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Voice of the Voter - This Week's Articles

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A Shining Example of American Entrepreneurial Spirit

For some time now, I have written about the virtues of supporting American businesses and American workers. We as consumers have choices and the power to shape the future of the American economy. For the “Average Joe” the American dream is most achievable through entrepreneurial endeavors and small business by its very nature is one of the most direct ways to support growth in your local economy. That being said I would like to share a wonderful discovery with you.

While walking through a local farmer’s market held at Oakland’s Jack London Square I encountered a local small business that demands notice. For anyone who is a fan of things like Häagen-Dazs and Ben & Jerry’s ice creams and sorbets, Scream Sorbet is something you simply must try. From the first bite of the Bittersweet Chocolate to the surprisingly tasty Beet Lemon everything that they have to offer is a delectable delight. I was frankly amazed to find out that they were a brand new business. The quality of their product far surpassed almost anything I have ever had including some of the best gelatos in the world. The striking thing about the sorbet is the genuine integrity of the flavors. There is no dulling of the flavors from over-sweetness or overpowering of the senses from too much of any one flavor. The sorbet is the perfect balance of flavors and sweetness to bring an almost euphoric reaction in the consumer. My personal favorite is a mix of the Bittersweet Chocolate and Roasted Cashew flavors.

While the business is a fledgling startup and is currently only available in Oakland, CA I can say without hesitation that greater exposure to the public will result in growth for this small American business. One taste is enough for anyone to want to come back for more. What’s more, this business in turn supports other local small businesses and ecological responsibility by using mainly organic ingredients from local suppliers. This is the type of business model that can help to bring the American economy back in to balance and keep Americans working. Support for businesses like this is the key to strengthening our economy and counteracting the damages done by years of outsourcing and bad trade agreements. You simply can’t go wrong with a superior all natural product hand made by American workers from ingredients mostly produced here in America.

So if you find yourself on a Sunday looking for a place to enjoy the fresh air and maybe take a little walk, come out to Jack London Square and pick up a scoop or three of Scream Sorbet. You will not be disappointed that you did. If you want to keep up with the progress of Scream, you can visit their website at and see if they have made it to your area. For those who live outside of the San Francisco Bay Area, next time you come to visit, make sure to stop by Jack London Square in Oakland on a Sunday to meet the folks from Scream and try the best sorbet you will ever have. Maybe you can get your local market or sweet shop to encourage the folks at Scream to let them carry Scream Sorbet and share the experience with the people in your town.

Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer | Give your feedback on this article.

Globalization Without Sensitivity

Originally posted 2/25/07

The world seems to be becoming a smaller place and the people of the world seem to be increasingly in contact with one another in the modern world. Where it once took days to travel from one state to another, it now takes mere hours to fly from one side of the planet to the other. With this increased ability to travel, cultures have increasingly come in contact with one another and it would seem at some level in conflict with one another.

We see our fellow man as not being different from us in some ways while being completely assured that they are absolutely different in others. There is a dichotomy of thought within our own perception of our relationship to the peoples of the world. I can best relate this to Americans as an American. I see our leaders telling us that the peoples of the world all yearn to be free of "tyranny" and "oppression" while telling us that we must go invade their countries to free them. In the same breath, they call the people in their country who oppose our brand of "freedom" in favor of their own ideas of how life should be as "insurgents" or "terrorists". How can the people of that country be free if they aren't allowed to choose how their society is run?

The problem lies in the definition of "freedom" as I see it. From the American neo-conservative viewpoint, "freedom" is democracy pure and simple. And in their viewpoint, nobody knows more about democracy than America because we have the greatest democracy in human history. So if the people of the nations of the world would just wake up and accept that we have the best form of government in the world and accept that Jesus is the only path to heaven, the world would live in perfect harmony and peace for all eternity. Of course this is an oversimplification of the neo-conservative viewpoint and meant only as a representative example of the extreme of neo-conservatism. On the American liberal side, there is a belief in an absolute freedom of expression and the acceptance of differences in others without judgment. They see the solution to all problems in the belief that if we just let the people of the world find their own path and help the poor people not be poor anymore, the world would be transformed into a giant happy place. Again this is an oversimplification but it is fairly representative of the extreme side of liberalism. The problem is both sides are wrong and right at the same time to varying degrees.

We as the predominant power on the planet have some responsibility to be mindful of the dangers posed to the world by extremists and to take some action to keep them in check. We also have some responsibility to look after the poor that may suffer for our opulence. What we don't have any responsibility or right to do is force our belief structure on the rest of the world. The problem with trying to "make the world a better place" is that, you are only trying to make it fit your vision of a better place. What if your vision doesn't work for them?

The continuing war in Iraq is an outstanding demonstration of our lack of understanding of the rest of the world as a nation. We went into a sovereign nation with thousands of years of history to "correct" the situation created in the last few decades of their history without considering the previous history first. In Iraq, the Sunni and Shiah have been in conflict with each other since around 600 C.E. (Common Era also known as A.D.) Their conflict stems from the leadership of Islam after the death of Muhammad and runs deeper in their society than any loyalty or hatred for Saddam Hussein. When Saddam was in power, the minority Sunni had control of the nation and were cruel to the Shiah. When we toppled Saddam, we created a power vacuum and the Shiah quickly filled it bent on payback. So now, we have a situation where the more numerous Shiah and the better equipped Sunni are at odds with one another and since the historic conflict between the parties goes well beyond Iraqi borders, there is no shortage of committed fighters wanting to lend their services to both sides from outside Iraq.

While unsavory to most within the U.S. as an idea, it would have served us better if we had backed a coup from within Iraq or had covert operatives go into Iraq and assassinate Hussein to avoid this nightmare scenario. Our lack of sensitivity to their overall situation has made daily life hell for the Iraqi people and has cost our nation over 3,100 American lives. Until we as Americans become more sensitive to the differences of other world cultures, we will continue to grow the pool of enemies we face. This is not to say that we should just sit and watch the world go by because there are real monsters out there that would kill and destroy as much for pleasure as power but we need to be measured in our approach and mindful of the people we impact in the process.

Beyond the diplomacy realm there also lies the impact that average Americans have on the perception of our nation in the world's eyes. When we go abroad and expect people to speak English, we are being arrogant and that is never appreciated. When our citizens exploit the people of third world countries for pleasure and profits without being held accountable for doing so, we create more enemies. We have to be aware of the things we do on all levels if we are to live up to the responsibility of being a leader in the world. Enemies do not just appear, they are made. We have a lot of enemies as a nation. We would be wise to start looking at why and how we can repair some of the damage we've done to those who would happily tap dance on our graves.

Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer | Give your feedback on this article.

Get Involved

Do you sit and yell at the TV when politicians come on? Do you shake your head sadly whenever you see a homeless veteran? Is that all you tend to do?

It's time to put up or shut up America. We all love to talk about how we could do things better or how we would do it if we were in charge. Well, it's time to put your money where your mouth is. If you can think of it, you can write it down. If you can write it down, you can type it. If you can type it, you can e-mail it and if you can e-mail it, you can send it here.

We at Reform America are committed to giving voice to anyone who wants to put their ideas out there to make our nation a better place. As the readership grows, we are able to take those views to a wider and wider audience. Grassroots campaigns begin with voices speaking out. You have opinions. Voice them. We aren't about conservative or liberal. We aren't about pro-this or anti-that. We're about Americans and the First Amendment. Reform America is about politics by, for and of the people. You are the people. You only need to speak up. America is listening. Send your article to:

Have You Been Downsized Due to Outsourcing?

For several years now we have listened to some within the business community tell us that America can't compete on a global scale unless they send our jobs overseas where they can be done cheaper. The question becomes, if we don't have good paying jobs here, how can we sustain our own economy? We want to hear from you. Have you lost your job? Have you been forced into a lower wage job due to outsourcing? Has outsourcing been a success for you? Did you end up in a better job?

Tell us your story so we can make sure the politicians see how outsourcing really impacts the workers who are backbone of America. Send your story to


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