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Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

I post my reviews to:

booklore.co.uk
midwestbookreview.com
2 yahoo groups
Amazon and B&N (of course)
Librarything.com
Goodreads.com
Bookwormr.com
Books-a-million.com
Reviewcentre.com
Pinterest.com
and on Twitter
(seriously)

I am always looking for more places to post my reviews.

Friday, March 16, 2018

The Truth Matters

The Truth Matters, Bruce Bartlett, Ten Speed Press, 2017

In an era of "fake news" and "alternative facts," this short book attempts to show how the average person can distinguish between real news and propaganda.

If a news story is being covered by only one news source, the story is probably fake. Get in the habit of frequently visiting a fact check website. Does a source have a bias in a news story? Are they less than non-partisan?

Frequently, a story will cite "according to a government study" as its source. What study? What agency did the study? When was the study done? Conveniently, it's now not possible to look up the study to see just what it says. It's much better to cite a specific, and researchable, study?

Primary sources, people who were actually at the event, are much more reliable than secondary sources, people who weren't there, but heard about the event later. Journalism terms. like "on the record" or "off the record" have different meanings and can be used by sources to mislead reporters. Visit your local library; they have search engines of most major newspapers, and free online access to valuable news databases. A better job needs to be done at putting numbers, like the federal budget, in proper context. Opinion polls are easily manipulated. It's best to look at trends by several different pollsters, instead of just one poll.

This book also includes a list of websites to visit to get real and reliable information, instead of nonsense. It is short, very easy to read and highly recommended for all Americans.   

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