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The Transparency Essential to Judgment

jeanne's first version of Roberts' confirmation hearings

Humility or Ideology or Representative Democracy Floundering?

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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: September 18, 2005
Latest Update: September 18, 2005

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Index of Topics on Site The Importance of Replication
Judgment is a complex issue. When we judge, we judge on many factors, some conceptual and rational, some archaic and pre-conceptual, some of which we are conscious, others of which we are completely unaware. Because there are so many factors, and because denial, or repression, or self-centeredness or the arrogance of belief that only we can know what factors matter, transparency is essential. Only if we know as much as possible about a student, his/her life space, his/her health, his/her study habits, can we actually know what the student has learned. Yet we cannot know all these things unless the student shares important issues with us. That's what transparency of learning is for. To make sure that your teacher does know what matters to you and what your learning climate is like.

If that is true in judging what grade a student deserves, how much more important is transparency when judgments of moment are to be made. Judge Roberts has said very little so far. He chooses not to speak on many issues the confirmation committee is concerned about. I would suggest that when we have little information, as in this case, which would seem to be a lack of transparency, that the very fact that the administration is not forthcoming with Judge Roberts' writings, and that Judge Roberts himself prefers to maintain silence, that he's basically saying "Trust me, I'm a good guy."

Yeah, well 51% of the country trusted Bush, and look at what happened in terms of Iraq and FEMA. I equate the refusal to offer transparency with an authoritarian attitude that others must just accept whatever they can see, even when some of that they know is being kept from them. Issues such as racial and gender discrimination, the wealth gap, abortion and women's choice are currently under attack by the right wing section of the conservative party. Judge Roberts is a conservative. We have a right to know where he fits on the conservative spectrum. The issues at stake will affect our lives. I don't trust any conservatives at this point. Why should I when they want to take the reconstruction costs from the elderly, the infrastructure of the roadways, and the poor, while Haliburton has a no-bid contract to draw on $500 million dollars at will? Why don't the agencies designated to help the survivors of Katrina have a $500 million dollar no-bid contract to help those who need it now desperately?

In science we insist that data be replicable. That we be able to get consistent results when the experiment is repeated. In politics, we must also rely on replication. What the politician has done before is a better indicator of what he will do in the future than what he says he will do.

Senators have pointed out that Bush continues to insist upon giving tax benefits to millionaires while he cuts the drug benefits of the elderly. The wealth gap is already inconceivable. No. I do not trust conservatives. I want answers that will give me a sense of who they are and whether they hold beliefs and values and integrity worthy of my trust.

Don't forget that I am opposed to the conservative political philosophy. This piece reflects my personal views and interpretations of the confirmation process. jeanne

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