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Artist, Teacher, Blogger concerned with American culture, its effect on faith and how Christianity effects American culture, specifically, what the word "christian" means to Americans today.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Check Your Sources

Information is the engine that drives society today.  So many of us hasten to our computers, smartphones or other electronic devices as soon as we get wake up, to get the news of the day... and there's nothing wrong with that.  However we need to slow down and really think about where we are getting our news from, and check our sources.

In 2008, I attended the Rally for the Republic.  An event held by Ron Paul in St.Paul Minnesota.  The event itself was incredible.  I enjoyed all of the speaker Mr. Paul invited and was really impressed by the difference between Mr. Paul's event, and the GOP convention that was taking place directly across the street.  All of Mr. Paul's speakers were informative and substantive and there wasn't a single catch phrase used throughout the entire event.  Inside the arena, it wasn't politics as usual, however, outside the arena was a different story.

Outside the arena, I saw average Americans doing their best to wade through the onslaught of information now available through the internet and books and speaking with other concerned citizens about our changing American landscape.  "Concerned" is the key word.  They were concerned about the country, concerned about their place in it and concerned about where it was headed and they exercised their concern by looking at our nation's past.  Actually, this was why I had come to Minnesota myself, because I shared their concern. But what concerned me more than who was running for president or the Republican convention going on across the street (or the spies they sent over to check us out), or even the protestors that who had come to disrupt that convention, was the vast amount of misinformation I was hearing outside of our convention.

We seem to think, that just because information is published on the internet, that it must be right and many of the people at this convention used the internet to get their information and there's nothing wrong with that, but you still have to check your sources. I realize that my having a background in reality-television gives me a somewhat unfair advantage in this matter, since checking sources for accuracy was part of my job, but their are simple things that anyone can do before they disseminate information, especially when that information will be used by the public to make decisions that will effect our nation. One thing we can all do is check public records when possible.

I conducted a very interesting interview with Ashleighly Moody outside the convention center. He was very open and friendly and had a very interesting take on American History. I really enjoyed doing the interview, however when I got back home, the first thing I did was to check out a story he told about Anthony Johnson. When I first looked on the internet, I found this story online, told exactly as Mr. Moody had told me. But when I checked the public records, I get a completely different story. Take a look at the video below, and you'll see what I mean:
It is absolutely essential to have an informed electorate in order for democracy to work. As we enter this next election cycle and we get a new, massive wave of information, please remember to at least ask yourself the question, “Where did this information come from?” And when possible, check it yourself.

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