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Question Insanity: What to Ask Progressives
Pajamas Media ^ | December 27, 2010 | Oleg Atbashian

Posted on 12/27/2010 6:58:07 AM PST by Kaslin

An ex-Soviet immigrant goes Socratic on his liberal American critics.

The two women who showed up early for my book signing at a small bookstore in Houston, TX, never even bothered to open my book. Wearing knowing smiles, they engaged me in a bizarre discussion that wound up leaping all around the known and unknown universe. They hadn’t the slightest curiosity about my ideas as an ex-Soviet immigrant in America, or what I had to say about my experience working inside the two ideologically opposed systems. As it turned out, they had spotted my flyer in the store window the day before, and the book’s title — Shakedown Socialism — had enraged them so much that they decided to return the following day and give me a piece of their collective mind.

Their act almost made me feel as if I were back in the USSR, where the harassment of people with my opinions was the norm. The shorter, pudgier woman was the soloist bully, while her skinnier, older comrade provided backup vocals and noise effects. The duo’s repertoire was an eclectic collection of unoriginal talking points, each branded with an almost legible label: NPR, Air America, MSNBC, and so on. Not only were those mental fragments mismatched in key and rhythm; the very existence of harmony seemed an unfamiliar concept to them. But compared to the hard-core screaming I used to hear from card-carrying Soviet bullies, this was almost elevator music. If I had survived the original cast, I could certainly handle a watered-down remake.

Framed on their terms, the debate zigzagged from the evils of unbridled capitalism to global warming to Bush’s wars for oil to Sarah Palin’s stupidity. Since my opponents wouldn’t give me a chance to respond, I soon became bored and tried to entertain myself by redirecting the flow of mental detritus against itself in a way that would cause its own annihilation. I did that by asking questions.

I remembered an old trick invented in the fifth century B.C. by Socrates. Instead of telling people what he thought was true, Socrates asked seemingly simple questions that put his opponents on the path of finding the truth for themselves. Seeking genuine knowledge rather than mere victory in an argument, Socrates used his questions to cross-examine the hypotheses, assumptions, and axioms that subconsciously shaped the opinions of his opponents, drawing out the contradictions and inconsistencies they relied on.

As the two women faced my questions, their knowing smiles turned to scowls. Sometimes they would backtrack and correct their previous statements; sometimes, they would angrily storm out of the room in the manner of Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg on The View with Bill O’Reilly. After a while they would return with more talking points, and then they had to answer another logical question. My friends who witnessed the scene told me later they saw the shorter bully beginning to foam at the mouth.

Some heads contain an enormous number of facts that never bind with one another to form a fertile soil from which original ideas will grow. Each piece of information exists independently from the others, all of them continuously shifting and rolling around like grains of sand, forming ephemeral dunes in the lifeless deserts of their minds. The “open-minded” owners of such heads like to open their minds in the company of peers and admire each other’s fanciful sandy mindscapes. Every new whiff of wind or shaking of the head tosses the sand in more quirky patterns, forming new whimsical outlines. As previously covered facts are exposed and facts once exposed are concealed, a semblance of new ideas will emerge without any true change in content.

A similar effect is achieved when the content of such minds is raked by “intellectual” authors, filmmakers, and politicians — a practice they immensely enjoy, calling it a “spiritual” experience. They think of themselves as “intellectuals” while denying this title to anyone with a consistent, original mind. To have structured values is an unpardonable faux pas in their circles. Those who challenge them get sand thrown in their eyes — the punishment I was being subjected to at the Houston bookstore.

In return, I reminded my opponents about the existence of the scientific method of discovery — a logical device that had made Western civilization so successful in the past, but had now been abandoned by “progressive” thinkers. The resulting cognitive dissonance made them disoriented. In due course, they panicked and walked out, never to come back.

A few weeks later I told this story to Maggie Roddin, a radio talk show host in Philadelphia. (Click through my Website to hear this interview.) Maggie asked me to recall some of the questions, but I could only remember a few. She insisted that I write them down to share with her audience. As I did so, more questions began to pop up. Some were new, while others I had been asking for years while trying to make sense of my American experience. The resulting list may not exactly fit the definition of Socratic questioning. But in my defense, even Socrates couldn’t possibly envision the scale of absurdity a political argument could reach in the 21st century.

Dear Americans, these are some questions I have collected in 16 years of living in your country. Please see if you can answer them for me:

I hope you will find my questions handy. Feel free to pass them around and propose some of your own in the comments below.


TOPICS: Politics; Society
KEYWORDS: liberalism; ll; progressives; progressivism; questions
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1 posted on 12/27/2010 6:58:09 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

I got myself on several lefty email lists just to keep tabs on them.

Its amazing how much time they spend trying to indoctrinate their members to be open minded while telling them to ignore opposing opinions.


2 posted on 12/27/2010 7:05:47 AM PST by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: cripplecreek
Its amazing how much time they spend trying to indoctrinate their members to be open minded while telling them to ignore opposing opinions.

Pose that as a question and it would fit right in with this post. In fact, there's at least one question of like content...

3 posted on 12/27/2010 7:10:45 AM PST by bcsco
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To: Kaslin

The last question is especially telling.


4 posted on 12/27/2010 7:15:25 AM PST by mathluv ( Conservative first and foremost, republican second - GO SARAHCUDA!!!!)
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To: Kaslin

These are EXCELLENT questions. I plan to copy them to a Word document and use them! ;-)


5 posted on 12/27/2010 7:16:08 AM PST by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo...Sum Pro Vita. (Modified Decartes))
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To: mathluv

It is indeed


6 posted on 12/27/2010 7:22:30 AM PST by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: SumProVita
These are EXCELLENT questions. I plan to copy them to a Word document and use them! ;-)

I'm doing the same. I also had one or two I used over Christmas with the one democrat we were with: If capitalism is bad because people are inherently dishonest, then why is turning economic control over to the government good, since the government is made up of the most self-centered people alive?

7 posted on 12/27/2010 7:22:51 AM PST by bcsco
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To: bcsco

Look at the way they’ve run screaming from Glenn Beck. He’s offered them entire shows to explain themselves and to prove their points but they won’t be able to control the questions he asks.

Honest people would jump at the chance but they won’t. Instead they lie and claim Beck has said this or that and offer zero proof.


8 posted on 12/27/2010 7:23:17 AM PST by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: Kaslin

I tire of trying to have meaningful conversations with Soviet minions.


9 posted on 12/27/2010 7:27:48 AM PST by vanilla swirl (We are the Patrick Henry we have been waiting for!)
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To: cripplecreek

Same thing with Rush. Oh, he has his seminar caller at times, but they’re easily done with. But in both cases, the left uses disinformation and lies instead of debate. Of course that’s easily answered. They never win in any honest debate.


10 posted on 12/27/2010 7:31:27 AM PST by bcsco
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To: vanilla swirl
I tire of trying to have meaningful conversations with Soviet minions.

Try what this author recommends. Instead of attempting to converse, ask simple questions such as these. Whatever they say, don't respond, just ask another simple question. After all, that's what they're doing...

11 posted on 12/27/2010 7:33:14 AM PST by bcsco
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To: Kaslin

*bump*

I always get a kick out of this guy.

http://thepeoplescube.com/


12 posted on 12/27/2010 7:36:42 AM PST by Yardstick
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To: SumProVita

Ditto.


13 posted on 12/27/2010 7:37:41 AM PST by mtg
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To: Kaslin

ping


14 posted on 12/27/2010 7:39:33 AM PST by Juana la Loca
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To: bcsco

Yeah Rush is good in his own way. That’s why I don’t get into the arguments about which host is best. They’re all effective in their own ways.

This video of an interview Glenn Beck did with Richard Blumenthal is a perfect example of how the marxists react to simple questions. Blumenthal looked like he was going to cry.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxVi1EzUmMI


15 posted on 12/27/2010 7:41:22 AM PST by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: Kaslin

Thanks for the post. This reminds me of back in the seventies when I was going to school there were socialist and communist groups on many campuses. I love to discuss anything so I would talk to them and they didn’t like questions that didn’t agree with their viewpoints. My father was a factory worker and they really didn’t like it when I pointed out how different their image of the oppressed worker was from reality. It was talking to these folks that pushed me toward being more conservative as I grew up.


16 posted on 12/27/2010 7:46:32 AM PST by dog breath
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To: Kaslin; Liz; AT7Saluki; writer33

One of my faves - name one traditional liberal value.


17 posted on 12/27/2010 7:48:31 AM PST by Libloather (Teapublican, PROUD birther, mobster, pro-lifer, anti-warmer, enemy of the state, extremist....)
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To: Kaslin

“If G. W. Bush is, as liberals claim, the stupidest and most incompetent president in history (and liberals are the most intelligent of people), why was it so easy for Bush to convince so many liberals that Saddam Hussein had WMDs and was a danger to the entire world?”


18 posted on 12/27/2010 7:50:49 AM PST by Fresh Wind
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To: Kaslin

Excellent questions. Will save for future forwarding.


19 posted on 12/27/2010 7:53:03 AM PST by Padams
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To: Kaslin

I sympathize with the author. His first mistake was even engaging them, given their approach.

Speaking with liberals is possible, but only with liberals who are in the middle 30%.

The upper 30% are people who will vote liberal no matter what, and are too stupid to be able to engage in any kind of discussion. Most of the time they aren’t interested in any kind of discussion anyway.

The Bottom 30% are moonbats who are all too happy to engage in discussion, and will regurgite reams and reams of “data” they have harvested from the media. These are the ones who maintain it was Sarah Palin who said she could see Russia from her house, Bush stole the election, etc. etc. etc. These two persons who engaged the author were in this group. (I also lump in hard-core Aslinskyites in this group as well, even though they may not swallow all the liberal propaganda hook line and sinker. They know what their goals are, and they know how they want to get there. In both cases, it is utterly worthless to engage them. They have neither the patience or inclination to listen, the inability to apply reason or logic to an argument, and the inability to feel shame or cognitive misgivings when they are proven wrong. They lack introspection, and are incapable of evaluating their own stance dispassionately from a distance.

The middle 30% of liberals are usually thoughtful, intelligent,insightful and, generally decent people who allow their emotions to rule their intellect, and unthinkingly and unhesitatingly accept many tenents of liberal dogma, because “Who doesn’t want to help people in need?” You can talk to these folks, they will often listen, and sometimes, even change their views.

This author was from the Soviet Union, I would think he had them scoped out pretty quickly, even though he sounded surprised they existed.


20 posted on 12/27/2010 8:00:23 AM PST by rlmorel ("If this doesn't light your fire, Men, the pilot light's out!"...Coach Ed Bolin)
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To: dog breath

Life has a way of overcoming a lot of those leftist lies.

One of my favorites was the one about rich kids getting out of going to Vietnam. My grandfather was raising 5 kids on an electrician’s salary and neither one of his two sons went to Vietnam. He wasn’t anti war by any means. He had done his time in WWII europe and figured that it was enough.

One son joined the national guard and the other got a college deferment.


21 posted on 12/27/2010 8:00:48 AM PST by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: Kaslin

“Why are blacks who are proud of their race and heritage praised by liberals, and whites who are proud of their race and heritage condemned by liberals as racists?”

Gosh, this game is so easy!


22 posted on 12/27/2010 8:00:54 AM PST by Fresh Wind
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To: cripplecreek

Blumenthal had no leg to stand on; typical of the left. It’s not the law that motivates them but their emotions. And they operate on the assumption that the bully pulpit will prevail because the intimidated will concede instead of spend millions in defense.


23 posted on 12/27/2010 8:00:54 AM PST by bcsco
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To: Kaslin
And, I forgot to add: His questions are priceless. In putting them to liberals like these two persons the author describes, I have this mental image of what happens to the Fembots in Austin Powers" when their logical foundations crumble:


24 posted on 12/27/2010 8:06:44 AM PST by rlmorel ("If this doesn't light your fire, Men, the pilot light's out!"...Coach Ed Bolin)
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To: Libloather
"...name on traditional liberal value..."

Condemnation of hypocrisy? They seem to be really on board with that one...

25 posted on 12/27/2010 8:09:09 AM PST by rlmorel ("If this doesn't light your fire, Men, the pilot light's out!"...Coach Ed Bolin)
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To: rlmorel
Condemnation of hypocrisy? They seem to be really on board with that one...

From both ends. They decry it, yet live hypocritical lives, as many of these questions point out.

26 posted on 12/27/2010 8:17:23 AM PST by bcsco
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To: Kaslin
"owners of such heads like to open their minds in the company of peers and admire each other’s fanciful sandy mindscapes"

WOW! This guy is funny

Is the book as good?

27 posted on 12/27/2010 8:18:26 AM PST by Mr. K ('Profiling' you is worse than grabbing your balls)
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To: Mr. K
Is the book as good?

Check the link to the book. This is a quote from the link:

Here's a sample passage from Chapter 6:

"If some people had wings and others didn't, and the government wanted to enforce "fairness," soon no one would have wings. Because wings cannot be redistributed, they can only be broken. Likewise, a government edict cannot make people smarter or more capable, but it can impede the growth of those with the potential. Wouldn't it be fair if, in the name of equality, we scar the beautiful, cripple the athletes, lobotomize the scientists, blind the artists, and sever the hands of the musicians? Why not?"

28 posted on 12/27/2010 8:30:59 AM PST by bcsco
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To: cripplecreek

That was an excellent take down of the Liberal Blumenthal! Saw it when it aired and was cheering Beck on!


29 posted on 12/27/2010 8:35:59 AM PST by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
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To: rlmorel
Speaking with liberals is possible, but only with liberals who are in the middle 30%.

The author pretty much says the same: As the two women faced my questions, their knowing smiles turned to scowls. Sometimes they would backtrack and correct their previous statements; sometimes, they would angrily storm out of the room in the manner of Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg on The View with Bill O’Reilly. After a while they would return with more talking points, and then they had to answer another logical question. My friends who witnessed the scene told me later they saw the shorter bully beginning to foam at the mouth.

Speaking with the committed liberal is a waste of time. His approach is not to convince but to expose. Not all, but many in attendance will have rational beliefs, and understand just how absurd their points are from such exposure. It's not for the benefit of the liberal, but for the benefit of those confronted by them...

30 posted on 12/27/2010 8:36:47 AM PST by bcsco
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To: SumProVita

Copy, paste, save, memorize.


31 posted on 12/27/2010 8:37:39 AM PST by Excellence (Buy Progresso, take off the label, write "not halal," mail to Campbell's soup company.)
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To: Red_Devil 232

If you ever wonder why Glenn doesn’t have liberal guests on the show. LOL


32 posted on 12/27/2010 8:38:48 AM PST by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: Kaslin

Bfl


33 posted on 12/27/2010 8:42:53 AM PST by ebshumidors ( Marksmanship and YOUR heritage http://www.appleseedinfo.org)
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To: Libloather

Lying.


34 posted on 12/27/2010 8:43:25 AM PST by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
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To: Kaslin

sfl


35 posted on 12/27/2010 8:44:07 AM PST by phockthis
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To: Kaslin

Excelent questions to pose to liberals bookmark, and home viewing links bookmark.


36 posted on 12/27/2010 8:45:56 AM PST by Sergio (An object at rest cannot be stopped! - The Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs at Midnight)
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To: Kaslin

Excellent. - Bookmarked


37 posted on 12/27/2010 8:47:15 AM PST by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
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To: Kaslin
"The shorter, pudgier woman was the soloist bully, while her skinnier, older comrade provided backup vocals and noise effects."

Lesbians

38 posted on 12/27/2010 9:09:44 AM PST by Leisler (They always lie, and have for so much and for so long, that they no longer know what about.)
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To: Red_Devil 232

BUMP


39 posted on 12/27/2010 9:15:36 AM PST by JimRed (Excising a cancer before it kills us waters the Tree of Liberty too! TERM LIMITS, NOW AND FOREVER!)
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To: Kaslin

Self-ping.


40 posted on 12/27/2010 9:18:45 AM PST by ZirconEncrustedTweezers (Attn. GOP: Deliver the goods, or we'll do to you what we did to the Dems!)
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To: bcsco

Your point is as good as any of the above. I think it is not possible to answer. Did they try?


41 posted on 12/27/2010 9:32:08 AM PST by Anima Mundi (If you try to fail and you succeed , what have you just done?)
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To: Anima Mundi
Did they try?

Nope. Don't get me wrong, this wasn't a confrontational thing. It was a relative who's background is as a Chicago democrat. Not that she's a politician, just brought up as a democrat.

We were discussing the issue of big government and why people look to it to solve society's ills. I pointed out that people being imperfect, why do we believe that government, which is made up of some of the most imperfect (self-centered) people, is a proper resolution? It made her think.

I then went one step further. Why do people get in to politics? The answer is simple. They're self-centered and get into it for their own gratification. Even those who become public "servants", not politicians, do it for self-centered reasons. They have a life-long income, often greater than possible in the private sector, with little chance of termination, and a great pension to boot.

Thus, those we're giving the responsibility to to "serve" society are among the most self-serving people of all.

She didn't argue, but I could tell she thought about it.

42 posted on 12/27/2010 9:42:05 AM PST by bcsco
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To: Kaslin

Why are people greedy who want to earn money, but not greedy if they want to take it from someone and buy votes by pretending to be “givers” to the voters? Why are the politicians given credit for showing empathy when they are merely taking credit for a forced gift from another individual?

And why, given the finite amount of money for research for cures, are AIDS activists seen as heroic when funds are diverted to their largely preventable disease from things like childhood cancers?

Why are illegal aliens seen as sympathetic when they are actually pushing in line in front of OTHER people who have gone through the process to come here in the legal way? In no other area do people applaud line crashers.


43 posted on 12/27/2010 9:53:01 AM PST by Anima Mundi (If you try to fail and you succeed , what have you just done?)
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To: bcsco

That is what is so telling about them. Everything seems to stem from the cardinal sin of hypocrisy and the moral and ethical positions they must twist into pretzel-like shapes to avoid being labeled.

It all boils down to the fact that conservatives understand and believe humans are fallible, while liberals refuse to believe that, and instead blame it on root causes such a society, poverty, a bad upbringing, etc.


44 posted on 12/27/2010 9:56:48 AM PST by rlmorel ("If this doesn't light your fire, Men, the pilot light's out!"...Coach Ed Bolin)
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To: Kaslin

bflr


45 posted on 12/27/2010 10:00:15 AM PST by bassmaner (Hey commies: I am a white male, and I am guilty of NOTHING! Sell your 'white guilt' elsewhere.)
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To: rlmorel

Good thoughts. Thanks for sharing.


46 posted on 12/27/2010 10:44:23 AM PST by bcsco
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To: bcsco
Vonnegut “Harrison Burgeron” ripoff.
47 posted on 12/27/2010 11:37:55 AM PST by mmercier (Kilgore Trout)
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To: 50cal Smokepole; AZamericonnie; b4its2late; bitt; blackbart.223; Blood of Tyrants; brothers4thID; ..

You might find this amusing and interesting ping!


48 posted on 12/29/2010 7:53:53 AM PST by writer33 (Mark Levin Is The Constitutional Engine Of Conservatism)
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To: Yardstick

The author of these questions is the owner of the People’s cube web site.


49 posted on 12/29/2010 8:19:39 AM PST by listenhillary (20 years in Reverend Wright's church is all I need to determine the "content of his character")
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To: bcsco

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrison_Bergeron


50 posted on 12/29/2010 8:22:09 AM PST by listenhillary (20 years in Reverend Wright's church is all I need to determine the "content of his character")
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