The last point in this outline, the purpose of my starting the blog, is to say "do your homework",check your sources, and be intellectually curious. Don't take anything anybody tells you at purely face value - even me. There are just too many rumors, half truths, bald-faced lies, miscommunications or misunderstandings, and incomplete info out there.
Nowadays there are many ways of getting to original sources and no good excuses not to check them. There are persistent rumors that go around and around and people spend time trying to stamp them out -yet they spread like weeds. One prevalent one in the Christian community concerns Madeline Murray O'Hare and Christian radio/FCC. Having in the past worked at a Christian radio station (10 years) I know full well the trouble the rumor has caused and every time it pops up I do my best to correct people (including directing them to official/original sources) but still it persists. So please check things out,don't just blindly forward something on to others.
We tend to be attracted to these things. A good story ,with intrigue, gets our heart pumping and our mind whirling , especially anything that smacks of conspiracy, or "secrets" or "cover up"s. We often don't stop to wonder if any of it is really true. Take the stimulus bill for example. According to some there is loads of pork in it and they cite examples. Then they say that the bill as found online can't be searched for specifics. Yet the bill as listed does have search capabilities (I have done it) and if you check out some of the most mentioned examples of "pork" (think crickets and beavers and volcanoes, oh my!:) ) you find that there is real value there- only the ignorant scorn what they do not understand. Simplistic ranting by those who have been given a microphone in the public square is not a good way to make public policy and people should not be fooled.
You can search the web for the background info on any project (from the people directly involved with it) and you can also search the stimulus bill for information (contrary to what has been written about the search capabilities there). One good site is the Small Business Administration website :http://www.sba.gov/ . Another good site is factcheck.org.
Think of the term ignorance. There is not knowing ,someone is ignorant - just doesn't know . That can be helped. You can give them the information or show them where to find it. You can reason with them to show them the gaps in their knowledge. Then there is willful ignorance, not willing to learn, willing to ignore what is plain to see. As the saying goes "none is so blind as those who will not see" Those who do not want to see what is true will take advantage of those who just don't know what is true. Be wary of those who talk as if they know things, but do not provide any way to check them out, or question anybody who doubts them. We are all in a learning curve and nobody knows it all.