In late December and early January, the repose of my study was disturbed by a sound-truck belonging to Lyndon LaRouche—sometimes on its own, blaring beneath my window, and sometimes as part of a minuscule procession, a pathetic gaggle of LaRouche’s lunatic supporters. On one occasion there was a flat-bed truck with half-a-dozen people standing on it and beating their breasts against the cold—or possibly for joy—while purporting to represent “the LaRouche youth movement.” Someone banged a drum and all cheered to the strains of the Hallelujah Chorus, blaring through the speakers. On the side of the truck was a banner which read: “Dump Cheney, Vote LaRouche”—which to say the least of it shows an imperfect understanding of the way our electoral system works.

You would think young people, especially, would be ashamed to make such a public spectacle of themselves, but like derelicts mumb ...