Aye, read the news today. O Boy!

Hard to figure out from a distance, with little information and not much experience, what to do about major world events, the flows of violence and money, pride and envy, blood and bombs, which define our epoch as one of the most decisive in world history.

  • Yes, Virginia, we do live in interesting times.

Some of us — old folks, we are conveniently designated — grew up assuming we could rely on the daily newspaper to provide us with, if not the wisest opinion, at least a measure of reliable information upon which could form our own opinion.

  • Were we more reliably informed, way back then? I think we were. Where did it all start to go bad? Look at the post below — Turn everything off — and click on the second image, if you haven’t already.

But whatever the past of journalism may have been, so many of its present day practitioners are frustratingly and perhaps criminally incompetent, tendentious, and/or lazy. As for reliance on the words, the ideas, the reputation, the promise of world leaders…HA!

So. Where do we turn for guidance, or for advice, or for information upon which a rational person might form a defensible opinion? My default setting in this matter used to be negative. Whom do I least trust, or believe, or want to be associated with? On that basis, for example, I had no problem opposing our invasion of Iraq.

But we want to be led toward the good, not simply to be warned away from the bad. My solution has been to develop a list of individuals or organizations whose opinions and reports and advice seemed to have been right significantly more often than wrong, to have advocated what looks, in hindsight, to have been the proper course.

They are not infallible. They don’t always agree with each other. Still, they are my beacons.

They’re in no particular order. I listed them as I came across them in reviewing notes. You’ll note, perhaps, a serious tilt toward the Middle East. That’s as it should be, right now.

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