Tag Archives: critical thinking

Res Ipsa Loquitor

There is a legal term, “res ipsa loquitor,” meaning “the thing speaks for itself.” Today’s example? The Texas Republican Party Platform. 

Texas Republicans call for abolishing the 16th Amendment, which authorized the Income Tax. It calls for repeal of the tax on capital gains, and the abolition of the state’s property tax. It opposes the imposition of ANY tax other than a (regressive) sales tax. And it demands a return to the gold standard. (There was no call for abolition of public services, and the document appears silent on how, exactly, those services are to be paid for.) The platform also supports privatization of Social Security.

By far the most telling provisions of the GOP platform, however, are those addressing education.

The party goes on record opposing “multicultural” education, and supporting the use of corporal punishment by school officials. It demands that “both sides” be taught when “controversial” theories like evolution and climate change are addressed.

Given these positions, it should come as no surprise that the platform also opposes the teaching of critical thinking skills–since those “undermine parental authority.” Such skills probably DO undermine the parental authority of the authors of this platform–which speaks for itself.

I don’t know what happened, exactly, to turn the Republican Party I used to belong to into whatever it is today–but I am pretty  sure it wasn’t critical thinking.

 

Critical Thinking

The IBJ reports that Indiana’s ISTEP test will be revised to include a new emphasis on critical thinking.

I hate to be snarky, but have they considered giving that portion of the test to our state legislators? Or perhaps to Romney advisor Ed Gillespie, who appeared on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, and “explained” Governor Romney’s position on Planned Parenthood.

When asked if Romney really meant it when he said he’d get rid of Planned Parenthood, Gillepsie said of course, but “getting rid of Planned Parenthood” wasn’t really “getting rid of it.” Because “defunding” isn’t the same as “not having funding.”

Well, Ed, let me try to explain this to you.

When the vast majority of the money you need in order to provide services comes from government, and government stops giving you that money, the result is that you don’t have the funds necessary to survive. That’s called “getting rid of it.” And if Governor Romney is elected and follows through–if he does “get rid of it”–thousands of poor women will lose access to basic healthcare, the provision of which–crazy rightwing rhetoric to the contrary–is the vast majority of what Planned Parenthood does.

Darn! Where’s that “critical thinking” thing when you really need it?