You are here

Critical Thinking

Chris Britt | Misinformation / Slate.com

Section(s): 

9 Shameless Warmongers Who Call Fox News Home

Some of the worst purveyors of misinformation about Iraq have been warmly embraced by Fox News.

Media Matters for America

During the run-up to the Iraq war, some of the worst purveyors of misinformation about Iraq had a home at Fox News, and their ranks have swelled considerably since then. Media Matters takes a look at the track record of wrong predictions and shoddy analysis about the war in Iraq by many of Fox News’ contributors and analysts.

1. Karl Rove White House Iraq Group was formed to “set [messaging] strategy” for going to war with Iraq. The Washington Post reported in 2003 (accessed via Nexis) that the White House Iraq Group (WHIG) was formed in August 2002 “to set strategy for each stage of the confrontation with Baghdad. A senior official who participated in its work called it ‘an internal working group, like many formed for priority issues, to make sure each part of the White House was fulfilling its responsibilities.’ ” Part of the WHIG’s mission, according to the Post, was to decide “what to demand of the United Nations in the president’s Sept. 12 [2002] address to the General Assembly, when to take the issue to Congress, and how to frame the conflict with Iraq in the midterm election campaign that began in earnest after Labor Day.” Rove was a regular participant in this group.

More...

Section(s): 

Nobel Laureate Stiglitz Says EU Austerity Is Wrong Bet

  • 'If that (austerity) happens I think it is likely that the economic downturn will last far longer and human suffering will be all the greater,' he said.
  • The Myths of Austerity

Reuters, in Common Dreams

The European Union will prolong the global downturn if policymakers in the bloc's big economies insist on austerity measures to cut budget deficits, Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said on Tuesday (September 7).

Stiglitz, winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2001, said austerity as a policy to end the global crisis was a 'disaster', adding that Europe was heading towards more economic difficulties if politicians meant what they say when they promised to cut back spending rather than just trying to calm down markets.

'If that (austerity) happens I think it is likely that the economic downturn will last far longer and human suffering will be all the greater,' he said.

More...

Related:

The Myths of Austerity, Paul Krugman, New York Times | NY

  • The next time you hear serious-sounding people explaining the need for fiscal austerity, try to parse their argument. Almost surely, you’ll discover that what sounds like hardheaded realism actually rests on a foundation of fantasy, on the belief that invisible vigilantes will punish us if we’re bad and the confidence fairy will reward us if we’re good. And real-world policy — policy that will blight the lives of millions of working families — is being built on that foundation.
  • This isn’t a recovery, in any sense that matters.


Section(s): 

Marijuana's true potency and why the law should change

The U.S. war against marijuana has failed and actually threatens public safety and rests on false medical assumptions.
The laws against marijuana should be changed.

John McKay, Seattle Times | WA

I don't smoke pot. And I pretty much think people who do are idiots.

This certainly includes Marc Emery, the self-styled "Prince of Pot" from Canada whom I indicted in 2005 for peddling marijuana seeds to every man, woman and child with an envelope and a stamp. Emery recently pleaded guilty and will be sentenced this month in Seattle, where he faces five years in federal prison. If changing U.S. marijuana policy was ever Emery's goal, the best that can be said is that he took the wrong path.

As Emery's prosecutor and a former federal law-enforcement official, however, I'm not afraid to say out loud what most of my former colleagues know is true: Our marijuana policy is dangerous and wrong and should be changed through the legislative process to better protect the public safety.

Congress has failed to recognize what many already know about our policy of criminal prohibition of marijuana — it has utterly failed. Listed by the U.S. government as a "Schedule One" drug alongside heroin, the demand for marijuana in this country for decades has outpaced the ability of law enforcement to eliminate it. Perhaps this is because millions of Americans smoke pot regularly and international drug cartels, violent gangs and street pushers work hard to reap the profits.

Law-enforcement agencies are simply not capable of interdicting all of this pot and despite some successes have not succeeded in thwarting criminals who traffic and sell marijuana. Brave agents and cops continue to risk their lives in a futile attempt to enforce misguided laws that do not match the realities of our society.

These same agents and cops, along with prosecutors, judges and jailers, know we can't win by arresting all those involved in the massive importation, growth or distribution of marijuana, nor by locking up all the pot smokers. While many have argued the policy is unjust, few have addressed the dangerously potent black market the policy itself has created for exploitation by Mexican and other international drug cartels and gangs. With the proceeds from the U.S. marijuana black market, these criminals distribute dangerous drugs and kill each other (too often along with innocent bystanders) with American-purchased guns.

More...

Section(s): 

'Our Troops Are the Steel in Our Ship of State'

  • Breaking down the text and subtext of the president's address.
  • More War Lies

Marc Ambinder, The Atlantic

Good evening. Tonight, I'd like to talk to you about the end of our combat mission in Iraq, the ongoing security challenges we face, and the need to rebuild our nation here at home.

Three major topics in fifteen minutes, and the challenge will be to see if the President can knit them together. Oval Office addresses are throat-clearing opportunities. People listen. The President has an attentive, expectant audience.

More...

Related:

More War Lies, David Swanson, Global Research

  • Lies aren't used just to start wars, but also to escalate them, continue them, and even reduce or end them. And we got a pile of war lies from the president Tuesday evening (August 31).
  • US Forces in Iraq Shift to Long-term Occupation

Section(s): 

Building a Nation of Know-Nothings

It’s not just that 46 percent of Republicans believe the lie that Obama is a Muslim, or that 27 percent in the party doubt that the president of the United States is a citizen. But fully half of them believe falsely that the big bailout of banks and insurance companies under TARP was enacted by Obama, and not by President Bush.

Timothy Egan, New York Times | NY

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Marsha Aronson

Having shed much of his dignity, core convictions and reputation for straight talk, Senator John McCain won his primary on Tuesday against the flat-earth wing of his party. Now McCain can go search for his lost character, which was last on display late in his 2008 campaign for president.

Remember the moment: a woman with matted hair and a shaky voice rose to express her doubts about Barack Obama. “I have read about him,” she said, “and he’s not — he’s an Arab.”

McCain was quick to knock down the lie. “No, ma’am,” he said, “he’s a decent family man, a citizen.”

More...

Section(s): 

Fact Check: Is Iraq combat really over for US?

  • Despite President Barack Obama's declaration Tuesday (August 31) of an end to the combat mission in Iraq, combat almost certainly lies ahead.
  • The occupation of Iraq isn't over - it's being rebranded

Calvin Woodward, Associated Press, New York Times | NY

Iraqi policemen stand guard at a check point in Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2010. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said the end of American combat operations Tuesday leaves his country independent and an equal to the United States and he assured his people their own security forces will protect them.

Despite President Barack Obama's declaration Tuesday (August 31) of an end to the combat mission in Iraq, combat almost certainly lies ahead.

And in asserting the U.S. has met its responsibilities in Iraq, the president opened the door wide to a debate about the meaning of success in the muddle that most — but not all — American troops are leaving behind.

A look at some of the statements Obama made in his Oval Office speech and how they compare with the facts:
More...

Related:

The occupation of Iraq isn't over - it's being rebranded, Debra Sweet, World Can't Wait

  • The occupation of Iraq is only being re-branded, not ended. Despite President Obama's fallacious claims that the war in Iraq is winding down, the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment is deploying!
  • We Are Not Your Soldiers!
  • Collateral Murder: U.S. Soldier Ethan McCord's Eyewitness Story

Section(s): 

Revised: Top 10 Myths About Islam

  • Introduction to Islam
  • The Right's Shameful Muslim-Bashing
  • Five myths about mosques in this country

Huda, About.com

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Ken Mitchell

Islam is a widely-misunderstood religion. Those who are unfamiliar with the faith often have misunderstandings about its teachings and practices. Common misconceptions include that Muslims worship a moon-god, that Islam is oppressive against women, or that Islam is a faith that promotes violence. Here we bust these myths and expose the true teachings of Islam.

1. Muslims worship a moon-god
Some non-Muslims mistakenly believe that Allah is an "Arab god," a "moon god," or some sort of idol. Allah is the proper name of the One True God, in the Arabic language. The most fundamental belief that a Muslim has is that "There is only One God," the Creator, the Sustainer -- known in the Arabic language and by Muslims as Allah. Arabic-speaking Christians use the same word for the Almighty.

2. Muslims don't believe in Jesus
In the Qur'an, stories about the life and teachings of Jesus Christ (called 'Isa in Arabic) are abundant. The Qur'an recalls his miraculous birth, his teachings, and the miracles he performed by God's permission. There is even a chapter of the Qur'an named after his mother, Mary (Miriam in Arabic). However, Muslims believe that Jesus was a fully human prophet and not in any way divine himself.

More...

Related:

Introduction to Islam, Huda, About.com
What is Islam? The name of the religion is Islam, which comes from an Arabic root word meaning "peace" and "submission." Islam teaches that one can only find peace in one's life by submitting to Almighty God (Allah) in heart, soul and deed. The same Arabic root word gives us "Salaam alaykum," ("Peace be with you"), the universal Muslim greeting.

The Right's Shameful Muslim-Bashing, The Progress Report

  • "If the prospect of losing our Constitution to religious government frightens you, don't worry about the tiny Muslim-American minority. Worry about the anti-mosque majority Gingrich is working to mobilize." --Slate Magazine's Will Saletan
  • Zero Tolerance

Five myths about mosques in this country, Edward E. Curtis, IV, Minneapolis Star Tribune | MN

  • Through their mosques, U.S. Muslims are embracing the community involvement that is a hallmark of the American experience. In this light, mosques should be welcomed as premier sites of American assimilation, not feared as incubators of terrorist indoctrination.
  • Top 10 Myths About Islam


Section(s): 

Pages

Subscribe to Critical Thinking