Free Markets, Free People

What ever happened to critical thinking

Dr. Thomas Sowell thinks he knows:

In an age when scientists are creating artificial intelligence, too many of our educational institutions seem to be creating artificial stupidity.

Critical thinking seems, in many cases, to be a thing of the past.  Ideology seems to be replacing it.

For instance:

Many people in Europe and the Western Hemisphere are staging angry protests against Israel’s military action in Gaza. One of the talking points against Israel is that far more Palestinian civilians have been killed by Israeli military attacks than the number of Israeli civilians killed by the Hamas rocket attacks on Israel that started this latest military conflict.

Are these protesters aware that vastly more German civilians were killed by American bombers attacking Nazi Germany during World War II than American civilians killed in the United States by Hitler’s forces?

Not only that, are they aware that the intent of the Hamas terrorists is to kill as many Israeli civilians as they can?  They’re just not very good at it.  And, Israel has taken steps to safeguard its civilians while Hamas repeatedly and purposely puts their civilians at risk by launching rockets from populated areas near schools etc.

This isn’t something that’s hard to figure out … unless you’ve turned thinking off and ideology (which only allows one to accept “facts” that fit the narrative”) on.

Another example involving Jerry Rivers:

Geraldo Rivera has denounced the Drudge Report for carrying news stories that show some of the negative consequences and dangers from allowing vast numbers of youngsters to enter the country illegally and be spread across the country by the Obama administration.

Some of these youngsters are already known to be carrying lice and suffering from disease. Since there have been no thorough medical examinations of most of them, we have no way of knowing whether they, or how many, are carrying deadly diseases that will spread to American children when these unexamined young immigrants enter schools across the country.

The attack against Matt Drudge has been in the classic tradition of demagogues. It turns questions of fact into questions of motive. Geraldo accuses Drudge of trying to start a “civil war.”

However, history reminds us:

Back when masses of immigrants from Europe were entering this country, those with dangerous diseases were turned back from Ellis Island. Nobody thought they had a legal or a moral “right” to be in America or that it was mean or racist not to want our children to catch their diseases.

Perfectly acceptable precautions.  Perfectly sound reasoning.  Something we understood well even back then.  But that doesn’t fit the ideological narrative today. The fact that the illegals are “children”  is what the ideologues want to emphasize in order to shut others up and have them enter freely and be placed within our system.  They appeal to emotion, not reason.  Reason tells you that you take prudent precautions instead of openly exposing your children to the communicable diseases, etc. that are being brought in by illegals, children or not.  Who do we have a greater responsibility toward and why should we risk their lives and health in order to satisfy an ideology?  A thinking person would conclude we have a greater responsibility to our own children.


Although liberals are usually gung ho for increasing the minimum wage, there was a sympathetic front-page story in the July 29 San Francisco Chronicle about the plight of a local non-profit organization that will not be able to serve as many low-income minority youths if it has to pay a higher minimum wage. They are seeking some kind of exemption.

Does it not occur to these people that the very same thing happens when a minimum-wage increase applies to profit-based employers? They, too, tend to hire fewer inexperienced young people when there is a minimum-wage law.

No it doesn’t “occur” to them because they don’t think it through.  They simply parrot the emotional buzz-words and phrases their ideology teaches them.  The consequences are far less important than getting their way and feeling good about it.  But critical thought never enters the picture.

If it did, we’d not be hearing the nonsense these examples present, would we?


26 Responses to What ever happened to critical thinking

  • A colleague of mine was famously quoted as saying … “why do I need artificial intelligence when I have the real thing ?”

  • Many people in Europe and the Western Hemisphere are staging angry protests against Israel’s military action in Gaza. One of the talking points against Israel is that far more Palestinian civilians have been killed by Israeli military attacks than the number of Israeli civilians killed by the Hamas rocket attacks on Israel that started this latest military conflict.

    >>>> It boggles the mind that Europe – Europe! – has forgotten exactly what a war is. I can understand this nation not understanding, we haven’t had enemies on our soil since forever (sorry Aleutian Islands, you know what I mean!) but it goes back to what others have said here – the West is far too comfy. Not that I want it different but some of these people tut-tutting over this stuff, if the power went away they’d slaughter whole families for revenge if someone dared to take the little food they hoarded and “disproportionate response” be damned

  • cau·sa·tion
    noun \kȯ-ˈzā-shən\

    : the act or process of causing something to happen or exist
    : the relationship between an event or situation and a possible reason or cause

    Causation is a difficult concept (for some)

  • But….but…..CHILDREN!!!!!!    CHILDREN!!!!!!
    Where we redefine that to mean 26 year old ADULTS if need be for the purposes of health insurance.
    Where we redefine that to mean 17 year olds if need be for the purposes of counting thousands of more South Americans we should feel responsible for.
    Where it CERTAINLY does NOT mean unborn protoblobs, you male-forcing-women-to-become-pregnant-when-they-just-want-to-have-some-fun bastards!

  • Racism of low expectations.

    What their inner voice tells them is that ‘They don’t know any better so why punish them.’  This is the coddling racism that replaced the surpressing racism of the Left back at the height of the KKK days in this country.

    • This was in response to the popular wisdom of israel is wrong for “overwhelming response”.

  • Two of my favs from the recent past…
    Your laws are illegal“, spoken by a guy who vaunts his status as a LOW INTENSITY INVADER (aka, illegal alien).
    Corporations are not people“, spoken by someone who has no problem with a NON-PROFIT corporation being granted a COMPLETE exemption from the HHS ‘mandate’ to provide birth control to employees.
    If I wanted to, I could never predict how irrational some people are.  As Jayne says in Serenity, How’s a man get so wrong…???  Back to you, Erp…

    • “Back to you, Erp…”
      He is sort of our in studio idiot isn’t he?

      • I sometimes wonder if he’s spreading it around, too.  I mean, would fidelity be a virtue to him…???
        He could be an idiot all over the interwebs, and we’d never know ’til someone came down with a dtd (digitally transmitted disease).

  • BAGPIPERS have expressed their fear over a new law which led to two US teenagers having their pipes seized by border control staff at the weekend.
    They can chisel that on the tombstone of the republic. On the northern border, bagpipers are “expressing their fear”, while on the southern border gangbangers have no fear and stroll through the express check-in. Putin has no fear of American power, the mullahs have no fear of American power, the Chinese politburo has no fear of American power, ISIS has no fear of American power, but the world’s bagpipers fear it, and with good reason.
    The figleaf of a pretext for seizing Messrs Webster and Bean’s bagpipes is what The Scotsman (as usual, any real news about America has to be gleaned from the foreign press) calls “new laws” introduced a month ago. By “laws”, they don’t mean something passed by the people’s representatives in a legislature – there’s not a lot of that going on these days – but a little bit of regulatory fine-tuning by some no-name bureaucrats at the Department of Paperwork. The upshot of which is that, if you own a vintage bagpipe containing ivory and you wish to take it to a competition in Montreal, you have to get a Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) certificate from the US Fish & Wildlife Service.
    Got that? You have to get your musical instrument approved by Fish & Wildlife.
    Oh, but Messrs Webster and Bean were on top of that. They’d gone to Fish & Wildlife, gotten their CITES certificates, and presented them to the US Customs & Border Protection agent upon returning to the United States via a Vermont border crossing (presumably either Highgate or Derby Line, both of which I use frequently).
    At which point the Commissar of Bagpipes said, “Ah, yes, the CITES certificate is valid but…”
    Here it comes, boys and girls! Stand well back; it’s the Bollocks of the Day from your friendly all-American Bureau of Compliance:
    “The CITES certificate is valid but…it’s only valid at 38 designated ports of entry.” And this wasn’t one of them. So he confiscated the bagpipes.
    Why don’t they just put a big sign up on the border? “US Government Paperwork Not Accepted At This US Government Border Post.”
    So Customs & Border Protection will wave through “unaccompanied minors”, but if the minor’s accompanied by a bagpipe the guy in the full Robocop will seize it and tell the kid he’s “never going to see them again”. And then the Robocop goes home having done a full and rewarding day of work.
    You and I are the only people who can stop this. If we DON’T stop it, it just gets worse and worse.

    • Only for the ivory huh?
      I guess the chanters aren’t made out of special protected wood – or the bag wasn’t some rare beast’s skin, or the cloth wasn’t made by exploited workers who’ve been dead for 200 years and the mechanics weren’t made from metal ‘stolen’ from some third world hell hole back in 1840.
      Thank God we’re being protected!  I’m sure all the proper forms were checked off.
      If the kids had had TB maybe they’d have booked them commercial and flown them on to their homes after processing.

      • Just think of the unbroken chain of NOT-thinking that went into that one small outrage, how many people had to NOT think to arrive at such stupidity.
        Truly mind boggling…

        • ACCCCCCCCh!  I zee zat your papiere do not haf ze proper fuhrer schtamp!   Zees fuhrher schtamp you haf is now (consults watch) 6 hours of date out!
          Bu…buttttt I haf been abroad and could not get a proper schtamp so like the new von!
          Vee muscht vollow zee proper proceeeedures!
          Hanz!  Claus!  take him out and schust him!
          zis vill teach you mischter schmarty traveling mann!  Neggst time you vill get zee proper schtamp bevore you try to crozz at MINE outpost!

          • OK, I love you, my brother, but…
            THAT is the WORST attempt at Scots idiomatic dialog that I’ve EVER seen…!!!

          • Damn it!   I knew I should have gone with Glaswegian!

      • Och!, I forgot to tha drones!   Where might those have come frum?
        sall right dearie, the drones are frum tha White House.
        Not those drones ya pelican!

  • Speaking of Critical thinking – Ezra Klein gives Obama the credit for, amongst many other wonderful things, finding and killing Osama Bin Laden.    Not his administration, him.
    Credit where it’s due then shall we – he also flooded Mexico with illegal weapons, he destroyed the Lois Lerner emails, he got an ambassador killed in Benghazi, he caused Ukraine to lose the Crimea,  et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

    • eewwwww…
      Gutsy call, Ezra…

      • Yeah, funny how so much of the crap that has happened has been beyond his control, but Osama Bin Laden, THAT one HE did.
        Course Ezra also thinks the ACA is slicker than snot on a doorknob, so if we zero his judgemental scales on that it ain’t going to get any better anyway.

        • Klein gives Obama the credit for, amongst many other wonderful things, finding and killing Osama Bin Laden…
          Wait…  Osama was sitting in Jarret’s lap…??? On the golf course…???

          • Not that night, don’t you remember?  According to the photos that was the night they made him sit in the corner while the adults sat around the conference table.
            that was also the night that he was playing whist or spades or whatever, while ‘he got Osama Bin Laden’.