, 2 May 1997 12:31:12 -0700 (PDT)

On Fri, 2 May 1997, Dale R. Reed wrote:

> When this country was being formed, long before there were compulsory
> attendance laws, the founding fathers were writing down ideas that I do
> not believe that the present students can read. The pamphlets and books
> sold extremely well and obviously the voters that established this
> country understood the messages.

The upper class from which these `fathers' came (or which they joined
by business acumen) was highly literate. Most peasants were not.

Did you think the Constitution was ratified by popular vote? It wasn't.

> Maybe they present students can read all the individual words but I do
> not believe they can understand and appreciate what the founding fathers
> were talking about. I know you don't Charles.

Can you elaborate on this ad hominem assertion?

> And I have read that present polling indicates that if the Bill of
> Rights were put to the vote today they would be voted down.

Without discussing the validity of polling data reported in the popular
press, I remind you again that amendments to the Constitution are no more
subject to popular vote than was the document itself.

> Anyway, rates are given in numbers, and I repeat where on the web,
> or otherwise, can I find these numbers that you allude to Charles?

I'll see what I can find. But just for starters I can tell you that
almost every peasant in China today can read. Fifty years ago almost none
could. That is wholly the result of compulsory schooling. Europe
experienced the same phenomenon in recent centuries. I know it; you know
it; everyone knows it. Your demand for hard data from eras when hard data
was not collected is mere courtroom quibbling. You sure you aren't a

- Charles -