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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.

Pay teachers more, demand results without nonsense

A matter-of-fact strategy for fixing education in Minnesota and America.

William A. Cooper, Minneapolis Star Tribune | MN

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

America continues to spend more per student on public education than any other country in the world, yet the United States ranks about 20th in math and science scores.

Why?

Here in Minnesota, we feel that we have one of the better education systems in America, yet we have one of the largest educational gaps between poor children's achievement and other children.

Why?

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The GOP candidates have no time for your "science," scientists

Here we are in 2011, and we are still daily relitigating the Scopes Monkey Trial, and indeed some not insubstantial number of grade school graduates are still under the impression that "evolution" means "my grandpa was a monkey."

Alex Pareene, Salon Magazine

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Rick Perry, a chimpanzee and Michele Bachmann / AP/Richard Shiro/Butch Dill/iStockphoto/uzuri71

Jon Huntsman has easily won the "liberals on Twitter" primary by announcing that he ... believes in evolution, a theory that is almost universally accepted by scientists and rejected primarily by people looking to preserve the myth that every word in the self-contradictory, partially incorrectly translated, and occasionally quite ridiculous ancient scriptures of the Jewish and Christian faiths is literally true. (Huntsman also said he likes Captain Beefheart, which handily won him the "aging dudes with big vinyl collections" primary.)

It's only remarkable that a well-educated prominent political figure believes in a nearly century-old scientific consensus because many other members of the political elite don't. Huntsman's tweet was prompted by Rick Perry telling a child that he has his doubts about evolution.

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Economic Myths: We Separate Fact From Fiction

  • Was the 2009 stimulus package a deficit-busting failure or an unparalleled rescue? Are taxes stifling or the lowest they've ever been? We analyze the seven most prevalent economic myths to see what's true.
  • The Latest on Our Sputtering Economy
  • America's Economic Chaos: Don't Panic, Get Informed!
  • Americans Actually Lightly Taxed

Michael Grabell, ProPublica

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A sign about jobs created is posted at the Caldecott Tunnel construction project on Aug. 17, 2011, in Oakland, Calif. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

With the recent Iowa straw poll [1] and President Obama's bus tour [2], Americans are hearing a cacophony of arguments about the wobbly economy. The federal stimulus package passed in 2009 was either a deficit-busting failure full of wasteful projects or an unparalleled rescue that would have been more successful if it had only been bigger. Taxes are either stifling or the lowest they've ever been. America needs to invest in infrastructure, or "infrastructure" is merely a euphemism for more government spending. So, here's our guide to the most prevalent economic myths.

1. Taxes have been going up and are high compared to levels in other countries.

The first part is wrong; the second is also wrong but contains a grain of truth.

The percentage of income that Americans spend on taxes is the lowest it's been since 1958, according an analysis by USA Today [3]. And with the exception of five years after the 1986 Tax Reform Act, the highest marginal income [4] and corporate tax rates [5] are the lowest they've been since World War II.

More...

Related:

The Latest on Our Sputtering Economy, by the Numbers, Braden Goyette, ProPublica

  • Here's a brief overview of some key stats on where the economy stands.
  • Economic Myths: We Separate Fact From Fiction

America's Economic Chaos: Don't Panic, Get Informed! Global Research

  • It is time to step back from the panic and understand what is happening. The mainstream media is having a heyday with sensationalized reports which at their core are masking several critical and grim truths.
  • Know where to turn for the truth

Americans Actually Lightly Taxed, Juan Cole, Juan Cole.com

  • What you may be able to link low rates of taxation (and regressive taxation policy, which is what the US has) to is levels of social violence. Thus, Mexico and the United States are both extremely violent societies compared to those at the top of this list, in part because the government is starved by its stingy wealthy elites of funds to deal with violence, especially in poorer communities.
  • The argument that raising taxes on the wealthy would hurt growth or employment holds no water.


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Assessing the Reasoning of the Eleventh Circuit Opinion Striking Down Obamacare

by  ON JUSTIA.COM

Last week, a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit held unconstitutional the linchpin of Obamacare, the so-called “individual mandate” provision that requires each person to obtain health insurance coverage or pay a sum of money to the U.S. Treasury.

... in the space below, I focus not on the horse-race aspect of the dispute (that is, questions of who will win and by what margin), but rather on the constitutional merits—the substantive arguments the Eleventh Circuit embraced and rejected.

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