Critical Thinking Skills

At 6:00 this morning I was in the middle of my daily 15 minute workout routine, watching CNBC’s Squawk Box and trying to get a read on the markets.  If you’re unfamiliar with this show, it’s hosted by Joe Kernan, Becky Quick and Carl Quintinilla.  If my local cable provider would broadcast Fox Business, I’m sure I’d watch that, but as it is, I’m stuck with CNBC.

It’s your typical morning talk show, except with a business twist.  Mr. Kernan tends to be the conservative of the three and while I generally agree with his viewpoint, every once in a while I’m reminded that this is the sister network to MSNBC and NBC.  Today was my reminder.

They were discussing yesterday’s congressional hearings and testimony by Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.  Senators Chris Dodd and Chuck Schumer and House Rep. Barney Frank were grilling Secretary Paulson and Chairman Bernanke like cheese sandwiches, and Kernan says, and I swear I’m not making this up, that he was impressed with the performances of Dodd, Schumer and Frank.  Memo to Joe:  Where are your critical thinking skills?  Dodd, Schumer and Frank are the guys that caused the current crisis in the first place!  What right do they have badgering the two men charged with the task of cleaning up their messes?  If I’m going to trust anybody to protect my interests as a taxpayer in that bunch, it’s going to be Paulson and Bernanke.

My local liberal Starbucks barista approached me this morning and asked:  “Don’t you think it’s fair that if huge corporations are going to be bailed out that individual homeowners should be allowed to live in their houses too?”

“You mean, without paying for them?”, I asked.

“It’s only fair”, she replied.

Fair?  Memo to Starbucks Barista Babe:  Where are your critical thinking skills?  I expect very little from the federal government.  Protect me from threats, both foreign and domestic.  Regulate interstate commerce.  That’s about it.  I don’t expect them to educate my kids.  I don’t expect them to provide for my retirement.  I don’t expect them to be fair about anything.  The government, especially Congress, does not understand the concept of “fair”.  They operate under completely different concepts–pandering, self-promotion and egotism.  If I want fairness, I look to Jesus.

I, however, operate under separate rules of engagement.  I expect people to do for themselves and not look to the government for answers.  I believe in personal responsibility, the law of unintended consequences, and utilizing my God-given intellect to leverage critical thinking skills.  I believe in concepts like service, kindness and love.  See how I expect so little from Congress?

Finally, I was listening to Rush Limbaugh yesterday for the sheer entertainment value of his show and he ran an audio clip from Joe Biden’s interview with Katie Couric that aired Monday night.  To paraphrase, Biden said, and I swear I’m not making this up, that when the stock market crash happened in 1929, FDR got on the television and told the American people that everything was going to be ok.  And this is the guy that thinks Sarah Palin is unqualified to be President?  First, Hoover was the President in 1929 and second, television hadn’t been invented yet.  Memo to Senator Biden:  Where are your critical thinking skills?

When I was in elementary school, I was told by my teachers to put on my thinking cap.  What this country needs right now is about 300 million thinking caps–one for every man, woman and child.  Does anyone know where we can get them?

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