I've often wondered what exactly Albert Gore envisioned when he was, um, "inventing" the Internet.
Did he see it as the ultimate book of lists? As the world's yellow pages? As the ultimate source of up-to-date sports statistics?
Seriously, it seems unlikely Gore or anyone else expected the Internet to turn out as it has. What began as a project of the Department of Defense to gather and organize national security information has become a powerful worldwide marketplace of ideas, products and information the likes of which – even 10 years ago – man could not fathom.
Considering its enormous potential to do good, what a shame, what a sad commentary on the human condition, that what have become its most popular two uses are low-level vices available centuries before its invention – gambling and pornography.
Thankfully, in most instances, the Internet is realizing its positive potential. The success of an independent newssite like WorldNetDaily and the powerful conservative Townhall.com, are two prime examples. For the very best in public policy research, I'm particularly proud of our own Heritage.org (personal bias proudly admitted!)
A fun newssite is run by that zany, wonderful radio character, Neal Boortz. His "Nealz Nuze" has a daily "reading assignment" that contains links to the best online commentary. It also features plenty of great "stuff" from the bubbly, charming, expert word-marksman himself.
There are also other lesser-known Internet treasures – sites and e-mail lists – that are amazing resources for accurate information on important issues of the day. Take for instance, two new favorites of mine: the site of the Alliance Defense Fund and its companion e-mail "newsletter," "The Alliance Alert." In the alert, you'll find – packaged in a way that Matt Drudge would find familiar – stories of interest to pro-family, pro-values, pro-morality Americans.
I give The Alliance Alert high marks for both ease of use and for being thorough. It covers everything from religious freedom issues to family values to the impact of the Lawrence v. Texas Supreme Court decision regarding homosexuality. It also has a rare tribute to those in the trenches working to preserve constitutional rights – A "Hall of Fame" for lawyers who log 450 hours or more of pro bono work on behalf of protecting the religious liberty and free speech rights of today's persecuted Christians.