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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.

Todd Akin: It's Not a War on Women, It's a War on Critical Thinking and Democracy


What Todd Akin said and believes doesn't just play into a media-catchy, election year "war on women" narrative. It's part of a reactionary, fundamentalist backlash to modernity. It's a war on science. It's a war on facts. It's a war on critical thinking.
 
Soraya Chemaly, Huffington Post

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In case you've been deep-sea diving in the Mariana Trench, yet another Republican Congressman unwittingly revealed his party's contempt for and distrust of women. And he did it by illustrating how the "war on women" is part of a larger issue. What Todd Akin said and believes doesn't just play into a media-catchy, election year "war on women" narrative. It's part of a reactionary, fundamentalist backlash to modernity. It's a war on science. It's a war on facts. It's a war on critical thinking. But, really, consider it a war on democracy.

Statements like Akin's reflect the degree to which some men, steeped in all sorts of dangerous denialism, will go to protect their power and how they undermine equality and democracy to do it. Mitt Romney's smart, he gets how Akin made this obvious, which is why he's distancing himself so fast and furiously from this incident. But, Romney deep down inside agrees with the ideas that reside under the surface of such an obvious mistake. That's why he will not renounce his rights-stripping-for-women-personhood-for-fetuses happy running mate Paul Ryan, who shares the ideas expressed by Akin, even if he expresses himself less offensively.

When asked about exceptions for abortions of pregnancies resulting from rape Missouri Representative Todd Akin of the Primacy of the Father Cult (formerly known as the GOP) had this to say:

" First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that's really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let's assume that maybe that didn't work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child."

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Explaining Medicare for voters

 

  • In their efforts to prevail in a contentious Medicare policy debate, both the Obama and the Romney campaigns risk muddying the waters for voters. The Los Angeles Times recently noted that "one of the best explanations of the differences between the two approaches...has been offered by Trudy Lieberman, a veteran healthcare journalist who currently works for the Columbia Journalism Review."
  • Nygaard Notes | #510: Health Care, and The Real Issue


Columbia Journalism Review

In their efforts to prevail in a contentious Medicare policy debate, both the Obama and the Romney campaigns risk muddying the waters for voters. The Los Angeles Times recently noted that "one of the best explanations of the differences between the two approaches...has been offered by Trudy Lieberman, a veteran healthcare journalist who currently works for the Columbia Journalism Review."

Lieberman's archived Medicare coverage is rich with policy explanations, unasked questions and recommended sources for other journalists on the story. Browse her complete Medicare coverage here.

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Related:

Nygaard Notes | #510: Health Care, and The Real Issue, Jeff Nygaard, Nygaard Notes

  • We're living another chapter in the "Public Relations-ization of U.S. Culture," and it affects all of us, perhaps most of all those of us who are paying attention and who think we are "informed." We're the ones at which the Propaganda is directed. It's insidious, and we'd all better understand how it works, since it's changing hearts and minds right and left. And I do mean "right" and "left."
  • Special Project | Health Care Reform: Week of July 8
     

Fantasy Economies

  • Enforcing neoliberalism through myth
  • Libor Blackout: Major Networks are Ignoring the Bank Scandal

Steve Rendall, Fairnesss and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR)

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

When reality fails to confirm the “truths” held by the international financial establishment, the corporate media can be relied on to concoct more cooperative scenarios.

In the real world, Argentina’s economy has been one of the most robust in the world for the past decade. But in the world of corporate journalism, Argentina is an economic rogue on the road to ruin. When its economy is discussed in U.S. corporate media, it’s largely to portray it as an example of national leaders making bad economic choices, a model of what not to do. This is what happened when Argentina recently bucked neoliberal nostrums and renationalized its major oil company, YPF, which had been acquired by the Spanish firm Repsol in a 1999 privatization.

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Related:

Libor Blackout: Major Networks are Ignoring the Bank Scandal, Theresa Riley, Moyers & Company

  • These same news outlets spent significantly more time on trivialities like shark sightings and the Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes divorce than on the banking scandal.
  • Titanic Banks Hit LIBOR Iceberg: Will Lawsuits Sink the Ship?
  • Why The LIBOR Scandal Matters For American Consumers
     

Benign sounding documentary backed by neo-cons

  • CSFilm’s "Compassionate Campaign for Afghan Civilians" seems to be closely associated with the U.S. Institute of Peace and cites The Institute of Peacein several places as references for further understanding. This fact has is concerning to us as the U.S. Institute of Peace’s Board of Directors consists of neocons who have been working for years to further U.S. wars of aggression.
  • "Progressive" Journalism's Legacy of Deceit
  • NATO's Presence Does Not Benefit Afghan Women
  • Sanctions: Diplomacy’s Weapon of Mass Murder

Mary Beaudoin, Evergreene Digest

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

Women Against Military Madness (WAMM) received a recent request to sponsor a documentary about Afghanistan, along with a lobbying request. Ostensibly, the film promotes peace, human rights, women's rights, getting troops out, autonomy for Afghans, all the things we believe in. However, NGO and cultural
projects now require closer scrutiny, as hegemonic, pro-war neo-cons create a facade, or attempt to co-op groups or use cultural vehicles to win our hearts and minds, keeping US and NATO military domination and expansion going. It
can be part of psych-op propaganda machine, but no doubt those who espouse it also have a sincere belief in their agenda. They appeal to not abandon Afghans--but say nothing about the fact that reparations could be made, without outside control and military involvement. The same vocabulary of true peace and justice adherents is used, but military force and control is a component of their agenda. Parts of this documentary and project sound very good, but WAMM member Margaret Sarfehjooy researched The U.S. Institute of Peace, which this project cites as sources of information on Afghanistan, and here is what she found in the background. We are sharing this with you so that you can decide for yourselves.

Caution: Benign sounding documentary backed by neo-cons

CSFilm’s "Compassionate Campaign for Afghan Civilians" seems to be closely associated with the U.S. Institute of Peace and cites The Institute of Peace in several places as references for further understanding. This fact has is
concerning to us as the U.S. Institute of Peace’s Board of Directors consists of neocons who have been working for years to further U.S. wars of aggression. (The Institute of Peace is NOT the same “Department of Peace” that Dennis Kucinich and others have been striving for).

From csfilm’s website: "Support peace for Afghans, and thereby regional stability and security at home. This requires slowly removing US-led offensive military forces, replacing them with a large international peacekeeping force (with a ‘right to kill’ mandate), increasing diplomatic pressure to resolve regional conflicts and funding long-term (30-50 year) Afghan led and implemented economic, social, political and security development programs (For further insight read the United States Institute of Peace's: The Future of Afghanistan)."

I (WAMM member Margaret Sarfehjooy) researched the U.S. Institute of Peace and was quite alarmed that such a hawkish organization is associated with this film project. From The United States Institute of Peace (USIP): The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) was created by Congress in 1984 (ironically it was attached to the 1985 Defense Authorization Bill) as an institution concerned with peace and the processes leading towards peace. USIP has been under criticism since its inception as being a research arm of the government. The USIP board of directors is a who's who of rightwing academia and government which challenges the institute's credentials as a nonpartisan and nonideological organization. The legislation that established USIP states that "the Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, Director of the Arms Control and disarmament Agency, and President of the National Defense University, shall... be ex officio voting members of the Board." The USIP is a publicly- funded private institution which by mandate will research and come up with solutions to current policy problems of the U.S. government.

As such, it is a tool of the government and those working for it must pass the scrutiny of those in power.

The current Board of Directors on the U.S. Institute of Peace include:


  • Eric S. Adelman-- a career U.S. diplomat and former advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney who serves on the boards of a number of hawkish policy groups, including the Foreign Policy Initiative, an advocacy group founded in 2009 by neoconservative figures William Kristol, Robert Kagan, and Dan Senor.

  • Jeremy Rapkin--Rabkin is a member of the Council of Academic Advisers at the American Enterprise Institute.

  • Michael Posner--The wikileaks documents reveal that Michael Posner traveled to Israel after the Israeli attack on Gaza between Dec. 2008 and Jan. 2009.
  • Kathleen Christison, a former CIA-analyst and writer, commented that Posner's visit was mainly with coordinating a means with the Israelis of undermining the Goldstone Report.

  • Richard Solomon- served as director of policy planning at the Department of State and as a senior staff member of the National Security Council.

  • Stephen D. Krasner-- was appointed as Director for Policy Planning bySecretary of State Condoleezza Rice on February 4, 2005.

Related:

"Progressive" Journalism's Legacy of Deceit,  James Tracy, Global Research

  • Given the backdrop of progressive-left journalists’ lengthy and ardent opposition to the Bush-Cheney policies of Nazi-like atrocities and plunder, venues such as Democracy Now are poised to serve as platforms for disseminating the necessary disinformation to make the Obama administration’s color revolutions and "humanitarian" policy of military interventions seem palatable to the very audiences whose sensibilities are most opposed to violence and imperialism.
  • When War Is in the Air on PBS
  • NATO's Presence Does Not Benefit Afghan Women

NATO's Presence Does Not Benefit Afghan Women, Jodie Evans, AlterNet

  • Amnesty International-USA's Executive director Suzanne Nossel appears to be taking a major human rights organization in an inhumane direction.
  • Why I Had to Challenge Amnesty International-USA's Claim

Sanctions: Diplomacy’s Weapon of Mass Murder, Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich, AntiWar.com
The United States has successfully blackmailed other nations to be its accomplice in suffering and mass murder — diplomacy’s weapon of choice. Believing that Iran (or Syria) is the only target of these sanctions is as naive as believing that sanctions are diplomacy put in place to avoid war. The global impact of the lethal weapon — sanctions — is simply cushioned in diplomacy, a brilliantly and ruthlessly executed diplomatic coup.

 

From Moon Landings to the F-22: How War Profiteering Dulled American's Technical Edge

Today’s Republican leaders think that all the optimistic, forward looking hopefulness of Eisenhower and Kennedy was communistic socialism.  They believe in innovation, only if it leads to the development of new ways for hedge funds to derive profits out of other people’s work.

Tom Hall, Dick & Sharon's LA Progressive

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Jim Fuller

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(July 19, 2012) Humankind first set foot on the moon on Sunday, July 20, 1969.  Generally, President John F. Kennedy is given credit for pushing exploration off this planet.  And Kennedy did push for scientific research.  He did inspire us to believe that we were capable of great things and that we had both the ability and the resources to achieve them.

But the space program had actually been started by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.  The Mercury program launched eight test flights before the 1960 elections, and one more immediately following election day.  President Eisenhower wasn’t a supporter of space exploration.  But he was a general who had fought a long, tough war against a technically advanced enemy.  He believed in science, technology, and efficiency.

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