Archive for May 8th, 2006

Author: Americans Are Losing Their Critical Thinking Ability

Monday, May 8th, 2006

This is so true. To most people, emotion is fact. This is why the politically correct (PC) movement has done so well.

(AgapePress) – An author and editor for the National Post in Canada says Americans are losing the ability to think critically, a problem he relates to the lack of objective reporting in the media.
Michael LeGault is the author of Th!nk: Why Crucial Decisions Can’t Be Made in the Blink of an Eye (Threshold Editions, 2006). He says his book discusses why the premise behind Blink: the Power of Thinking Without Thinking, a best-selling book by Malcolm Gladwell, does not work.
Gladwell’s Blink extols and even advocates “gut reactions” and snap judgments. But LeGault feels this is poor approach for reasoning minds, and he is concerned that increasing numbers of people in America seem to be moving away from thoughtful, critical decision-making, and turning instead to their emotions.
“The result of this has been, ultimately, that more and more people rely on received knowledge,” LeGault says. They take their information and conclusions “from news media primarily,” he asserts, or in any case, “from other people, rather than doing thinking on their own or asking questions — hard questions.”
The author of Th!nk says this reliance on media for more and more information has caused the facts to be increasingly filtered through various biases. “Behind each one of these as it’s presented in the media,” he contends, “are other information and other sides to the story that are often not presented, and our general tendency is to believe these wholesale, without question.”
Also, LeGault notes, this phenomenon has resulted in what he calls a “greatest hits” mentality, where news media outlets exploit hot-button issues in an effort to increase their ratings and bring in advertising dollars. As a result, he suggests, the public has come to rely on pithy pundits and appeals to passion instead of real, objective information.
Americans are buying into all kinds of media hype, LeGault asserts, because many have lost the ability to think critically, weighing information and separating opinion and propaganda from actual facts. He says this is why so many people tend to believe unfounded claims such as global warming theories or the idea that the Earth is running out of oil.

Calif. Activist Calling on President Bush to Intervene to Save Mt. Soledad Cross

Monday, May 8th, 2006

Please take a moment to email President Bush in support of keeping the Mt. Soledad Cross. You can email him here.

(AgapePress) – A Christian activist in Southern California says it’s time for the Chief Executive to get involved in a years-long legal scuffle involving a mountaintop cross in a San Diego park.
U.S. District Judge Gordon Thompson has ordered the city of San Diego to remove the Mt. Soledad cross within 90 days or face a fine of $5,000 a day. The 29-foot cross has stood on Mt. Soledad as the centerpiece of a war memorial on city-owned land since 1954. But in 1989 atheist Paul Paulson sued the city, claiming the cross violated the so-called “separation of church and state” principle.
The legal battle has ensued in the intervening years, ultimately leading up to a voter referendum last summer in which voters approved a measure that called for the city to donate the cross to the federal government as the centerpiece of a veterans memorial. But a San Diego Superior Court judge ruled the proposition — approved by almost 76 percent of voters — was a violation of the state constitution.
Now Judge Thompson — who incidentally is the same judge who in 1991 ruled the presence of the cross on city property to be unconstitutional — has evidently had enough. “It is now time, and perhaps long overdue,” he said in this week’s ruling, “for this court to enforce its initial injunction forbidding the presence of the Mount Soledad cross on city property.”
San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders has indicated he is willing to appeal the ruling, but City Attorney Mike Aguirre says that would be a waste of time and resources. However, a group known as San Diegans for the Mount Soledad National War Memorial has indicated it might be willing to help the city financially with the appeal and any fines resulting in the meantime.
So, is all hope lost for those who wish the cross to stay where it is? James Lambert, a Christian activist who lives in the area, does not think so. Lambert says President George W. Bush could bring an end to the matter.
“We’re asking Christians all over the country to contact and e-mail the president to ask him to designate Mount Soledad Cross as a national war memorial — and we plead with him as brothers in Christ to do that,” says the San Diego activist.
Lambert points to last summer’s ballot initiative — and moves at the federal level even — as proof there is a strong interest to keep the cross. “The Congress voted to make the Mount Soledad Cross a war memorial, [and] the city of San Diego residents by a 76 percent plurality voted to do that also,” he points out.
“[So] I’m asking Christians all over the country to contact the President and ask him to sign an executive order to designate [the memorial and cross as] federal land …without getting the permission of the city of San Diego.”
In legislation signed by the president in December 2004, the federal government essentially gave the city of San Diego that option. The outcome of that offer was the initiative approved by voters last summer — and then struck down a few months later.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Mount Soledad Memorial Association is making plans to move the cross to private property nearby. The Association’s president tells the newspaper his group feels it is very important that the cross be saved. “The location of the cross is not the primary issue,” says William Kellogg.