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Voice of the Voter - This Week's Stories

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Domestic Violence in America

Last year, a friend and coworker of mine was killed by her estranged husband while they were going through a divorce. She was one of the most friendly, kind-hearted and giving individuals that it has ever been my privilege to know. In some ways it was her kind nature that got her killed by the monster who in the end was more worried about getting the assets she had worked for than the fact that he destroyed their relationship. She had been so giving with him that he came to expect it even when he abused her. When the time came for their assets to be divided she offered him half of the houses they owned despite the fact that it was her work and not his that bought and paid for those houses. To him that was not enough. Somehow he felt she owed him something more. Not only did he feel he had the right to beat her, which he did many times over the course of their marriage, but he also felt she somehow owed him a life of luxury.

How is it that our society has allowed many people to feel that they have the right to abuse their loved ones? Where have we gone wrong in raising our children that they feel that violence is ok? It saddens and sickens me to think about the abuse that goes on at the hands of small-minded monsters who think it’s alright to abuse those who are smaller and weaker than themselves. We need to start talking about this as a nation and making it clear to people that those who abuse others are not worthy of being accepted in our society. Those who abuse are less than the rest of us and need to be treated as such. There is no acceptable excuse for their actions and no divine law that makes their violence right.

When we study the books of the various religions of the world, they do not tell us to go forth and beat our wives or children. They do not tell us that violence is the way to solve problems. They in fact tell us that peace is the way of God no matter the name given to God. Violence is one of the things that religions specifically speak out against. For Christians this is especially true. Jesus taught not only not to be violent but additionally to turn the other cheek and forgive those who have wronged you. So to all the wife and child beaters out there; you are going to hell unless you repent and make amends to those whom you have wronged.

For the non-religious, basic common sense should tell you that hurting others isn’t acceptable behavior. If it’s not ok for someone to do it to you, then it’s not ok for you to do it to someone else. Beyond that, when you want to say “I Love You” you don’t say it with bloody noses and black eyes. Bruises and contusions are usually reserved for saying “I hate you and want for you to die.”

The thing that truly makes me see red is when the abusers try to blame the victims for the abuse. I’ve actually heard someone ask the person they beat up “Why do you do things that you know I will have to beat you for?” That has to be the most disgusting form of abuse. Those sick little jerks get some sense of power from beating up on their loved ones and then compound it by trying to convince the person they abuse that it is somehow their fault for being abused.

It is time we passed mandatory sentencing laws for domestic abusers and removed any requirement for the abused to press charges in order for the abuser to be prosecuted. We need to send a strong message to would-be abusers that we will not tolerate their behavior anymore. There needs to be zero-tolerance for spousal and child abuse with “culture” and “religion” being totally disregarded as defenses in court. God is not an excuse to beat your loved ones. How you were raised is not a defense. By the time you are an adult you know the difference between right and wrong and if you don’t society needs to be protected from you. Abuse needs to stop and abusers need to be put in their proper place which is outside of civilized society.

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

Devil in the Shadows

Originally posted 3/11/2007

"The greatest trick the devil ever pulled on the world was convincing us he didn't exist."
- Keyser Soze as Verbal Kent as Kevin Spacey as Christopher McQuarrie as Charles Baudelaire

Movies, we all love them. We love good-guys in white hats, romantic situations that resolve themselves in ninety minutes. We love to watch the monsters lurking in the dark waiting to unleash their evil, all the while knowing that a hero will come forward at the last possible moment. Movie monsters are fun because we know everything will be all right. That's the promise movies make their audiences, stick with us and everything will be all right.

Unfortunately that promise isn't the same in real life. Politicians make many of the same promises that the movies do and in fact many do act like movie-stars, but at the end of ninety minutes everything is not all right. Years go by and things get worse. Not only is there no resolution in sight, but they can’t even seem to keep the simple promise of caring for our heroes.

It’s a simple contract really. When you send someone out to do a dangerous job you take care of them if they are injured in the performance of that job. Every employer in America is held to that standard, save one, the U.S. government. From outing our own spies for political gain to out-sourcing at our military hospitals for profit it sucks to be a hero these days.

The scariest part is that we haven’t even seen the whole monster yet. Scooter Libby, Al Neffgen, Donald Rumsfield, Ken Lay, these guys are just ripples in the water. We’re still at the stage of seeing only the darkness and danger lurking just under the surface. “Nothing to see here folks… Go back to the Paris Hilton crotch shots.” Fingers are pointed and speeches are made about how the problem is being cleaned up – all to keep us from looking too closely and seeing the real devil hiding in the shadows. “Oh my God, Brit’s bald and O.J. has slow swimmers”. Nightly pictures of Tara and Lindsey exposing themselves make the news, but taking photographs of our real heroes returning home in flag draped boxes is forbidden. It’s almost as if the number one priority of the institution trusted to protect the freedom of the press, is to kill the story by convincing us that there is no story.

We don’t need another contract with America. We don't need another matinee idol. What we need is someone to guide all these heroes. We need a real honest to goodness leader. Someone willing to shed light on the mold underneath the Congressional carpet. Someone who is willing to listen and change their own mind while trying to change the minds of others. Someone for whom duty, honor and integrity are more than just buzz words but actual values. We’ve been living in a world of make believe long enough, maybe it’s finally time for us to listen to someone who tells the inconvenient truth.

Kyle Pesonen - Staff Writer | E-mail Comments 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: 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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