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Critical Thinking

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.

Nick Anderson | Occupying Main Street / americanprogress.org


 

Section(s): 

Shades of an American Kristallnacht?

As in Germany before the Kristallnacht, none of us here in the U.S. wants to believe that anything could happen to destroy our cherished freedoms, our vaunted  “American way of life.”  We don’t want to admit, even to ourselves, the extent to which our freedoms are already being encroached upon, day by day.

Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez, Common Dreams

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of readers like you. Thank you!

Watching the spectacle of the Republican primaries evokes deep sadness over the unavoidable truth that now, in the wake of Citizens United, it has become totally legal for rich people to run politicians the same way they might run horses or greyhounds.  Just like that.

Maybe that’s what provides the eerie, zombie-like atmosphere in politics these days. You really have the sense that most politicians, especially the ones at the top echelons of power, are like old-fashioned Kabbalistic golems, animated out of clay by skilled magicians who can control them from afar.

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The Misadventure of Ron Paul

  • He constantly issues the call for a “strong national defense” which translates into a well-funded military. As he stated directly in a recent interview, “My Plan to Restore America does not cut one penny of defense.”
  • Ron Paul is the most pro-corporate politicians in the Presidential race.
  • Females who file sexual harassment suits are, according to Paul, oppressing others.
  • Ron Paul's Useful Idiots on the Left

Billy Wharton, Socialist Magazine

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You’ve seen them skulking around a variety of left-wing protests. First it was the anti-war movement. Then came Occupy. They usually have a funny look in their eye, their clothes are a bit sharper than the average protest garb and they usually hit the road once a confrontation with the police is about to ensue. Yes, I’m talking about a Ron Paul supporter – an ideal type of that supporter for sure, but take a look next time and see if they fit the description. Just keep an eye out for an “End the Fed” sign.

Inevitably, after peeling past the pre-programmed slogans Ron Paulistas bring with them, you will discover a person – generally white and overwhelmingly male – looking for some alternative to mainstream politics. Ever susceptible to slick marketing campaigns thanks to a solid diet of American television, these zealots have bought it hook line and sinker in a typical conspiratorial fashion. The lynchpin is the Federal Reserve, a seemingly mysterious institution, which in the world of Ron Paul politics stands in as a more acceptable substitute for the variety of other conspiracy theories floating through far-right America including the Bilderbergs, the rich as secret lizard people and the Masons.

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Related:

Ron Paul's Useful Idiots on the Left, Megan Carpentier, Guardian UK

  • Progressives who make common cause with Paul on US foreign policy ignore his stunningly reactionary views on everything else.
  • Loveable Extremist
  • 5 Reasons Progressives Should Treat Ron Paul with Extreme Caution
     

Two years later, influence flows freely

Court got the answer wrong in Citizens United but asked the right question.

Kent Greenfield, Washington (DC) Post / Minneapolis (MN) Star Tribune

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Two years ago this weekend (Jan 21-22), the Roberts Supreme Court issued its most controversial ruling to date. Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission overturned longstanding campaign-finance laws restricting corporate political expenditures, reasoning that the political speech of corporations was as important to the marketplace of ideas as the voices of human citizens.

As is well-known, denunciations of the opinion, which allowed groups to raise and spend unlimited amounts supporting or opposing candidates, were loud and widespread. President Obama even took the rare step of criticizing the court while delivering his 2010 State of the Union address -- while some of the justices sat before him. As the rise of super PACs has already shown in the Republican primaries, the coming presidential election will be swamped with cash, and our democracy will not be better for it.

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Saving Seniors from Ryan

Medicare—and not the private, competitive market—has been the most effective at restraining health care cost growth. It’s not clear making a move toward the private market would reduce cost growth rather than accelerate it.

Aaron Sinner, Minnesota2020

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of readers like you. Thank you!

In December, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) offered a proposal that marked a compromise from Ryan’s original plan last year to convert Medicare into a voucher program. The new system offers a more generous framework to pay for seniors’ care and includes the traditional Medicare program as a “public option” within the system.

Unfortunately, the innovations of Ryan-Wyden run headlong into this graph.

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Related:

Paul Krugman | Send In the Clueless, Paul Krugman, New York (NY) Times

  • The larger point, however, is that whoever finally gets the Republican nomination will be a deeply flawed candidate; the fact that the party is committed to demonstrably false beliefs means that only fakers or the befuddled can get through the selection process.
  • How these gibbering numbskulls came to dominate Washington
  • Between Race and Reason: Anti-Intellectualism in American Life
     

 

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