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"Tradition?? The only good traditions are food traditions. The rest are repressive."

"There are two ways to think. The first is to trust to your ancestors, your religious leaders, or your charismatic professors. The second is to question, to challenge, to explore history for meanings, and to analyze issues. This latter is called Critical Thinking, and it is this that is the mission of my web site. "

Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman  

February 2021

History: When Lies Kill


There was a country-wide, palpable sigh of relief when President Biden took his oath of office on January 20th. Two weeks earlier, there was an unprecedented assault on our election process when a violent Trump-supporter mob stormed the Capitol with an agenda of murdering elected officials and preventing the legal ballot count. Had that mob been successful, the death toll would have been much more than five, and we would have had a defeated president become our country?s first dictator. more...

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Donald Trump?s Legacy


Toward the end of each president?s term of office, he and historians begin to think of a presidential legacy. Presidents leave the White House with portraits of themselves and their spouses, a record of accomplishment, and the accumulation of papers and documents to endow to that president?s library.

None of this accompanies the departure of Donald J. Trump. He leaves in disgrace, increasingly isolated, and with most of the weapons at his disposal revoked: his megaphone of more...

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Trump?s Dim Future


We have just witnessed a failed attempt at a coup to overturn a legal and peaceful election. Egged on by President Trump, Rudy Giuliani, and Donald Trump Jr., a ragtag mob of thugs was directed to assault the Capitol building, to disrupt the acceptance of electoral college ballots that would formally acknowledge Joe Biden as president. Trump returned to the White House to relish the chaos he had unleashed, watching it on television.

The mob had been fed lies for many mont more...

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Trump?s Dim Future


We have just witnessed a failed attempt at a coup to overturn a legal and peaceful election. Egged on by President Trump, Rudy Giuliani, and Donald Trump Jr., a ragtag mob of thugs was directed to assault the Capitol building, to disrupt the acceptance of electoral college ballots that would formally acknowledge Joe Biden as president. Trump returned to the White House to relish the chaos he had unleashed, watching it on television.

The mob had been fed lies for many mont more...

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April 2020

Coronavirus Conspiracy Theories


The famous creator of the Barnum & Bailey Circus once noted: "There is a sucker born every minute." Many people are ready to believe any nonsense they "hear about" or "they say," sources frequently offered by President Trump during his impromptu press briefings.

Most recently, fortunately, the President is followed by members of his science and medicine team, whose observations are science based, not hearsay. This is how we citizens can tell the difference between "fake ne more...

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Too Much Democracy

Our country was designed as a republic, meaning representative government, not a democracy. The few democracies in world history never survived for long. Athens, which invented the system of public voting of all eligible citizens, was soon weakened by some very foolish ventures that seemed popular at the time. Renaissance Venice suffered the same fate, as did Renaissance Poland. Too many cooks, it seems, spoil the broth.

Our founders created a limited Republic, requiring the vote more...

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The Real Pandemic: Lies

A new virus, the coronavirus, is sweeping the world. When our hunter-gatherer ancestors began settling in villages, towns, and later cities, and when they began livestock agriculture, diseases have spread from animal hosts to human beings, with no immunity at first. Throughout history, China, India, and Africa have been the incubators of disease outbreaks that then became worldwide.

In China, the problem was crossovers from animals kept for food use, starting with flu from swine, more...

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The Gaslighting Phenomenon


A new term has now entered our lexicon: "gaslighting." In a 1940 movie called "Gaslight," an evil husband and his housemaid/mistress attempt to drive the wife mad by making her think that lies were true. They played tricks on her, hid things that she knew she had not lost, and finally almost convinced her that she no longer could tell truth from deception. Gaslighting now means that people can no longer tell truth from even an obvious lie. Gaslighting also requires people to aid in the d more...

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Trust and Truth in Democracy

We take for granted how lucky we are to live in a society in which there is so much trust. It is automatic to believe that our system is predominantly based on truth and sense of duty. When we turn on our water taps, we expect the water to be safe to drink because the people responsible for assuring it are doing their job. When we find that officials have deliberately lied about water quality, we expect to see them prosecuted for criminal action.

When we go to the market, we do no more...

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January 2019

What is Political Corruption?


As George Marshall said in his toast to President Harry Truman, 'The full stature of this man will only be proven by history, but I want to say here and now that there has never been a decision made under this man's administration, affecting policies beyond our shores, that has not been in the best interest of this country. It is not the courage of these decisions that will live, but the integrity of the man."

Truman was one of the few recent presidents to leave the White more...

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August 2018

The Assault on Truth

Human beings sometimes lie. How much they deliberately tell an untruth varies according to the nature of their society. Oppressive countries are so punitive that people need to lie to survive. However, if a society is to function at all, there needs to be a set body of facts that are recognized as real. We are living at a time that such agreement on facts is being challenged from all sides, not just from our unusual president, who has recently told veterans at a rally "don?t believe what you see more...

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