How To Be Informed On The Issues

An Excellent Spirit intended to discuss alternative sources to the Mainstream Media with its readers before now. Every day since we began, there was always hard news that our readers needed to know about. With the nominating conventions of both major political parties beginning today with the Republican National Convention and continuing next week with the Democratic National Convention, we know that Americans will be at the mercy of the tsunami of spin, obfuscation and lies told by practiced liars to an extent that will be unprecedented in America to date.

Americans have many questions and issues they want information about. Unfortunately, most of those questions Americans are left to answer for themselves. It is almost impossible to believe that the People will get answers from the “lamestream media” that only has eyes (and favorable print) for President Obama. How are Americans to get answers to their questions? Where can the People get trustworthy information? How hard is it to get it and how much time will that take? These are but a few of the obstacles Americans face today.

An Excellent Spirit has a few suggestions. First, believe almost nothing you read in the major print media or see on major networks, especially from those who are paid to have an opinion. The truth about the pundits and so-called “experts” is that they are professionals who work for their publishers. Those publishers hire editors who assign stories on issues and personalities, then edit them so they turn out the way the publisher (who is paying for them) wants them. Our second suggestion is that you run, fast from and don’t stop to look back at anyone who tells you that our first suggestion is false or really not necessary. He or she is lying and will mislead you, over and over, in favor of their candidate or narrative.

Next, An Excellent Spirit strongly recommends that you develop 5 to 10 Internet websites devoted to reporting news and significant events, together with their commentaries, analysis and opinions on major issues. These sources should include a reliable and authoritative “traditional”, neutral news site like the Wall St. Journal online, a middle of the road organization that has a history of somewhat courageous reporting. Then get a Solid “progressive” news site. We recommend the Washington Post – they seem a little less strident in their “progressive orthodoxy” and possibly less full of Kool-Aid. Finally get a “right” site for balance. Conservative online sites like the Weekly Standard or National Review or The Washington Times are good choices.

Once you are through with that, you’re about a quarter of the way where you must to be to rely upon your information as being comprehensive and up to the task. You have to be able to evaluate information and the many competing sources so you are in position to weigh the information for accuracy and credibility as do the blogs and their sources. An Excellent Spirit confidently recommends such blogs as The Drudge Report, a pioneer in the blogosphere, Instapundit (Prof Glenn Harlan Reynolds), possibly the best and most trustworthy blog, Brietbart.com, the website of the late Andrew Brietbart that has as much, if not more influence after his untimely death this March, Pajamas Media and PJ Tatler both interesting and reliable sites run by Roger Simon, an experienced, professional who is a central figure in more than a few blogs with wide readership.  Then, try Real Clear Politics, a middle of the road compiler of articles, opinions and information on a wide variety of political subjects.

We also suggest our readers read from the following sites as often as possible: Daily Caller, Politico Daily Digest, Front Page Magazine and Discover the Networks (David Horowitz) and our favorites Jonathan Garthwaite (Townhall.com) and Jewish World Report. Each of these gems carries a wide variety of columns and authoritative reports. Where else can you get Thomas Sowell, David Horowitz, George Friedman of Stratfor, Bill O’Reilly, Mike Brown, Mike Adams and others (Townhall) and Clifford May, Vince Gaffney, Victor Davis Hanson, Larry Elder and a cast of Jews and Gentiles with an occasional Hindu or Muslim thrown in (JWR)? Read these two and you are getting a lot of reliable information against which to test the rest of what is out there.

As you continue, you will add sites and blogs that are necessary for your research. An Excellent Spirit relies on the Volokh Conspiracy and Legal Insurrection (law professors Eugene Volokh and William H. Jacobson) for legal issues, Judicial Watch for Freedom of Information (FOIA) and chronicles of government corruption, The Rubin Report for news on the Middle East, Israel, Iran and foreign policy issues across the board. To these, we try to read more than occasionally Accuracy in Media, Trevor Louden’s New Zeal Blog and Godfather Politics. Finally sites like The Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute have been reliable for so long that they are often overlooked as what they publish is so universally relied upon as to make some feel they do not have to go there. That is a mistake. Go there and get what they say on the issue you are interested in. Nobody does it better than these venerable institutions.

We said all this to tell you that completing this tour of the blog/media/website world will take you up to about 65% of the information out there. An Excellent Spirit relies upon and recommends each of these to our readers. The sources that you will ultimately develop from your continuing interaction will result in you being well informed almost 100% of the time, as long as you do not stray too far afield.

Recent Presidential Elections and decades of congressional elections have proved beyond peradventure that depending on the traditional media for information is often a misleading slog through the dark, manipulated and mendacious waters of politics, parties and wealthy, connected egos for anyone seeking truth and facts. Too often the result is that critical, even significant qualifying facts are overlooked in the media uproar that some devious interest orchestrates for cover or, worse, self-interest.

One of the most murderous leaders in history once said, “the journey of a thousand miles is begun with a single step.” An Excellent Spirit hopes that our readers will begin the long march to the sweet, fresh air of freedom before it is too late. God bless America.