Getting into the election now

I have never been so informed about an election until this year. In fact, with exception of Apple products I’ve probably never been so informed about a single issue in all my life. That’s not to say I’m a political expert, just interested.

So when my friend asked me where to go for information on the election, I was taken aback because all my information was gleaned over months of daily news reports, speech videos, friends and relatives. How do you get involved this late in the election without all that previous knowledge? Not only knowledge of lipstick and celebrity status, but how anger, experience, the Clintons, age, race, and elitism factor into this race.

I told her how I felt, and planned to gather some resources to help her determine her own view. Here’s what I would have sent her, but I found a better site down below for this sort of one shot election decision below.
http://origin.barackobama.com/issues/ – Barack’s plan
http://www.johnmccain.com/Informing/Issues/ – McCain’s plan
http://www.electoral-vote.com/ – good for daily news and a snapshot of how the election is going.
http://labs.google.com/inquotes/ – Choose what topic you want to know about and get random quotes from candidates on the subject.
http://factcheck.org/, http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/ – Reports on the truthfulness of various ads. I take issue with their method of “unbias”. They give equal time to each candidate but not all lies deserve the same weight. Factcheck.org videos are the worst, with the formula being 1 McCain, 1 Obama and one 3rd party ad checked even when there are 3 gregarious lies by McCain and the Obama lie is only a lie in certain contexts.
http://troykoelling.blogspot.com/2008/10/do-you-know-where-money-comes-from-this.html – My own blog pointing to videos about money and the financial crisis.

But then I found this site glassbooth.org. First, it lets you rank issues as important or not. Don’t worry if you think it seems like you are supporting an issue you care about, because on the next page it takes only the issues you care about and asks you whether you support or oppose it, and how strongly you feel this way. Finally, it compares your answers with various candidates and shows you which one you are most like. Most importantly, it lets you “find out why” the candidate is aligned with you or not with links to their votes and quotes. Glassbooth.org is a very good site.

If you are interested, I matched 71% with Barack Obama and 58% with John McCain.

So that’s my advice for being informed when you go vote. Next challenge: Amendments and Propositions.

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Money is debt

Do you know where money comes from? This video is entirely fascinating and relevant, despite being released two years ago.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cy-fD78zyvI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfXavRTM4Fg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yvRZoM-2r8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0p8LepIuVM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzXZ_Hs1g6U

It’s 45 minutes, so get comfortable. Despite that, I’ve watched it 3 times in the last 2 weeks and learned something new each time. I’m not sure the solutions are viable, but the problems are real, frightening, and immediate. The proof is in the news.