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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.

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.”

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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:
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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

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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.

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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


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The Myths of Austerity

  • 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.

Paul Krugman, New York Times | NY

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Thomas Sklarski

John Darkow

When I was young and naïve, I believed that important people took positions based on careful consideration of the options. Now I know better. Much of what Serious People believe rests on prejudices, not analysis. And these prejudices are subject to fads and fashions.

Which brings me to the subject of today’s column. For the last few months, I and others have watched, with amazement and horror, the emergence of a consensus in policy circles in favor of immediate fiscal austerity. That is, somehow it has become conventional wisdom that now is the time to slash spending, despite the fact that the world’s major economies remain deeply depressed.

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This Is Not a Recovery, Paul Krugman, New York Times | NY

  • This isn’t a recovery, in any sense that matters. And policy makers should be doing everything they can to change that fact.
  • GDP Revised Down: Economy Grew At A Much Slower Pace Than Previously Thought
  • Tax Jujitsu: Why Democrats Should Propose a “People’s Tax Cut”
  • Jobless? Your leaders are at ease with that.


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Goodbye, Blog


  • The friend of information but the enemy of thought.
  • Facebook devolves into dark web of anonymous hate speech.


Alan Jacobs, Christianity Today

About two years ago, my online life began to be centered on a computer application: not my word processing program, or my email program, but my rss news reader. rss (which apparently stands for Really Simple Syndication, though there is some debate about that) is a technology for capturing news headlines and summaries of stories, or their first few sentences, from websites. A site that offers these headlines is said to be providing news "feeds" to those who ask for them. The advantage of such syndication is that you can scan many headlines quickly, and open in your browser only the ones you really want to read.

Using NetNewsWire, I found I could get news from dozens of sources every day and thereby keep myself informed on pretty much everything I am interested in. For me the most exciting features of NetNewsWire were two: first, I could set the frequency with which I wanted to check my sites for new items, as often as every half-hour; and second, I could organize my sites in folders. Pretty soon I had a Technology folder, a Macintosh folder, a News folder, a Culture folder, a Literature folder, a Christianity folder, and so on.

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Facebook devolves into dark web of anonymous hate speech, Mike Adams, NaturalNews.com

  • Facebook has, for reasons you'll soon see, brought out the worst in many people, devolving into a tangled web of anonymous hate speech directed to anything and everything within reach.
  • How Facebook became a hate engine
  • How Facebook Betrayed Users and Undermined Online Privacy
  • Write Congress Through Facebook!

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