I completely agree... the political diatribes on here are total partisan hogwash and real time wasters. That being said, I've been independently investing for over 15 years now, and I've been on stock message boards for almost precisely the same amount of time. Over the years, I've found that independent research trumps nearly any advice I've ever gotten off a message board. I'm probably just stating the obvious, but thought I might save you some time :^)
Every once in a while there will be a reasonable/illuminating discussion, though, and that's why I'm still here! The best advice I can give you: no one really knows anything for sure... it's all just calculated risk. Even the 'safest' risk (and some people would say Southern is 'safe risk') is still risk, by definition.