Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Best Money You Can Spend To Make America Great

Putting my money where my mouth is, I recently spent a few of my hard earned dollars and got myself a subscription to the local newspaper.  For $20 a month I get a copy of Salem's Statesman Journal delivered to me daily.  I'm hoping to teach my puppy how to fetch it for me.

A smattering of recent headlines illustrate the need for a free press:
  • Edward Snowden's revelations about the NSA sucking up every electronic activity of every American.  
  • Attorney General Eric Holder going after Fox News and Associated Press sources to hunt down whistleblowers.  
  • This local piece by the Oregonian about New York based Caithness Energy, and Oregon's own Department of Energy, collaborating together to abuse renewable energy subsidies.
Everywhere you turn, someone is doing something wrong.  Seriously, our government runs a giant, tax funded voyeurism program called the NSA.  Perverts.  Don't be surprised, or depressed about the problems in our government.  It's ran by people and people are imperfect.  There will be abuse, fraud and cover ups.

People are also good.  For every abuse, there is often someone trying to report it to the media.  Whistleblowers are heroes.  Sadly, Barack Obama, who I voted for twice and supported financially, has prosecuted more whistleblowers than any president before him.  This after speaking time and again about the importance of whistleblowers in keeping the government accountable.  Like I linked above, Obama's DOJ hacked reporter's emails to find those sources.  Creepy.

That's why we need the press.  We need journalists who get paid to snoop, uncover and provide transparency to our government.  Whistleblowers need someone who can tell their story.

The press is our first, and best line of defense against government abuse and waste. The antibody to the disease of poor governance.  That's why it's among the first things to go when countries turn totalitarian.  And the more press we have, the better.  Different voices have value, even if we disagree with them.  I might dislike Fox News personally, but I am grateful they will go after Democrats, where other organizations might turn a blind eye.

As long as the press is free, and different voices are tolerated our democracy will have a chance.  And I doubt, for your dollar, the average American can do more to support good governance in our country than subscribing to a newspaper.

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