Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Getting Accurate Political Information?

Cliff posted about 10 years ago | from the finding-the-info-to-make-an-informed-vote dept.

Education 272

XMorbius asks: "With the elections coming up in a few months, I (along with other Slashdot readers, I hope) want to get more informed about the candidates. But, where does one turn to get accurate (or as accurate as possible) information about them, while at the same time not having to review long logs and records of various hearings over the last decade or so? This seems like a nice compilation of information, but something tells me that it may not be very accurate. I've seen factcheck.org but I feel like there is more knowledge out there to be acquired. What does the Slashdot community recommend?"

cancel ×

272 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

It turns out... (5, Funny)

Teancom (13486) | about 10 years ago | (#10170494)

you can get it delivered right into your living room [comedycentral.com] .

Re:It turns out... (2, Insightful)

jc42 (318812) | about 10 years ago | (#10172636)

Yeah, Comedy Central is the best source of US political news now. And it's funny, yet. But there are two serious problems with it:

1. They only really deal with major national candidates, mostly the presidential candidates. It takes some major news for them to pay attention to state or local candidates. Understandable, because they mostly have only half an hour four evenings a week (though they upped it to an hour last week, due to the huge humor potential of the RNC).

2. Their web site sucks. Too bad; it has such potential. I've read a number of discussions of why their site works so poorly (if at all) iin most people's browsers. They only deliver in Real and WMA formats, both of which have rather flakey browser plugins. And CC's HTML is so confused that many browsers just can't decipher it sensibly, and lots of luck trying to extract the clip URLs yourself. On my Mac PB, their video clips work fine in the Real Player and Windows Media Player when I can find the URL for the clip. But they both fail almost every time when invoked from within a ComedyCentral.com web page. Even Real's fancy new browser fails on these web pages. This apparently isn't an attempt to shoot down Mac and linux viewers; Windows users also report garbled or blank videos.

OTOH, lots of political blogs are picking up on Comedy Central, and they often provide direct URLs to the videos. If you can find them, they usually work.

You might also look at theonion.com. They have some good political news. It's usually a lot more honest than the mass media, because their approach is to quote what the politicians were thinking, not what they actually said.

They recently had a headline about the New Jersey homosexual who had tearfully admitted to being the state's governor ...

Re:It turns out... (3, Funny)

Teancom (13486) | about 10 years ago | (#10172728)

It's funny you mention that, as I have been surfing their webpage all day today (in fact, I had it up in another tab when I went to slashdot and saw this story). My system for surfing their site is to use konqueror 3.3, go to the page where the video should be embedded, use View->View Mode->Embedded Text Editor, search for "wmv", copy and paste that line into wget in konsole, grep for mms in the resulting file and then copy&paste that into mplayer. Works like a champ! Who says *nix isn't user friendly!??!? :-P In all seriousness, it sucks horribly but doesn't take as long to do as it does to describe.

Re:It turns out... (1)

CodeRed (5676) | about 10 years ago | (#10173924)

Or install Kaffeine and make it the default media player for all video and just plain click the links and it plays (you need kaffeine mozilla plugin too). Very easy. And lets you save streams.

International Terrorists (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10170522)

George Bush wants to kill you, and your loved ones. Tom Ridge tells us so. Tom Ridge tells us the terrorists want to kill us all, and George Bush is the worst example of an International Terrorist ever conceived. So, there you have it.

opensecrets.org (4, Informative)

stefanlasiewski (63134) | about 10 years ago | (#10170529)

opensecrets.org [opensecrets.org] has a great amount of information on campaign contributions. Since we're nearing the end of the 2004 Presidential Elections [opensecrets.org] , it's a great time to take a look at the top contributors to Bush [opensecrets.org] and Kerry [opensecrets.org] . (Note, the site doesn't list Bush's acceptange of $75 million in federal funds yet).

Re:opensecrets.org (2, Informative)

Malfourmed (633699) | about 10 years ago | (#10173655)

http://www.cfr.org/ [cfr.org] The Council on Foreign Relations tries to present non-partisan information on matters global.

Re:opensecrets.org (1)

E_elven (600520) | about 10 years ago | (#10173656)

Bah, campaign contrib info is useless, they're all crooks :)

A good, fast way to get one's bearings with the candidates is at OnTheIssues [ontheissues.org] (go to Quizzes->Presidential 2004).

It's a fairly comprehensive general quiz on your preferences on common political issues, and it matches you with (and allows you to compare) the answers of the candidates (yep, even Peroutka).

The biggest bonus are the excellent explanations and background information for each question -just click on the link and there's a rundown on the issue. In some cases it's imperative to read the description to be able to pick the right choice. The only drawback is that some of the info is a bit outdated (particularly the Iraq situation), but it's still an excellent resource for the political novice.

That should give you a place to start from; once you get your bearings it'll be easier to get information. Wikipedia is a good extra resource on those issues, if one is needed.

They lied to me .. I do NOT live in a free country (0, Troll)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 10 years ago | (#10170548)

"1) The war was about oil.
First of all, oil prices were much, much cheaper before the war."


Which is exactly the point. The more expensive the oil, the more money Bush and his cronies make. Oil prices are up .. because .. er... ahh.. we are at war here. NOT because we want to make more money or anything. Just like we HATE to sell the constitution down the river, but evil Saddham and his close friend Osama have left us no choice ... really

"5) The Bush-Bin Laden connection.
Again, total misunderstanding on the facts."


And yet, the exact same methods were used to claim the Saddam-Osama connection. I think you missed the tongue-in-cheek nature of this. You have just pointed out how absurd Bush's claims are and why. Think Mr. Moore might have been waiting for you to fall into his trap, perhaps?

If you like the police state this country is in and want to see the Bush stranglehold grow stronger, then by all means vote for him ... it's one of the few rights you have left that aren't complete lip service ....

Re:They lied to me .. I do NOT live in a free coun (3, Insightful)

RackinFrackin (152232) | about 10 years ago | (#10170851)

Which is exactly the point. The more expensive the oil, the more money Bush and his cronies make.

The article [worldthreats.com] that you're quoting isn't talking about the price that consumers pay for oil--it's talking about the price that the oil companies pay. If you read a bit further, you get to the part that says "oil was cheaper for US oil companies and the world as a whole under the UN's Oil-for-Food program. Now that Saddam is gone, this program no longer exists. If this war was about oil, you'd see either an extension of the program, or even sanctions lifted (in return for secret deals to use Iraq's oil). Yet, neither happened."

In other words, it now costs US oil companies more to buy oil that they can process and sell to the consumer. Sure, the oil companies will pass that excess price on to the consumer, but they won't be making more money because of it.

Re:They lied to me .. I do NOT live in a free coun (0, Troll)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 10 years ago | (#10170958)


"In other words, it now costs US oil companies more to buy oil that they can process and sell to the consumer. Sure, the oil companies will pass that excess price on to the consumer, but they won't be making more money because of it."

Right .. because as you have verified, the higher percentage the oil companies paid maps directly and linearly to the increase passed on to the consumer ... oh, wait ... you couldn't possibly verify that, especially if one of those secret deals were made. Consumer's cost went up, and the war makes an excellent excuse for why, much as civil liberties went out the window, and the war makes a (somewhat less excellent) excuse for why.

Read my lips ... er ... post ... NO WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION

I'd type "enough said", but those who refuse to see the corruption won't see it. There is little sense in saying anything at all to those who would rather live their life wrapped in the safety of lies ...

Re:They lied to me .. I do NOT live in a free coun (3, Insightful)

RackinFrackin (152232) | about 10 years ago | (#10171378)

especially if one of those secret deals were made.

If the Big Oil players wanted to make secret anticompetitive deals to widen their profit margins, they would not have needed a war in order to do so. I'm pretty sure that a a controversial war which puts their business practices under the microscope and could seriously affect their supply of crude is precisely what they would not want.

Re:They lied to me .. I do NOT live in a free coun (-1, Troll)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 10 years ago | (#10171952)


"If the Big Oil players wanted to make secret anticompetitive deals to widen their profit margins, they would not have needed a war in order to do so.I'm pretty sure that a a controversial war which puts their business practices under the microscope and could seriously affect their supply of crude is precisely what they would not want."

1) Secret deals = higher profit

2) Secret deals + higher cost at POS = even higher profit

It's all so confusing, I know ... easier to just assume that you have a clue and I don't and then try to rationalize an argument. Good luck with that, by the way ...

You also seem to have forgotten that the Government/Good-Ole-Boys network owns all the (metaphorical) microscopes. No doubt any scrutiny will result in a "nothing to see here average citizen ... now, move along ..." result. Then you can gleefully point to it and say told me so, having completely missed the point once again ...

Re:They lied to me .. I do NOT live in a free coun (1)

budboy (714867) | about 10 years ago | (#10172654)

You also seem to have forgotten that the Government/Good-Ole-Boys network owns all the (metaphorical) microscopes. Michael Moore would probably disagree with you on that one.

Re:They lied to me .. I do NOT live in a free coun (-1, Troll)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 10 years ago | (#10172733)


"You also seem to have forgotten that the Government/Good-Ole-Boys network owns all the (metaphorical) microscopes."
"Michael Moore would probably disagree with you on that one."


You are confusing a video camera with a microscope. You are either mistakenly or intentionally skewing the metaphor. Follow the thread more carefully, please.

WMD's found (1, Insightful)

gatzke (2977) | about 10 years ago | (#10173106)

Uh, they did find WMD's in Iraq, multiple times.

We found some sarin in a roadside bomb that exploded, and some Polish troops found 15 shells with cyclosarin. Search google news for sarin to find stories on both events.

They never promised nuclear weapons, and we knew they had bio and chemical weapons, we just had to find them.

And don't give me the tired old "it is only enough to kill a few thousand people" crap. A WMD is a WMD. One is to many, and we have found around 20 shells, so far. /. bitches about "censored" news stories, but stuff that actually supports the war and kicking ass in the middle east also gets dropped or overlooked.

http://frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp ?I D=14638

Re:WMD's found (1, Insightful)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 10 years ago | (#10173552)


" Uh, they did find WMD's in Iraq, multiple times.

We found some sarin in a roadside bomb that exploded, and some Polish troops found 15 shells with cyclosarin. Search google news for sarin to find stories on both events."


Oh yeah ... I forgot about Bush's speech when he said we need to invade an entire country to find some sarin that won't kill anyone even after the bomb explodes and about 15 shells with cyclosarin. That was clearly what he meant when he said WMD. We did find exactly what Bush promised as a result of the war. We have ALWAYS been at war with Eurasia ... move along Winston ... nothing to see here ...

R U Fscking Serious????

Re:They lied to me .. I do NOT live in a free coun (2, Insightful)

pbox (146337) | about 10 years ago | (#10170990)

More expensive oil bought, means more expensive oil sold. Most likely the profit margin stayed constant in percentage points (it actually increased, see SEC reports of Shell, Chevron, etc). Even at constant it means more absolute dollars in the oil company's pocketses. It is better for them to sell it more expensive, higher oil proces also mean, that they can tap reserves, which were too expensive to tap beforehand (think arctic).

All is well, and business is booming. Especially when you can sell oil 2-3 times the going rate to the army, essentially funneling away taxpayer moey to corporate profit...

Re:They lied to me .. I do NOT live in a free coun (1)

pipingguy (566974) | about 10 years ago | (#10172004)


In other words, it now costs US oil companies more to buy oil that they can process and sell to the consumer.

The Canucks actually want this oil price rise to continue. That way, the US will move to "domestic" supply (even though it is nowhere near as sweet - will employ 5 or 6 construction/engineering companies for about 11 days, however). There are those that say that Canada's untapped oil reserves dwarf those that are predicted to remain in the Middle East.

Red Adair [cnn.com] just passed-on, maybe the next generation of hardcore oil guys will be Canadian or Texans that are cold-averse. Should weed-out the wannabes in either case.

Re:They lied to me .. I do NOT live in a free coun (2, Insightful)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | about 10 years ago | (#10171928)

The more expensive the oil, the more money Bush and his cronies make.

Oh, really? [publicintegrity.org] Check the PFDR for FY2002 (the FY03 ones aren't available yet). The President doesn't get any income from any source that's affected by the price of oil. He has some interest-bearing investments, a couple of IRA's, some real estate, a stock portfolio and a boat-load of T-bills. You might as well say that the president's wealth depends on the price of routers because he owns stock in Cisco.

I dare you to find any evidence of an actual financial incentive for the president, or anybody in the executive branch for that matter, to keep the price of oil high.

And yet, the exact same methods were used to claim the Saddam-Osama connection.

By whom? Nobody in a position of authority ever said there was a Saddam-Osama connection. There was, however, a rock-solid, no-questions, if-you-don't-see-it-you're-an-idiot connection between Saddam and Islamist terrorism. Which is why he had to go.

If you like the police state this country is in

Sigh. If this country were half the police state you accuse it of being, you'd be dragged off in chains.

Disinfopedia (5, Informative)

Hackie_Chan (678203) | about 10 years ago | (#10170568)

Disinfopedia [disinfopedia.org]

They're pretty good, or as I have heard. They link their stuff to sources so you can check it out yourself. Some people say they have a liberal bias since they released a book called "Banana Republicans" which is not flattering to the party in question.

I have to admit though, it's difficult to find good non-biased political info on the net. Maybe the best thing would be to just read both sides instead and in that way make up your mind. It's tougher than just getting from one source, but I think it's the only good way right now...

Re:Disinfopedia (1)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | about 10 years ago | (#10172039)

No, we call them biased because they describe themselves as " collaborative project to produce a directory of public relations firms, think tanks, industry-funded organizations and industry-friendly experts that work to influence public opinion and public policy on behalf of corporations, governments and special interests."

We call them biased because they call themselves biased.

Re:Disinfopedia (1)

rthille (8526) | about 10 years ago | (#10173561)

Well 'corporations, governments and special interests' can describe nearly any organization. Why does producing a directory of them make them biased? If I work for a 'special interest' trying to influence public opinion am I liberal or conservative? Republican or Democrat?
You assume they are liberal because of 'corporations' in that statement, but there is little to support your view.

Re:Disinfopedia (1)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | about 10 years ago | (#10173989)

Are you trying to make with the funny? The people behind Disinfopedia have never made any secret of their political agenda. Compare their articles on George W. Bush and John Kerry and tell me again how they're not biased.

Re:Disinfopedia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10174710)

I think you'll find that anyone who espouses too many bare facts will be labeled as having a liberal bias.

There's No Quick Way to Get Informed (5, Insightful)

Murdock037 (469526) | about 10 years ago | (#10170569)

I don't think you're going to find any single source that's never been accused of bias. There's just too many viewpoints out there-- and any source that tries to go straight down the middle of the road, like CNN [cnn.com] , tends to be pretty dry.

So, my solution: Read a lot. I mean, a lot, and, by exposure to many viewpoints, you'll be better off when it comes time to form your own opinions.

If you're asking about specifics, I try to take in the New York Times [nytimes.com] , the Washington Post [washingtonpost.com] , the Drudge Report [drudgereport.com] , Slate [msn.com] , Salon [salon.com] , Al-Jazeera [aljazeera.net] , the International Herald-Tribune [iht.com] , and the Guardian [theguardian.co.uk] . Of course, all of the above have their strengths and weaknesses.

If you don't want to spend the time on all of those, though, I recommend Slate. It leans slightly left, but has good analysis from both sides of the aisle.

Read, read, read. Don't assume you're getting the whole story from a single source.

Re:There's No Quick Way to Get Informed (2, Insightful)

KDan (90353) | about 10 years ago | (#10171705)

CNN? Straight down the middle? Don't make me laugh. CNN is well biased towards whatever the ruling party is in the States. Not as bad as, say, Fox, but still. Even BBC World is biased in the same direction (despite all that fuss about the BBC being opposed to Tony Blair. They did put out a few good unbiased documentaries which made things look bad for the Iraq "coalition" but they generally report things squarely from the side of the western world).

I don't know of any english-speaking channel which isn't biased like that. In France and Germany, Arte tends to be a little biased in the other direction. In Switzerland, the national TV is actually fairly unbiased, probably because the swiss government is neutral and it's federally funded. Even so they tend to have a little bias one way or another.

Truth is, no TV channel is "straight down the middle of the road". As you said in your post, the only way to get a decent idea of what's going on is to read many news sources. The problem is, though, even in doing so, unless you're capable of great discipline in analyzing news, you'll end up reading what you want to read and disregarding what disagrees with your world views. Perhaps over a long period of time of reading mostly from one bias you might change your view a little bit in that direction but... why the hell would you want to do that?

Daniel

Re:There's No Quick Way to Get Informed (1)

Trillian_1138 (221423) | about 10 years ago | (#10173936)

I have a related question (although I'm afraid I'm too late to get noticed in the shuffle of posts). Is there any place to download political speeches? I believe the sites of both conventions (and often candidates themselves) offer *streaming* versions of speeches, but I'd really like to be able to download and have some of the DNC and RNC speeches. I've Googled, bitTorrented, and Kazaaed, but with no luck.

Thanks!
-Trillian

It's not easy... (2, Interesting)

dubious9 (580994) | about 10 years ago | (#10170586)

to compile your own. The Washington spin artists make it hard to see through all the smoke and evalute canidates on what matters to you. No canidate will serious tell you their strengths *and* weaknesses, so you have to become your own source.

Go to the closest headquarters for each canidate. There will be at least one in all but the smallest communities. Ask them what they think their strengths and weakness are and be prepared to hear a lot of bull shit. Ask them why you should vote for them and not for the other guy. Then take that information to the other guy's headquarters and ask the same stuff. Take a good look at what they say about themselves and their opponent, and this will give you a nice base to start at.

Then read the major newspapers and watch the Sunday morning political lineup. Be careful to note the leanings of each, i.e. Nytimes == Liberal, Wall Street Journal == conservative. Radio political talk has a right leaning, and Tv political talk often is leftist.

After doing this for a couple weeks you'll have enough to start on if you want to do some serious reseach at the library. The most important things to remember are there is no unbaised source, gets information from as many sources as possible, and make you own descision (ie beware of groupthink). If you put some descent effort into you'll have more then enough to decide who to vote for.

Annennberg (sp?) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10170592)

I forget the http address, but the University of Pennsylvania has a group that does political ad tracking and follows up on the "factual" claims made in them (factual in quotes on purpose). Eg, checking up on a negative ad's claim over so-and-so's voting record and putting quotes back into proper context. They also include things like spending by group/party/candidate by state/locality, etc. IMO, newspapers should include such analysis (especially the ad-checking) on a weekly basis, daily on the week leading up to Nov 2.

The group is under their Annenberg Institute for Communications (i think thats the name - I do know it has something to do with annennberg).

It's already cited in the Slashdot story: (3, Interesting)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | about 10 years ago | (#10171622)


The site you are thinking of is already cited in the Slashdot story: FactCheck.ORG [factcheck.org] from the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. Great site, but very limited focus. There is no examination of the underlying problems. In this case, that is a BIG shortcoming.

By far the biggest issue is one about which former Supreme Commander of Allied Forces and former Republican U.S. President [whitehouse.gov] General Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us in a famous speech [yale.edu] . He said that we should beware of the "military-industrial complex". Here are quotes:

"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

"We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes."

The problem he warned us about has been happening big time for many years. The U.S. government has engaged in 24 wars [hevanet.com] since WW2. The system of violence works by creating fear so rich [hevanet.com] people [hevanet.com] can profit.

Every important speaker at the Republican convention spoke of keeping America safe. Every important speaker was reading speeches written for them by marketing consultants like Karl Rove. "Keeping America Safe" is code for "keeping America fearful by promoting violence so the rich can get richer". It was despicable when Bill Clinton did it, and it continues to be despicable now that George W. Bush is doing it. Possibly many of the nation's leaders are not fully aware of the circumstances. It seems that only a very small percentage of citizens realize the extent of the violence of the U.S. government.

The only really good way to educate yourself about the U.S. government is to read books about it. Here are reviews of 3 movies and 35 books: Unprecedented Corruption: A guide to conflict of interest in the U.S. government [futurepower.org] . It's necessary to gather enough information that you can make your own informed conclusions, and not just copy the conclusions of others.

Don't like the books I found? Find your own. It's your duty as an adult to participate in the political issues of your country.

Re:It's already cited in the Slashdot story: (1)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | about 10 years ago | (#10171991)

Just wondering, but why did you use a question about finding unbiased political information to launch into your absurdly biased tract?

I mean, I can understand your wanting to spread your own particular brand of radical leftist idiocy, but why did you choose to do so in the one place where you were asked to leave it out?

It's radical if you dind' (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | about 10 years ago | (#10172326)


Twirlip:

Show me even one mistake in what I said, and I will fix it.

At present every time someone sees something they didn't know already, they call it "radical".

Re:It's radical if you dind' (0, Troll)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | about 10 years ago | (#10172410)

Everything you said was wrong, every single word.

You're a radical leftist and you're trying to hide that agenda by saying "Show me even one mistake!" You're not fooling anybody.

Grow the hell up.

Was General Eisenhower a radical leftist? (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | about 10 years ago | (#10172498)


Sorry, I hit the return key accidentally. Please disregard my previous comment.

Twirlip:

Show me even one mistake in what I said, and I will fix it.

It is becoming common that when someone sees something they didn't know already, they call it "radical".

The entire point of my comment, and the entire point of the article to which I linked, was that a former Supreme Commander of Allied Forces and former Republican president was correct. Everything else was only the details of how it works.

Was General Eisenhower a radical leftist? Thinking about that makes me laugh. "Well-known radical leftist and General and Republican President Dwight David Eisenhower..." LOL.

I posted a more complete comment here: Only one way to understand: Read books [slashdot.org] . Again, if you can find an error, I will investigate and fix it.

By the way, was CBS News wrong when they found that Bush's education improvements were fraud [cbsnews.com] ?

Re:Was General Eisenhower a radical leftist? (1)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | about 10 years ago | (#10172853)

More rhetorical chaff. You're really, really bad at this.

Label-makers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10174331)

Yes he is. I think a good first step towards any kind of dialog is to leave the labelmakers at home.

Notice that the majority of political conversations degenerate quickly into shoving someone into a particular catagory.

Wikipedia (2, Interesting)

noselasd (594905) | about 10 years ago | (#10170595)

wikipedia [wikipedia.org] as usual ?
Kerry [wikipedia.org]
Bush [wikipedia.org]

--
www.jmeeting.com - meet friends.

Re:Wikipedia (1)

Reducer2001 (197985) | about 10 years ago | (#10170832)

Don't forget: Nader [wikipedia.org]

Re:Wikipedia (1)

ratsnapple tea (686697) | about 10 years ago | (#10171617)

Don't make me laugh. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Wikipedia (1)

dtfinch (661405) | about 10 years ago | (#10172249)

A lot of history is distorted or made up. Wikipedia isn't the first instance of this.

Re:Wikipedia (1)

ratsnapple tea (686697) | about 10 years ago | (#10172786)

Indeed, but Wikipedia is indisputably one of the more unreliable sources out there (for all practical purposes). It fares especially poorly in comparison with well-established names in news and history, making even the New York Post look good. I say this as a long-time Wikipedia contributor; check my contribution history.

ACLU (2, Informative)

lskziq (778173) | about 10 years ago | (#10170615)

For some information, check out the ACLU's scorecard: http://scorecard.aclu.org/scoremain.html/ [aclu.org]

Re:ACLU (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10174112)

The ACLU is far from unbiased. Though their original mission is a just one, they have evolved into an anti-christian pro-liberal group. Take, for example, the fact that they just sued to get a small cross taken off of LA's official seal while not protesting a non-christian god about 10 times larger on that same seal. Take, for example, the way they will defend NAMBLA, "the national man-boy love association" in court, for free, but won't defend anyone persecuted for faith. Yes, the framers were really all about legalizing the molestation of young boys, not freedom of religion.

Re:ACLU (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10174716)

Because if you defend someone's right to free speech, you must obviously believe wholeheartedly in what they're saying.

I especially like your implication that legalizing the molestation of young boys is on the Official Liberal Agenda.

Accuracy? (2, Informative)

schnits0r (633893) | about 10 years ago | (#10170652)

Well, duh, I get all my political informatino from fark.com, doesn't everyone?

Accurately Biased (4, Interesting)

js7a (579872) | about 10 years ago | (#10170728)

I have found the following political web sites to be the most accurate:

The Washington Monthly [washingtonmonthly.com]

The Daily Kos [dailykos.com]

The Columbia Journalism Review Campaign Desk [campaigndesk.org]

The Center for American Progress [americanprogress.org]

Talking Points Memo by Josh Marshall [talkingpointsmemo.com]

Tom Toles political cartoons [yahoo.com]

Ben Sargent cartoons [yahoo.com]

Pat Oliphant cartoons [yahoo.com]

Jamie Zawinski's freinds [livejournal.com]

Ed Fitzgerald's blog [blogspot.com]

more to follow-up...

Think for yourself (1)

crmartin (98227) | about 10 years ago | (#10171183)

If everything you read is on one side of the spectrum, you're not thinking, you're parroting.

Re:Think for yourself (1)

js7a (579872) | about 10 years ago | (#10171289)

I also read Tacitus, Redstate, Instapundit, mainstream political reporting and local editorials, but I don't think those are as accurate as the sites I mentioned.

Plus, CJR Campaign Desk, Pat Oliphant, and Ben Sargent are all pretty centrist if you ask me.

Who do you consider to be the most centrist political cartoonist?

Re:Think for yourself (1)

crmartin (98227) | about 10 years ago | (#10171384)

Yes, exactly my point.

Re:Think for yourself (1)

tsm_sf (545316) | about 10 years ago | (#10171422)

Good luck finding an intelligent news source that currently supports Bush's domestic policies. Conservative (not to be confused with Republican) commentators like Andrew Sullivan [andrewsullivan.com] now reluctantly support Kerry. Zell Miller's bizarre keynote address [cnn.com] at the Republican convention certainly [msn.com] didn't [andrewsullivan.com] help [tnr.com] matters.

Re:Think for yourself (3, Insightful)

crmartin (98227) | about 10 years ago | (#10171564)

If you think that The National Review is "unintelligent" but Andrew Sullivan, Slate, or The New Republic are more "intelligent" or more inherently reliable, then you're not getting it. You're a parrot.

If you think Rich Lowry, George Will, or Jonah Goldberg are more "intelligent" than Andrew Sullivan or TNR, then you're still not getting it. You're still a parrot.

If you read Daily Kos or Free Republic and think either one is particularly accurate, you're not getting it.

When you stop thinking that people on one side are fools and the other side is the only one that has morality or truth on its side, then you'll be getting it.

specializing in accuracy (1)

js7a (579872) | about 10 years ago | (#10171314)

These two sites are focused more on accuracy than politics, but they ususally end up dealing with political topics:

Institute for Public Accuracy [accuracy.org]

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting [fair.org]

I knew I was forgetting those from my bookmarks -- I get their regular emails and recommend anyone with an interest in this topic sign up on their lists.

Accurate Political Information (2, Funny)

ISayWeOnlyToBePolite (721679) | about 10 years ago | (#10170750)

I couldn't give you any two of those, let alone three.

Use Wikipedia. (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | about 10 years ago | (#10170778)

Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] makes it their #1 policy to maintain a neutral point of view. Failure to do so in an article may form the grounds for a dispute, and it may be changed: on multiple occasions revisions of these articles have been so challenged. Have at these URLS, and from there a plethora of resources you shall find linked, for both the incumbent [wikipedia.org] and the contender [wikipedia.org] .

Check foreign media (5, Informative)

wimbor (302967) | about 10 years ago | (#10170790)

Please.. also read other media than the American. Every country's media is probably biased in one way or another, but a good mix can give you more details so that you can decide yourself what is more likely to be the truth...

In my recent vacation in the US I was stunned that nobody saw a world-famous picture with US troops guarding the ministry of oil. It was printed in a lot of world press newspapers. A quick search on google couldn't turn up the image, but there is a reference here [ccmep.org] . No idea what this source is (I did a very quick search). Apparantly US media is biased or censured, so make sure you check all possible sources of information... It is hard to convince Europeans that the Iraqi war is not about oil when a picture like that is in the paper...

I loved NYC & New England, and I'm not an anti-American guy...just want the facts straight :-)

Re:Check foreign media (1)

gorim (700913) | about 10 years ago | (#10171046)

Are you assuming that is the only place where american troops stand guard ? Are they not standing guard at all government ministries ? Perhaps you were rolled by a photo shot of a specific location in order to sell a bias that the war was about oil. (It may very well have been, but this picture is nothing more than a propaganda piece in the opposite direction)

Re:Check foreign media (1)

wimbor (302967) | about 10 years ago | (#10171101)

Well, the picture clearly show the ministry of oil in Iraq in the background. If I remember correctly it was taken from what we call a "frog perspective", so the camera is close to the ground looking upwards. Troops around the building and around a marmer or concrete sign saying "Ministry of Oil" in English and Arabic(?)... No it was not another ministry that could be mistaken for it...

Re:Check foreign media (1)

wimbor (302967) | about 10 years ago | (#10171129)

Oh.. I forgot: the picture was taken during the looting of Iraq, just after the government of Iraq gave up... Given the damage done to other ministries and the public institutions of Iraq, I doubt the US was guarding those as well... I also saw video footage on the TV news...

Re:Check foreign media (2, Informative)

bmetzler (12546) | about 10 years ago | (#10171131)

In my recent vacation in the US I was stunned that nobody saw a world-famous picture with US troops guarding the ministry of oil.
Meanwhile, employees of a major Baghdad power plant were also bewildered by the presence of several explosive devices planted around the Jameela facility, which supplies one third of the capital's electricity.

You don't think that it would be important to protect the power plant that provides 1/3 of Baghdad's power? Or the Ministry of Oil building? Should they just let the insurgents destroy them? That'd really help the situation?

It is hard to convince Europeans that the Iraqi war is not about oil when a picture like that is in the paper...

Probably why it's not in the paper here. Really, there are a lot of pictures of the Iraq war. Hopefully, we are above posting pictures of troops protecting important resources to try to convince people the war is wrong.

-Brent

Re:Check foreign media (1)

wimbor (302967) | about 10 years ago | (#10171181)

I agree with you that they indeed should have prevented the looting of Iraq. That would have indeed helped the situation... I'm not offended by the US guarding the ministry of Oil... I only find it strange that they do guard the Oil Ministry, but not the other ones... That does put a perspective on things, I would presume...

I'm not saying we should try to abuse the media to get our point across... I was only trying to explain why other countries are sceptical about the war, given this evidence... As I said...all (especially larger countries) 'influence' media in more or lesser ways.... In Europe France has known to do that too (e.g. in bombing of the Greenpeace ship in a French harbor by the French secret service)... I'm not saying we are right and you are wrong, to the contrary! I'm only warning to stay critical about news sources and to inform yourself as much as possible...

It is the only way to be well informed!

UK media -suggestions (1)

Pentagram (40862) | about 10 years ago | (#10171688)

In the UK, the BBC [bbc.co.uk] is independent of the government and is supposed to maintain an independent stance of e.g. political parties by law (with certain exceptions where British interests are concerned).

Of the nespapers, the centre-left Guardian [guardian.co.uk] is pretty good -- they print regular corrections, and are owned by a trust so they can print what they want.

Of the papers on the Right, the best (in terms of accuracy, not politics) of a bad bunch is probably the Torygraph [telegraph.co.uk] .

Re:Check foreign media (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10174726)

Don't worry, you can hate NYC and New England yet not be anti-american. I sure do! If its west of the rockies, it's not worth loving (trust me I know, I grew up in Indiana, Florida and Texas).

Try Project Vote Smart (4, Informative)

MrFurious (54610) | about 10 years ago | (#10170862)

http://www.vote-smart.org/ [vote-smart.org]

They have biographical information, issue positions provided by the candidates (where available), campaign finance information (links over to Open Secrets), interest group ratings, voting records, speeches and statements in an organized format.

Re:Try Project Vote Smart (Mod up) (1)

JumperCable (673155) | about 10 years ago | (#10174136)

The above is a pretty good site. Please mod up.

Accuracy is impossible (1)

Inominate (412637) | about 10 years ago | (#10170899)

In politics there are no facts. It's all doublespeak and haziness.

Politics is about looking at the candidates, figuring out what makes each candidate a scumbag, and then deciding which scumbag is more likely to not screw things up.

local candidates (2, Insightful)

slothman32 (629113) | about 10 years ago | (#10171021)

There is much talk and sites about national people like Bush and Kerry but little info is known about local ones. Where should I look to find out the issues of my local mayor or state rep? Yes it depends on the locale but or there any sites that can at least help?

Mother Jones (1)

Bravo_Two_Zero (516479) | about 10 years ago | (#10171115)

http://www.motherjones.com/ [motherjones.com]

...is a good addition to the list. As with any source, use it as a counterpoint. It's a lot like the Consumer Reports of American politics in that you'd never call it two-sided, which makes it an advocate as much as a media source. But, they see themselves as antithetical to big media, not neccesarily just a view from the left.

For info on Kerry (0)

mrgrey (319015) | about 10 years ago | (#10171138)

http://www.johnfkerrysucks.com/ [johnfkerrysucks.com]

Re:For info on Kerry (1)

BlurredWeasel (723480) | about 10 years ago | (#10174547)

Wow, what a crappy site. Almost all the stories are about Kerry's vietnam record. I know that I don't care. There is a little bit more to presidency than what you did during a war 30 years ago. Speaking of which, didn't Bush (of the appropriate age at the time) not go at all? This site is nothing more than propaganda (not that I think Kerry is a saint) and on one topic. If they wanted to be influential in my mind, they would have some stories that don't revolve around medals and enemy fire.

Think for yourself (1)

crmartin (98227) | about 10 years ago | (#10171166)

Don't trust one source. Read right and left publications. Follow up -- the web and Google are your friend. Remember that it's not "information" if it doesn't have a surprise in it -- if you agree with everything you read, you're not learning anything.

Remember what the Buddha said:
"Believe nothing.
No matter where you read it,
Or who said it,
Even if I have said it,
Unless it agrees with your own reason
And your own common sense."

Something novel - a Right-Wing site mentioned (3, Insightful)

mbourgon (186257) | about 10 years ago | (#10171776)

www.freerepublic.com [freerepublic.com]

This'll probably get modded down, but consider that there are more than 2 points of view. Now, you may feel that the left is being underrepresented and all the media is pro-Bush - but the Free Republic people feel otherwise, and will show you the other side. Even if you don't like it, it's interesting to see what kind of stories are out there.

Re:Something novel - a Right-Wing site mentioned (2, Informative)

DAldredge (2353) | about 10 years ago | (#10172199)

Freerepublic isn't a rightwing site, it is a Bush echo chamber. They ban people from the site at the drop of the hat, just try posting a comment that Bush is a big spending liberal and your account will get banned (I base the fact that bush is a big spending liberal on his record, not what he says).

Hell, my wife was banned from freerepublic because she asked why food and energy wasn't including in the inflation report and I have received death threats for saying porn should not be banned. I mean they where chearing on China yesterday because they are going to execute a person who sold/made porn in China.

Just damn.

Re:Something novel - a Right-Wing site mentioned (1)

crmartin (98227) | about 10 years ago | (#10172725)

You can have very much the same experience at Kos or Democratic Underground.

In fact, that's probably another rule: if you hear of a number of people being banned for thoughtcrime, er, incorrect opinions, be suspicious.

Re:Something novel - a Right-Wing site mentioned (4, Informative)

DAldredge (2353) | about 10 years ago | (#10172831)

Wrong. DU states what they are upfront and bans those it doesn't agree with. Freerepublic lies about what they are, I have no problem with what they do they just should not lie about it. Plus, the one they support doesn't even share their beliefs, he says he does but his actions show otherwise.

Posted on 03/22/2004 6:22:17 PM PST by Jim Robinson

I posted the following statement to our front page in response to the criticism I'm receiving lately as to not being fair and balanced and perceived mistreatment of trolls and assorted malcontents. Got news for all, I'm NOT fair and balanced. I'm biased toward God, country, family, liberty and freedom and against liberalism, socialism, anarchism, wackoism, global balonyism and any other form of tyranny. Hope this helps.

Statement by the founder of Free Republic:

In our continuing fight for freedom, for America and our constitution and against totalitarianism, socialism, tyranny, terrorism, etc., Free Republic stands firmly on the side of right, i.e., the conservative side. Believing that the best defense is a strong offense, we (myself and those whom I'm trying to attract to FR) support the strategy of taking the fight to the enemy as opposed to allowing the enemy the luxury of conducting their attacks on us at home on their terms and on their schedule.

Therefore, we wholeheartedly support the Bush Doctrine of pre-emptive strikes on known terrorist states and organizations that are believed to present a clear threat to our freedom or national security. We support our military, our troops and our Commander-in-Chief and we oppose turning control of our government back over to the liberals and socialists who favor appeasement, weakness, and subserviency. We do not believe in surrendering to the terrorists as France, Germany, Russia and Spain have done and as Kerry, Kennedy, Clinton and the Democrats, et al, are proposing.

As a conservative site, Free Republic is pro-God, pro-life, pro-family, pro-Constitution, pro-Bill of Rights, pro-gun, pro-limited government, pro-private property rights, pro-limited taxes, pro-capitalism, pro-national defense, pro-freedom, and-pro America. We oppose all forms of liberalism, socialism, fascism, pacifism, totalitarianism, anarchism, government enforced atheism, abortionism, feminism, homosexualism, racism, wacko environmentalism, judicial activism, etc. We also oppose the United Nations or any other world government body that may attempt to impose its will or rule over our sovereign nation and sovereign people. We believe in defending our borders, our constitution and our national sovereignty.

Free Republic is private property. It is not a government project, nor is it funded by government or taxpayer money. We are not a publicly owned entity nor are we an IRS tax-free non-profit organization. We pay all applicable taxes on our income. We are not connected to or funded by any political party, news agency, or any other entity. We sell no merchandise, product or service, and we offer no subscriptions or paid memberships. We accept no paid advertising or promotions. We are funded solely by donations (non tax deductible gifts) from our readers and participants.

We aggressively defend our God-given and first amendment guaranteed rights to free speech, free press, free religion, and freedom of association, as well as our constitutional right to control the use and content of our own personal private property. Despite the wailing of the liberal trolls and other doom & gloom naysayers, we feel no compelling need to allow them a platform to promote their repugnant and obnoxious propaganda from our forum. Free Republic is not a liberal debating society. We are conservative activists dedicated to defending our rights, defending our constitution, defending our republic and defending our traditional American way of life.

Our God-given liberty and freedoms are not negotiable.

May God bless and protect our men and women in uniform fighting for our freedom and may God continue to bless America.

Re:Something novel - a Right-Wing site mentioned (1)

crmartin (98227) | about 10 years ago | (#10172898)

And if you had a point, it would be what?

That DU is more likely to help you get good information because they say they'll ban people for ideological reasons, while Free Republic says they'll ban you because it's their damn site and they'll ban whom they please?

You're not getting it either.

Re:Something novel - a Right-Wing site mentioned (1)

DAldredge (2353) | about 10 years ago | (#10172962)

No that FR lies about who and what they are so that makes information from their site less than trustworthy.

DU doesn't lie about who they are, the come out and say it. This also makes them less than trustworthy.

Let us just say that I have gotten more death threats from FR than I have from /. or any other site on the net.

For fun check out what they say the pay for bandwidth and compare it to market norms.

Re:Something novel - a Right-Wing site mentioned (1)

crmartin (98227) | about 10 years ago | (#10173176)

okay, which of these are you proposing as an argument for either one? Openly untrustworthy? Untrustworthy but not open about it? Fewer death threats?

(Fewer death threats? I never get death threats. Are you sure you're not being a little over-intense, maybe?)

In any case, the point is that neither one is likely to be very helpful in becoming well inormed.

Re:Something novel - a Right-Wing site mentioned (1)

DAldredge (2353) | about 10 years ago | (#10173224)

I do not think I was too intense. I do not think that pointing out the Bible doesn't condem drinking, that oral sex will not send you straight to hell and that porn isn't evil are over the top. Do you?

Re:Something novel - a Right-Wing site mentioned (1)

crmartin (98227) | about 10 years ago | (#10173301)

No, but somehow I manage to say things like that -- even at Republican conventions and such -- without getting death threats.

I'm just suspicious that if you're getting a lot of death threats, you might be a little intemperate in your phrasing.

Re:Something novel - a Right-Wing site mentioned (1)

DAldredge (2353) | about 10 years ago | (#10173376)

People at republican conventions are not the same people that post at freerepublic. You will notice that a lot/most of the normal posters kept posting during the convention, IOW they where not at the convention.

They think they are important and they do not care to have the side they support questioned in any way.

The ultra religious on freerepublic are crazy if they where normal they would not be saying that those two girls that killed themselves deserved it because the practed wicca.

Check out Tailgunner Joes posting history sometime.

Re:Something novel - a Right-Wing site mentioned (0, Flamebait)

pauldy (100083) | about 10 years ago | (#10173322)

Are you trying to convince these people debauchery and pornography are good? Or are you simply defending Kennedy and Clinton.

In any event all I can say is, DUH!!! I wonder why they did not respond well to that. It is difficult to preach to those with a moral compass if yours is broken.

economists (1)

LordMyren (15499) | about 10 years ago | (#10172019)

Do NOT, i repeat, DO NOT look to journalists. what you want now is an economists.

the media has been relegated to a game of he said she said; back and forth. the media never bothers to find out of a candidate is actually lying. they simply report what each candidate says.

the job of a journalist is to make stories.
the job of a ECONOMIST is to understand fiscal policies, markets, and (growingly important:) social costs.

if you want to understand your government, find an economist who can tack points to the bottom line ($) and reduce it to something you can understand.

Nick Confessore has a nice article [washingtonmonthly.com] talking about hte rise of economist as a source of information, and in particular the Paul Krugman phenomena. I highly recommend these read, parituclarly in conjunction with some Paul Krugman himself for reference.

you can either figure out what a candidate is REALLY supporting, or you can be just another single issue voter.

economists-Hypocritical behaviour. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10174359)

"you can either figure out what a candidate is REALLY supporting, or you can be just another single issue voter."

Or you can observe the differences between what one says, verses what one does, and ask yourself, Why?

Most people running for president already have a political career. Former civil servant. Look at that, and more importantly look when they believed that no one was looking.

Only one way to understand: Read books. (4, Interesting)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | about 10 years ago | (#10172299)


If you read books about the issues, you may come to the conclusion that by far the biggest underlying issue in the present political campaign is U.S. government violence. You probably won't know this unless you read books.

The present system of violence in the U.S. and Britain started in the 1940s. In the 1940s, it was decided that the U.S. government could act in secret in foreign countries to preserve the profits of U.S. and British companies. It was decided that the U.S. government could not only act in secret, it could break the laws of the foreign country. It was decided the the U.S. government could even arrange the murder of the leaders of foreign countries. Agencies like the CIA were created for secret accomplishment of largely secret foreign policy.

Only an estimated 2% read non-fiction books not connected with work. The system of violence works partly by keeping U.S. citizens ignorant. It is not necessary that all citizens be ignorant, just a large percentage of the voters. Actually, there is plenty of information freely available in books, but only an estimated 2% of American citizens read non-fiction books not connected with their work. It is easy to understand why. United States citizens are the hardest-working in the world, with the exception of the Japanese. Many U.S. citizens have only two weeks of vacation every year, and they need that to rest. They simply don't have time to read books.

However, the only way to understand something as complicated as politics is to read books extensively. The issues are too complicated to express in a few words.

By far the biggest issue in the present political campaign is this fundamental one, about which former Supreme Commander of Allied Forces and former Republican U.S. President [whitehouse.gov] General Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us in a famous speech [yale.edu] . He said that we should beware of the "military-industrial complex". Here are quotes:

"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

"We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes."

The problem he warned us about has been a major influence on both the politics and quality of life of the United States. The U.S. government has engaged in 24 wars [hevanet.com] since World War II. The system of violence works by creating fear so rich [hevanet.com] people [hevanet.com] can profit.

Very few U.S. citizens know the full history of the war against Iraq. This short article is a summary: History surrounding the U.S. war with Iraq: Four short stories [futurepower.org] .

The events leading up to the present "war on terror" and the two wars against Iraq began in the 1950s, when hidden elements of the U.S. government overthrew a democratically elected president of Iran [gwu.edu] (Mossadegh) because he wanted to reduce the profits of U.S. and British oil companies doing business in Iran.

The U.S. government supported a very weak man, the Shah of Iran, who became very violent toward his own citizens. Eventually, people in Iran overthrew the Shah. The U.S. government's actions de-stabilized the country and encouraged the violence that came after. The U.S. government supported Iraq against Iran, supplying weapons to Saddam Hussein at a very high profit for the rich owners of U.S. weapons companies. To give a present example, the Bush family has long owned part of a company that owns weapons companies. Cheney was head of Halliburton, a company that profits when there is war, especially since Halliburton was able to arrange a secret, no competitive bid contract.

Every important speaker at the recent Republican convention spoke of keeping America safe. Unfortunately, "Keeping America Safe" is code for "keeping America fearful by promoting violence so the rich can get richer". It was despicable when Bill Clinton did it, and it continues to be despicable now that George W. Bush is doing it. Possibly many of the nation's leaders are not fully aware of the circumstances. It seems that only a very small percentage of citizens realize the extent of the violence of the U.S. government.

Common Mistake: The war in Iraq is about oil. The violence is not about oil itself. The violence is about oil and weapons contracts that can be influenced by political leaders. Most oil contracts cannot be easily influenced by politics. However, new violence leads to new contracts. Those who initiate and encourage and allow the violence are in the best position to profit, especially since the new contracts in the Iraq war were negotiated in secret.

Here are reviews of 3 movies and 35 books about U.S. government corruption, and partly about the system of violence: Unprecedented Corruption: A guide to conflict of interest in the U.S. government [futurepower.org] .

Don't like the books I found? Find your own. It's your duty as an adult to participate in the political issues of your country. It's necessary to gather enough information that you can make your own informed conclusions, and not just copy the conclusions of others.

Here is another summary of information I've gotten from reading those and other books:

Osama bin Laden has two complaints against the U.S. government.
Although violence is not justified, the complaints are justified.

Osama bin Laden says that the U.S. government interferes with politics inside Saudi Arabia, preventing needed changes. The author has had discussions with sons of rich Saudis, whose families benefit from the present regime, and would therefore have every reason to disagree. They say this is correct. The U.S. government does interfere, and changes are needed.

In the Michael Moore movie Fahrenheit 9/11, George W. Bush can be seen holding hands with a man known to his family as "Bandar Bush", and known in Saudi Arabia as "Prince Bandar". (In Saudi Arabia, it is common for men to hold hands. Doubters: Please, that scene in the movie is taken from network TV footage; no one has contested or questioned it.) Prince Bandar is one of the regime to which Osama bin Laden objects.

George W. Bush had a failing oil company, someone in the Saudi ruling regime bought the company, and Mr. Bush then made a profit. Ask yourself, why would a rich Saudi want to invest in a small failing oil company in Texas? The answer is that the Saudis wanted access to top officials then in the U.S. government, such as George W. Bush's father.

So, in this point, Osama bin Laden is correct. Although violence is not the way to resolve problems, it is a fact that the U.S. government is preventing needed political change in Saudi Arabia. How would you feel if people from another country were interfering with the U.S. political process? The Saudis are.

Osama bin Laden and many, many of the 330 million Arabs and 1.1 billion Muslims object to the support from the U.S. government for Israeli violence toward Palestinians. The money given by the U.S. government averages approximately $910 for every Jewish man, woman, and child each year. The helicopters we see on TV firing at Palestinians on the ground were bought with the tax dollars of U.S. citizens.

How many U.S. citizens intended to get in the middle of a 3,200-year-old conflict (on and off) between the family of Abraham and the surrounding people? How many U.S. citizens opened their billfolds and found dollars that they were willing to give to kill Palestinians they don't know?

Yes, there is a serious problem between Israelis and Arabs, but did U.S. taxpayers intend to get involved? Is there any advantage for anyone in U.S. taxpayers getting involved? One famous Israeli government official said that the U.S. government money was like "gasoline on a fire".

So Osama bin Laden is correct in this second complaint, also. Violence is not the way to resolve this problem, but the U.S. government is, in fact, giving money for Israelis to buy U.S.-made weapons that are used to kill Arabs. Not surprisingly, Arabs don't like being killed. Not surprisingly, some of them object by becoming violent themselves.

This particular U.S. government corruption works through embezzling. The weapons companies could never arrange a deal to get your tax dollars directly from the U.S. government, they would risk prison; the U.S. government is not that corrupt. Instead, the money goes to the Israeli government first, and back to the weapons manufacturers, who make an easy profit, since the Israelis cannot spend the money elsewhere. As the books reviewed in the article Unprecedented Corruption: A guide to conflict of interest in the U.S. government [hevanet.com] say, George W. Bush's family is invested in weapons manufacturing companies. Dick Cheney was CEO of Halliburton, another company that makes more profit when there is violence. This involvement may tend to cause them to prefer violent means.

George W. Bush's father, George H.W. Bush, attended a meeting of The Carlyle Group [hevanet.com] investors on the days around 9/11 that was also attended by a brother of Osama bin Laden. The Carlyle Group is a weapons manufacturer holding company. That's unprecedented conflict of interest.

If you read books, you get a very different view of U.S. government activities than when you only listen to campaign speeches and read magazine articles and watch TV.

does it really matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10172657)

You could probably spend months analyzing just *one aspect* of these guys.

Here's all you need to know: did you think the war was a good idea? Vote Bush. Otherwise vote Kerry.

If you're unsure about the war, go for the guy that you'd most like to have as your dad (the "gut check").

If you're interested in 3rd-party candidates, don't waste your vote, flip a coin between these two *because only one of these two will win*. I know that's tough for a lot of slashdotters who actually *do* relate more to some 3rd party folks, but too bad, that's how the system works.

Is anything else really going to be that different??

The government will still grow (as it always has in the past).

We'll still be in Iraq (it would be really stupid to cut and run now).

Homeland security will still have too much power (no president would have the balls).

We'll still be afraid of terrorism (as we should've been 20 years ago.. on 9/11 WE changed, not the world). The war in Iraq will probably cause more terrorism.

The economy will most likely improve, unless you're in the middle class and find it difficult to learn new skills (it's cheaper to send jobs overseas, and companies aren't charities).

Don't waste your time with the details, is all I'm saying.

Re:does it really matter? (1)

DAldredge (2353) | about 10 years ago | (#10172857)

Kerry has said the he would have attacked Iraq also.

Anti-Spin (4, Informative)

sevensharpnine (231974) | about 10 years ago | (#10172710)

Spinsanity [spinsanity.com] is a good site that takes some pretty hard swipes at each side.

Spinsanity - another fact checking site (2, Informative)

sien (35268) | about 10 years ago | (#10172726)

I subscribe to both factcheck and spinsanity's email lists. Spinsanity [spinsanity.org] puts out fewer emails but they are of slightly higher quality. But both are excellent.

Candidates ? (1)

drsmithy (35869) | about 10 years ago | (#10172735)

Wouldn't you be better off researching the *parties* ? After all, aren't they the ones who are actually creating the policy ?

(Disclaimer: IANAAmerican. Your political processes might be different and thus the above advice completely wrong).

I can't believe it took this long (1)

jb.hl.com (782137) | about 10 years ago | (#10172901)

The goddamn motherfucking BBC [bbc.co.uk] . All other media bows down to its impartiality and general wonderfulness.

Re:I can't believe it took this long (1)

Money for Nothin' (754763) | about 10 years ago | (#10174384)

Can you trust the BBC knowing that they have people murdered on the taxpayer dime [bnp.org.uk] ?

See also here [telegraph.co.uk] ...

I agree the BBC usually seems relatively-impartial, but I have an awfully-hard time trusting a source that (seemingly) uses its power to kill people...

In any case, I'm not sure impartiality is a good thing. IMO, a polarized media -- FOX vs. PBS here in the states, for example -- is a better system. At least that way you know what you're getting; you don't have to watch CNN for hours and hours to determine if they have a "slight liberal streak" or "slight conservative streak"... (personally, I think CNN is slightly left-ish and PBS moreso, while FOX is off-the-charts right-wing, except economically, where it's pretty standard Republican fare. MSNBC seems to pander to whichever way the winds of ratings are blowing...)

Re:I can't believe it took this long (2, Informative)

jb.hl.com (782137) | about 10 years ago | (#10174495)

Any argument for which you cite the BNP is likely to be bullshit. The BNP, if you don't know, are a far right racist political party known to be a haven for neo-Nazis, anti-semites and general racist motherfuckers. They fucking hate all the media because all the media realise that they're racist motherfuckers. As for the Telegraph article, it seems as though the murder was completely unrelated to any work he did for the BBC, even less BBC News. He happened to murder somebody, after being employed by the BBC.

As for the left right scale, CNN and PBS are leftist, Fox News are right wing twats and MSNBC I haven't seen enough of to know.

For the record, I get my news from the Guardian [guardian.co.uk] (left wing newspaper), the Independent [independent.co.uk] (nice, politically independent (although VERY slightly leftist) newspaper which employs Robert Fisk), the BBC [bbc.co.uk] and CNN International [cnn.com] (a completely different beast from the American CNN [cnn.com] , with more concentration on world affairs). Anybody looking for radio can do no worse than the BBC World Service [bbcworldservice.com] . If you haven't noticed, most of those are British (and even CNNI comes from London). That's because we kick ass :)

Re:I can't believe it took this long (1)

Money for Nothin' (754763) | about 10 years ago | (#10174583)

I admit, my knowledge of British political parties is close to nonexistent, and the BNP's site design doesn't strike me as terribly "professional" (which is why I dug up the Telegraph link)...

My point about the BBC connection is that the BBC is an arm of the British government, funded by taxpayers. That they employed and paid a convicted, violent criminal to infiltrate criminal organizations is no surprise; I'd call that good investigative journalism actually.

That said, such investigations are likely to encourage violent behavior -- which erupted in Raven's killing of Waters, and the BBC was subsidizing Raven's involvement in such criminal behavior. Still, whether Raven actually *committed* crimes on the BBC's dime while doing the investigations isn't clear, but it's pretty obvious that in dealing with organizations doing counterfeiting, etc., you're dealing with fairly-sophisticated criminals. You're likely to have to do *something* to avoid their detection; something to prove you're "one of them," not a narc...

If nothing else, it raises suspicions. I'd have the same suspicions if FOX or CNN had a couple employees who whacked somebody when one of those employees was working with the criminal underground... I highly doubt the BBC's President/CEO (or whatever he/she is called) ordered the hit, but they are still, indirectly, responsible, since it is their organization, and because it is taxpayer-funded, the govn't too, is more-indirectly responsible (just as President Bush is, at least indirectly, responsible for the abuses at Abu Gharaib, using the bad information from the CIA, etc. in going to war in Iraq, etc.)...

In any case, it's nothing the Bush administration wouldn't do....... (that's a scary thought, actually)

Best place is the candidate's websites (1)

tburke (29991) | about 10 years ago | (#10173308)

John Kerry Issue Positions [johnkerry.com]
George Bush Agenda [georgebush.com]

Despite the naive cynicism here and in the press both candidates do stand for something. Their position papers are pretty clear, maybe some fluff but generally they are trying to tell us what they want to do. It is difficult to find their actual positions anywhere else, and if you compare them in their own words you can cut through the rhetoric and form a pretty solid opinion.

ALL News Media Is Biased (4, Informative)

rlp (11898) | about 10 years ago | (#10173406)

Usually the LOUDER an organization proclaims its objectivity - the more biased it is. Most old media (large city papers, network TV, PBS) tilt left. CNN, MSNBC tilt left, Fox tilts right. Talk radio - right, NPR left.

My two cents is to look for news sources that are up front about their biases. Then fact check them your self. Personally I like a weekly called "The Economist". Their reporting on science and technology is usually pretty accurate - which is fairly rare in the mainstream media. On political matters they tilt towards the (British) conservatives. Their coverage of world news and of U.S. news is excellent.

The Economist (1)

Money for Nothin' (754763) | about 10 years ago | (#10174404)

I second your recommendation of "The Economist" [economist.com] .

It's pricey, at $130/year (and a still-steep $77/year at the rate offered to us college students on campuses by various subscription orgs), but certainly worth reading in the library or subscribing if you can afford it...

Why has nobody else suggested... (0, Troll)

WarPresident (754535) | about 10 years ago | (#10173855)

Fox News?

All the political news that I, or any other God-fearing, flag-waving, SUV-driving, red-blooded American needs is at http://www.foxnews.com/

I can tell how good they are because I agree with everything they report.

Ohio & California (smartvoter.org) (2, Informative)

JumperCable (673155) | about 10 years ago | (#10174164)

If you live in Ohio or California try this site:
http://smartvoter.org [smartvoter.org]

It can be a little bland since it takes no stance but it has always been a great starting source for me and shows me what will be on my ballot.

The Note! (2, Informative)

Thatmushroom (447396) | about 10 years ago | (#10174618)

If you're looking for a great aggregate of news sites put into context, I highly recommend The Note [go.com] . While the ABC News site itself has a leftward bias, The Note stands out for being pretty impartial, and extremely thorough. Now that college is back in session, I don't have time to visit it as often, because it's a long read, especially if you follow all of the links.

For a good analysis of things, I prefer the Christian Science Monitor [csmonitor.com] . The bias vacillates, simply because of the variety of guest columnists.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>