include a list of embarrassing questionsrnwith which to attack spurious data, andrnso here it is:rn1. Who is included in the intended targetrnpopulation? Age, sex, ethnic group,rnvoting status, geography, etc.rn2. How was the sample drawn? Phonernbooks, membership lists, random numbers,rnetc.rn3. What was the connect rate? The percentagernof calls reaching a human.rn4. What was the refusal rate? The percentagernof humans refusing to answer.rn5. What was the completion rate? Thernpercentage of respondents who enduredrnthe (often overly long) interview all thernway to the end.rnIf the answers to the previous three questionsrnwere 33, 20, and 75, for example,rnthe cud result is a survey based on thernanswers of only two out of every ten peoplernon the original list.rn6. What were the call back instructionsrnto the interviewers? A properly designedrnstudy will include instructions to callrnback at least once, better twice, to reachrnthe respondents originally targeted.rnPrompt substitution of “alternates” is arngood way to lose control over the samplerndesign.rn7. Were any screening questions included,rnand if so, what were they? Screeningrnquestions will help determine whetherrnthe person reached actually belongs inrnthe sample, and if appropriate, whetherrnhe or she has any knowledge of the subjectrnof the interview. Examples: Whenrndid you last vote, if ever? What was yourrnexposure to print and electronic media?rnWhat was your experience with a certainrnprogram/service/product?rn8. How was the interview staff trainedrnand supervised? At a minimum, thernfield supervisor should review the interviewrnguide with the staff, or the electronicrnequivalent should take place. The interviewersrnmust be supervised to avoidrnphantom interviews.rn9. During what hours of the day or daysrnof the week was the bulk of the data collected?rnIf most of the completed callsrnwere made during the day, the sample isrnheavily loaded with retired people,rnnonemployed mothers with babies, andrnpeople on welfare and excludes the criticallyrnimportant group of wage earners.rn10. What, if anything, is done with commentsrnoutside the script?rn11. Was the script debugged (field tested)rnbefore the project was started? Onrnhow many targets?rn12. What were the interviewers’ instructionsrnonce he or she was connected tornthe target phone number? Ask for thernhead of household, the man, the woman,rnverify whether the respondent livesrnthere or is merely answering the phone,rnetc.rn13. Ask for a copy of the interview script.rnMost polling organizations will refuse, asrnthe script is a made-to-order guide forrnfinding flaws in the research design, thernfindings, or both.rn—Job Lulling PrakrnTucson, AZrnOn Eastern EuropernThomas Molnar (“Left and Right inrnEastern Europe,” March 1996) shouldrnbe commended for pointing out thern”scandalous impunity” with which communistrncriminals escaped punishmentrnfor their atrocities in Central and EasternrnEurope. The communist nomenclaturas,rnsupported by the West, acquired arnthin veneer of “democracy,” and continuernto rule. Naturally, they would not indictrnthemselves for their past crimes.rnTherefore, no “Nuremberg” trials, regardlessrnhow the victims felt.rnBut for somebody presumed familiarrnwith European history, Molnar commitsrnsome incredible blunders. He writes ofrnthe division of Europe “effected by thernTurkish occupation before and after thernyear 1500,” and asserts: “The separationrnwas reinforced . . . along the same linerndrawn at Yalta. Eor example, Vienna,rnwhich the Turks were unable to takernthen, remained also outside the Sovietrnorbit” (emphasis mine).rnWhen Vienna repelled the Turkishrnattack with the help of Polish and Czechrnsoldiers [editors’ note: King John Sobieskirnof Poland broke the siege and rescuedrnthe city] it also blocked any further Turkishrnexpansion to the Northwest into thernCzech kingdom and Poland. These landsrncontinued to be a part of the West, cultivatingrn(in Molnar’s words) their “art, science,rninstitutions, and history.” Molnar’srnassertion that the line drawn atrnYalta was “the same” as the 16th-centuryrndivision imposed by the Turkish raids isrnridiculous. Vienna did remain free then,rnbut so did Prague and Krakow. (ThernTurks were forced to give up even occupiedrnHungary by 1699.) Knowingly orrnunknowingly, Molnar is whitewashingrnthe Yalta betrayal of a part of the West.rnThe effort to shove nations like thernCzechs and Poles into “Eastern” Europernis one of the war crimes of World War II.rnMolnar is no less hazy about the termsrn”left” and “right.” He lumps “liberals”rn(presumably in the American sense)rnwith the “conservatives” as “the right.”rnIf there is a pragmatic definition of thosernterms, established by observed practice,rnit is this: the left promotes the rule of arnsmall self-appointed nomenclatura, allegedlyrnon behalf of “the people,” whornare in fact powerless. The right promotesrnthe rights of the individual citizenrn(limited only by the rights of others), thernrule with consent of the governed, andrnthe primacy of law. Accordingly, Americanrnliberals are leftists, as were Hitler’srnNationalsozialistischc Deutsche Arbeiterparteirnand Mussolini’s fascists. Callingrnthe Nazis, the fascists, and the Russianrn”conservatives” (translation: fossil archcommunists)rn”the extreme right” is arntransparent leftist trick: it protects themrnfrom having the reputation of their totalitarianrnsoulmates rub off on them, and itrngives them a chance to pin the label ofrn”fascist extremists” on their truly rightistrndemocratic opponents.rnMoreover, I would not be too sure thatrnthe “rightist protest over this scandalousrnimpunity” (failure to prosecute the communistrnatrocities) “died out.” It survivesrnunderground. It survives among thernexiles. The individual criminals mightrnescape by dying out. But as shown in formerrnYugoslavia, nations have long memories.rnI would not be surprised if a nationrnbetrayed by its friends and allies at Munich,rnbetrayed at Yalta, betrayed in 1948,rnbetrayed in 1968, and betrayed again inrn1989-90, refused to trust—and aid—itsrn”friends” in the next European crisis.rn—K.A. SkdlarnDenver, COrnJUNE 1996/7rnrnrn