Ten Questions for Monday

by A. Jay Adler on October 25, 2010
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All right, move it along. The weekend is over. Get back to work.

  1. A person is asked whether the many tens of millions of dollars in anonymously donated funds being spent in this election year by third party organizations corrupts the political process. His response is “When people are losing on the issues, they talk about process.” Even if his own counter claim were true, has he responded to the question?
  2. Is there any general level of ignorance and foolishness sufficient for Tea Party candidates for office to be disqualified in a conservative mind as being fit to hold public office even if they do hate liberals, want to balance the budget and overturn national healthcare legislation, and believe that Social Security is a socialist conspiracy? Can you identify that level?
  3. Conservatives will argue that seven or nine years may not yet be enough to complete the missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, yet it took only a year, certainly, now, two, for them to declare President Obama’s economic policy a failure. Do you find any inconsistency in these differing standards of evaluation?
  4. If the spouses of Supreme Court justices believed to be liberal were politically active for liberal causes, how do you think conservatives would react?
  5. An individual makes a dramatically public and highly contentious stand on a nomination for the Supreme Court. If, many years later, the spouse of the nominee contacted that individual and called her a liar, would we not consider that an aggressive attack on the individual? If, on the other hand, the spouse contacts the individual privately and asks her in a spirit of conciliation to apologize, a request that contains within it the suggestion that the individual admits to having done anything wrong, how would you, then, take that phone call and how would you characterize the mind and act of the spouse who called?
  6. Bigot: a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially: one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.” Is a fear an opinion? Is it hatred or intolerance? Is a fear expressed a treatment of others? Is it advocacy of a form of treatment? If a person is to be vilified for acknowledging a feeling, however unreasonable and unattractive some may think it (and others not), on the basis of which he advocated not action, what distance do we have to travel to the thought police, except for the official guns and badges?
  7. When Adam Levick and I got all Philadelphia and New York on each other over the baseball playoffs, which between us thought that neither would make the World Series?
  8. Which news organization, NPR or Fox, do you think has 33 new bureaus and which 17? Which has 17 foreign bureaus and which 11? Which do you think has a bureau in Baghdad, and which not? Which do you think has no bureau in South America or Africa, while the other has? Which has 5 bureaus in Asia, while the other has none? Just asking.
  9. How many people do you think actually have sufficient scientific knowledge and specialized training to hold an opinion worth listening to on the subject of AGW (anthropogenic global warming)? How much knowledge and training would you think appropriate to warrant a challenge to an overwhelming (2-3 percentage points short of unanimous) consensus of the most active and prominent researchers in the field? If you knew that overwhelming numbers of the trained and untrained dissenters on the subject were, politically, philosophically opposed to the kinds of state-directed policies that the reality of AGW would necessitate, or that they had significant financial interests that were counter to an acceptance of the reality of AGW, would that influence your assessment of the character of their opposition?
  10. Do you want to read about how the New York Review of Books has become a leading intellectual force in the delegitimization campaign against Israel and apologetics for Islamofascism?
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