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Critical Thinking LogoImagine a world where every person had complete access to the truth
AND
had sufficient education to separate it from propaganda.
A goal of this site is to provide unbiased access to the truth. This section, in particular, is devoted to helping readers recognize the truth, in the midst of all the propaganda.

Oxford Union Snowden Debate with Chris Hedges

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  • Moral Courage and Disobedience To Higher Authority Even At The Risk Of Persecution
  • Union Debate: “This House Would call Edward Snowden a hero.”
  • Life on the Edge of Death (Graphic)

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Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lydia Howell.

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March 21, 2014 | “Chris Hedges, a long-time journalist with the New York Times, opened for the proposition. Hedges said that a hero “shows moral courage and disobedience to higher authority even at the risk of persecution” and drew parallels between Snowden and soldiers who stopped the My Lai massacre in Vietnam. Hedges stated: “There is no free press without the ability of newspapers to protect the confidentiality of their sources” and “the relationship of tracking and being tracked by the state is the relationship between a master and a slave.” He ridiculed the NSA for collecting data on “the UN Secretary General, cardinals at the papal conclave, American companies, and NSA agents’ ex-lovers.”

Chris Hedges, a weekly columnist for Truthdig, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has reported from more than 50 countries, specializing in American politics and society. 

Edward Snowden: Famed NSA leaker who fled the USA to Hong Kong, then Moscow.

Full story (video & transcript)…

Related:

Union Debate: “This House Would call Edward Snowden a hero”

Mike Lee, Oxford Student 

27/02/2014 | The Oxford Union’s 6th debate was a passionate affair, with speeches focusing on whether whistleblowing constitutes treason or a call for justice, and whether Edward Snowden, the now-famous source of the files that revealed the National Security Agency global data-tapping programme, merits the title “hero.”

Full story...

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Life on the Edge of Death (Graphic), Gavin Aung Than, GoComics

The real damage is done by those millions who want to 'survive.'

 

Beyond Neoliberal Miseducation

  • Universities are increasingly becoming dead zones of the imagination, managed by a class of swelling bureaucrats, inhabited by faculty who constitute a new class of indentured, if not sometime willing, technicians and students who are demeaned as customers and saddled with crippling debts.
  • Higher education is being defunded as part of a larger scheme to dismantle and privatize all public services, goods and spheres.
  • 6 ways neoliberal education reform is destroying our college system

Henry Giroux, Moyers & Company

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2013_0617StudentLoans_Original.jpgMoyers & Company Editor's Note: This post originally appeared at Truthout. It draws from a number of ideas in Henry A. Giroux’s newest book, Neoliberalism’s War on Higher Education.

March 20, 2014 | As universities turn toward corporate management models, they increasingly use and exploit cheap faculty labor while expanding the ranks of their managerial class. Modeled after a savage neoliberal value system in which wealth and power are redistributed upward, a market-oriented class of managers largely has taken over the governing structures of most institutions of higher education in the United States. As Debra Leigh Scott points out, “administrators now outnumber faculty on every campus across the country.” [1] There is more at stake here than metrics. Benjamin Ginsberg views this shift in governance as the rise of what he calls ominously the “the all administrative university,” noting that it does not bode well for any notion of higher education as a democratic public sphere. [2]

Giroux%20cover-rc%2010_1.front_.lo_.jpg Henry A. Giroux currently holds the Global TV Network Chair Professorship at McMaster University in the English and Cultural Studies Department and a Distinguished Visiting Professorship at Ryerson University.

Full story…

Related:

6 ways neoliberal education reform is destroying our college system, Owen Davis, AlterNet

  • Higher ed is on the verge of falling victim to the same dangerous ideologies as K-12
  • Henry A. Giroux | When Schools Become Dead Zones of the Imagination
  • The Best and the Brightest Led America Off a Cliff

3 inconvenient facts that make libertarians’ heads explode

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  • Libertarians tend to ride on theoretical unicorns that don’t take them too far in the real world.
  • Because acknowledging that inequality is a problem that needs solving is apparently a bridge too far...
  • Paul Ryan’s worst nightmare: Here’s the real way to cut poverty in America

Lynn Stuart Parramore, AlterNet

 

 

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ron_paul2-620x412.jpgRon Paul (Credit: Reuters/Scott Audette)  

March 10, 2014  | Libertarians are proponents of a philosophy that embraces free-market ideology, limited government, and a certain form of individual liberty. They would like to take the government and drown it in the proverbial bathtub. Unfortunately, libertarians tend to ride on theoretical unicorns that don’t take them too far in the real world.

Next time you find yourself in the company of one of these quizzical beings, try bringing up one of the following topics and watch them start galloping off in 10 directions at once.

Lynn Parramore is an AlterNet senior editor. She is cofounder of Recessionwire, founding editor of New Deal 2.0, and author of "Reading the Sphinx: Ancient Egypt in Nineteenth-Century Literary Culture." She received her Ph.D. in English and cultural theory from NYU. She is the director of AlterNet's New Economic Dialogue Project.

Full story…

Paul Ryan’s worst nightmare: Here’s the real way to cut poverty in America, Michael Lind, Salon

  • If you want to really reduce our nation's poverty, there's a simple way: Renounce libertarianism and start spending.
  • Paul Ryan’s worthless attempt to save face: Why he’s still an overrated fraud

Propaganda and nonsense: Even more New York Times hypocrisy

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  • What the New York Times and John Kerry pretend to forget is the real history of America's noxious role in the world.
  • Ukraine: Exploding The Myths, Outlining Solutions

Patrick L. Smith, Salon

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John Kerry (Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite/Richard Drew)

Thursday, March 6, 2014 | “You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on a completely trumped-up pretext.” Thus spoke Secretary of State John Kerry on NBC’s “Meet the Press” last Sunday, just as Russia took control of Crimea in the latest escalation of the Ukraine crisis.

This extraordinary remark appears to have gone briefly viral. And surely I am not alone in requiring time to recover from the sheer ignorance and presumption of it. Ignorant because even by the standards at State, where the past must evaporate on an almost daily basis, it is hypocrisy unlimited on the very face of it. Presumptuous because it implies a degree of stupidity among us that not even P.T. Barnum would dare take for granted.

Patrick L. Smith, the author of “Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century”, has contributed frequently to the New York Times, the Nation, the Washington Quarterly, and other publications.

Full story…

Related:

Ukraine: Exploding The Myths, Outlining Solutions, Institute For Public Accuracy

  • That so-called economic partnership that Yanukovych, the elected president of Ukraine did not sign, and that set off the streets — the protests in the streets in November, which led to this violence … that so-called economic agreement included military clauses which said that Ukraine, by signing this so-called civilization agreement had to abide by NATO military policy. This is what this is about from the Russian point of view, the ongoing western march towards post Soviet Russia. Putin had no choice, and he has no choice, and if you put him in the corner, you are going to see worse.
  • Heard The One About Obama Denouncing A Breach Of International Law? 
  • The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in Venezuela

Usurious Returns on Phantom Money: The Credit Card Gravy Train

  • The credit card business is now the banking industry’s biggest cash cow, and it’s largely due to lucrative hidden fees. 
  • The Ultimate Shell Game

Ellen Brown, Web of Debt

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meddygarnet (CC BY 2.0)

February 14, 2014 | You pay off your credit card balance every month, thinking you are taking advantage of the “interest-free grace period” and getting free credit. You may even use your credit card when you could have used cash, just to get the free frequent flier or cash-back rewards. But those popular features are misleading. Even when the balance is paid on time every month, credit card use imposes a huge hidden cost on users—hidden because the cost is deducted from what the merchant receives, then passed on to you in the form of higher prices.

Visa and MasterCard charge merchants about 2% of the value of every credit card transaction, and American Express charges even more. That may not sound like much. But consider that for balances that are paid off monthly (meaning most of them), the banks make 2% or more on a loan averaging only about 25 days (depending on when in the month the charge was made and when in the grace period it was paid). Two percent interest for 25 days works out to a 33.5% return annually (1.02^(365/25) – 1), and that figure may be conservative.

Ellen Brown is an attorney, president of the Public Banking Institute, and author of twelve books including the best-selling Web of Debt. In The Public Bank Solution, her latest book, she explores successful public banking models historically and globally. Her websites are http://WebofDebt.com, http://PublicBankSolution.com, and http://PublicBankingInstitute.org.

Full story…

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