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Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking LogoImagine a world where every person had complete access to the truth
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.

Paul Krugman | Send In the Clueless


  • 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

Paul Krugman, New York (NY) Times

There are two crucial things you need to understand about the current state of American politics. First, given the still dire economic situation, 2012 should be a year of Republican triumph. Second, the G.O.P. may nonetheless snatch defeat from the jaws of victory — because Herman Cain was not an accident.

Think about what it takes to be a viable Republican candidate today. You have to denounce Big Government and high taxes without alienating the older voters who were the key to G.O.P. victories last year — and who, even as they declare their hatred of government, will balk at any hint of cuts to Social Security and Medicare (death panels!).



How these gibbering numbskulls came to dominate Washington, George Monbiot, Guardian
The degradation of intelligence and learning in American politics results from a series of interlocking tragedies.

Between Race and Reason: Anti-Intellectualism in American Life, Susan Searls Giroux, Stanford University Press, Book Excerpt, Truthout

  • At no other time have we been more in need of a critically engaged, creative, and thoughtful citizenry who can face with courage and conviction the challenges - political, economic, ecological, spiritual - that we face both nationally and internationally.
  • How did politics in the U.S. come to be dominated by people who make a virtue out of ignorance?

Labor Must Choose Between Occupy and the Democrats


  • If labor puts forth watered down demands — like Obama's jobs bill — it will elicit no response from the vast majority of Occupiers and their supporters. The Occupy Movement recognizes the dire economic situation the country is in and is not held back by mainstream politicians.
  • The Left Has Lost It’s Nerve and Direction
  • Lesser Evil Math Doesn’t Compute

Shamus Cooke, Workers Compass

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor John Stoltenberg

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

The Occupy Movement couldn't have come along at a worse time, from the viewpoint of the Democrats. Election season is just getting started and Occupy has thrown a giant wrench into the political machinery. Some labor leaders too are sensing “politics as usual” shifting under their feet; the “get out the vote” for the Democrats may elicit blank stares from the rank and file.

Occupy has the potential to create earthquakes within the labor movement and labor’s relationship to the Democrats, if it approaches the subject intelligently. This seismic shift could permanently change politics in the United States, much for the better.



The Left Has Lost It’s Nerve and Direction, Chris Hedges, Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer
If the left wants to regain influence in the nation's political life, it must be willing to walk away from the Democratic Party, even if Barack Obama is the nominee, and back progressive, third-party candidates until the Democrats feel enough heat to adopt our agenda. We must be willing to say no. If not, we become slaves.

Lesser Evil Math Doesn’t Compute, David Swanson, Truthout
In an electoral system corrupted by money, media, and parties, the US people are offered a choice every four years between two hideously awful candidates for an office that increasingly resembles an imperial throne. And increasingly the primary motivation of voters is to oppose the candidate they believe is the greater evil.

My Debate With John Yoo, Who Misunderstands the Constitution

The Bush-administration lawyer and advocate of virtually unlimited executive power in war dismisses as "simpleminded" concerns he once shared.

Conor Friedersdorf, Atlantic

John Yoo is the Bush-administration lawyer best known for his expansive view of what the president is empowered to do in wartime (he thinks, for example, that crushing the testicles of an innocent child might be legal, depending on the circumstances). On Ricochet, an enjoyable right-leaning forum for conversation, we occasionally cross paths. And he has just responded to my argument that Tea Partiers are typically inconsistent in their embrace of "constitutional conservatism."

Put simply, I think Tea Partiers are strict constructionists when it comes to domestic affairs, but ready to concede extreme powers to the executive branch so long as it's in the name of fighting terrorism. (Or the War on Drugs. Or gangs. Or mosques near Ground Zero.) Here's the short excerpt from my piece that Prof. Yoo was read by the capable host of a Ricochet podcast.


GOP: Hiding Behind Social Security


  • The GOP’s Latest Bogus Excuse to Raise Taxes on YOU In Order to Protect Millionaires
  • The GOP is out to get Social Security.
  • Washington Post Discards All Journalistic Standards In Attack on Social Security

Progress Report, Think Progress

The GOP is not shy about the fact they will absolutely raise on taxes 160 MILLION working Americans if that’s what it takes to protect just 345,000 millionaires. They’ve said they’d do so — repeatedly — and they voted to do so last week (Nov 27 - Dec 3) and will likely do so again tomorrow (Dec 8).

This strategy, however, hasn’t worked very well for them, with Sen. John McCain stating yesterday (Dec 6) that Democrats are winning on taxes. So, first they brought up their pledgemaster, Grover Norquist, to say a $1,000 tax increase on 160 MILLION working Americans would somehow not actually count as a tax increase, at least according to the oath Republicans have sworn to him. And now after that didn’t work, Republicans have come up with a new plan: hide behind Social Security.

Let’s review the Republican record on Social Security.




Washington Post Discards All Journalistic Standards In Attack on Social Security, Dean Baker, FireDogLake

  • The article makes great efforts to confuse readers about the status of the trust fund.
  • Super Committee versus The Social Safety Net

Would Gandhi Disband Occupy?


The heart of Gandhi’s teaching was the call to take personal responsibility, to risk everything, in unceasing direct nonviolent action until your society achieves greatness.

Ira Chernus, Religion Dispatches

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

Gandhi makes an appearance

The New York Times, the gray champion of moderate reform, has done the impossible: they’ve found a Gandhi scholar who managed to make the Mahatma, our greatest hero of radical resistance, endorse the critics of Occupy Wall Street.

“Gandhi did not believe in enemies: he worked on the premise that solutions emerged only from cooperation,” writes Ian Desai in a recent Times op-ed. He goes on to claim that Gandhi’s slogan would have been “We are the 100%”—which is, like so much of the piece, both true and deceptive.