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Voice of the Voter - This Week's Articles

Tell us what's important to you. Submit your article to Voice of the Voter today.
Give us your opinions on our articles. Send a letter to the editor and we'll post it on the new Letters to the Editor page coming next week.

Modern Stone Age

It seems that for all our advances the Stone Age isn't all that different from the Technology Age. You still have to worry about someone learning your secrets and stealing your identity. Your social security number has become your spirit name, the unique name known only to you and the tribal elders. We still have "power words", a phrase or word that invokes your other world presence and protectors, we now call this your "PIN" number. A powerful Shaman, or as we call them now a "Hacker" can make you cease to exist with a wave of his hand. Sure, the rest of the tribe can still see you, but they will shun you. You have no money.

Knowledge is power, it always has been and it always will be. The tribal elder that knew your spirit name had power over you and you therefore followed him. Now the modern day witch doctor known as the IRS knows every little detail of your income and investments and you know better than to mess with the IRS. For some however, just your vital financial information at their beck and call is not enough. The government would like to know everything there is to know about you. They want to know what library books you are looking at, where you shop, what television programs you watch, and now they even want to open your mail. This of course will all be done to "protect you" from criminals and from terrorists. This should all be O.K. because if you have nothing to hide, you shouldn't care if they look. In fact if you tell them that you would rather they not look it is in fact "probable cause" which gives them the right to look.

The founding fathers put the 4th amendment, the one protecting against "unreasonable search and seizure", into the Bill of Rights for a reason. Living under a tyrant's rule they wanted a little privacy, which they called "Freedom". Now the reason our government is telling us that they want access to everything is so that they can protect our freedom. Shouldn't a government that goes to such trouble to protect it's own secrets, and those of the individuals that compose it, respect its citizens request for privacy?

There are times when vigilance is warranted, but as the Dateline pedophile sting operations have proven, you don't really need to pry all that much to find the evil among us. Given the chance most of them will come to you, undress and wait for the cat to be brought in for God only knows what. There are warning signs. If a guy with a Brooklyn address buys three tons of fertilizer you may want to watch him. But the initial warning should come from the clerk who sold it to him or from the credit card company as an alert of an unusual purchase. It should not come from wire-tapping Americans because they don’t agree with the administration or worse just because they have a certain last name or practice a certain religion. The government already has our financial spirit names and the power to take our property and paychecks. They already have a record of every crime committed and fine paid, do they really need to read our mail. Please, you've already taken our freedom, my we hang on to a little of our dignity?
Kyle Pesonen - Staff Writer - E-mail Comments on this article.


Objectivity and "Truth" in Journalism

In this world of pundits and talking heads, can there ever be objectivity in the information we receive about the world around us? Can we ever know the “truth” of the matter we are being “informed” about? It seems like we either get the conservative or liberal viewpoint when we turn on the news or Sunday talk shows. On ABC we see the ever liberal George Stephanopoulos. On Fox we see the staunchly conservative Brit Hume. Somewhere to the left of center we see Tim Russert and Chris Matthews putting out their ideas about everything from Iraq to the budget. From the deepest recesses of conservatism come people like Bill O'Reilly itching for a fight and fresh from the woodland hugging grounds there comes Al Franken ready to cure the world's ills with a love sonnet. Nowhere do we see the centrist or moderate anyone. Some claim to be moderate or centrist but when you look more closely, they tend to be more pandering to the opinion poll majorities than anything else. Where can we go in the pursuit of objective analysis?

It would seem that the answer is pretty much nowhere in the mainstream media. If the news doesn’t have a liberal slant, it has a conservative slant. It is nearly impossible to find a news source in the U.S. or anywhere really that just says what happened without editorializing or trying to find the “meaning” of the events. There seems to be a cottage industry of opinion makers who will be more than happy to tell us what to think. If it’s not James Carville throwing out his southern stories about granddaddy on the farm to try to touch our hearts, it’s Pat Buchanan telling us that the Democrats are all idiots because they can’t see the simple “truth” of his point of view. Neither of them offers anything that we could not surmise ourselves but they have such personality that they must know what they’re talking about. They know what they’re talking about right? After all, they’ve been in Washington for years. The news people seem to think they’re experts. They must know what they’re talking about.

To put it simply, the “truth” they offer is an illusion. You cannot find “truth” in the opinions of others. The search for the “truth” behind the headlines requires the diligence of the archaeologist, the cynicism of the conspiracy theorist, the openness of a child and the thirst for understanding of the philosopher. To seek the “truth” in any situation objectively, you must be open to it first and foremost. You cannot have a preconceived notion about the subject before you have examined the evidence for yourself. Next you must lust for the knowledge as much as if it were your one true love in life. You then must be careful not to accept the first things you see as the “truth” because sometimes what you see is meant to deceive you so healthy skepticism is a must for any in the pursuit of objectivity. Further, you have to seek all of the information. You have to dig and peel away the layers of opinions separating the facts from the suppositions and implications. In the end, you will likely find that “truth” of the matter is neither glorious nor fulfilling. The reason they spend so much time adding opinions to the facts is that the facts alone are rarely exciting enough to keep people glued to their seats for an hour-long news broadcast. To find anything resembling "truth" you also need to understand that “truth” is the purview of the philosopher, not the journalist. The true journalist does not offer opinions on the news. They merely report the facts…but who wants to watch that on TV?

So will there ever be objectivity and detachment in what we see and hear on the TV? Will we ever yearn for our newscasters to take the Joe Friday approach and ask for “Just the facts ma’am.”? It’s doubtful but it’s definitely something to shoot for.
Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer- E-mail your comments about 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: stories@reform-america.net



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 stories@reform-america.net

 

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