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Voice of the Voter - This Week's Articles

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Is a New Cold War Brewing?

With an announcement of a new inter-continental balistic missile capable of delivering multiple warheads that has been designed to penetrate missile defense systems, is Russia setting the stage for a new arms race?

Russian officials announced Tuesday the successful test of the new RS-24 missile. While the missile is said to adhere to the strict letter of the START I treaty agreement for reduced stockpiles of nuclear weapons, it is a clear message to the Bush administration that Vladimir Putin and the Russian government are not happy with U.S. plans to install missile defense systems in Europe and that they will actively work to avoid a shift in the balance of power in the region.

While there has been no official reply as of the time of this article to the Russian announcement, prior statements from the Bush administration regarding the missile defense system indicate a likelihood of an escalation of tensions between the U.S. and Russia over both the new missiles and the planned installation of the missile defense system.

With tensions already elevated over the U.S. withdrawal from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty to clear the way for the missile defense system, this could be the beginning of another race to build up military capacities on the part of both nations in order to avoid ceding an advantage to the other militarily. Despite the arms race nearly bankrupting the former Soviet Union and the volume of nuclear waste created by the U.S. causing strategic nightmares around its disposal, neither country seems willing to blink in the name of common sense.

While it remains to be seen if the Russians will withdraw from the START-I Treaty or if the U.S. will back down on its plans to install missile defense systems in Eastern Europe, it is clear that if tensions are not eased there is potential for another arms race between the two powerful nations. In all of this China has been nearly forgotten and may play a role in the future of relations between Russia and the U.S. as well as Iran and North Korea who have both become capable of creating weapons that pose a serious threat to both the U.S. and Russia.
Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer | E-mail Comments on this article.

The Politics of Division

dem-a-gogue [dem-uh-gog, -gawg]
1. a person, esp. an orator or political leader, who gains power and popularity by arousing the emotions, passions, and prejudices of the people.

dem-a-gogu-er-y [dem-uh-gog-uh-ree]
1. impassioned appeals to the prejudices and emotions of the populace

United we stand, divided we fall. Those words should be accepted as a truism for a society. Societies with deep unresolved divisions tend toward chaos and strife with their citizens paying the most for the power of their leaders. America is no exception to this rule. We are sharply divided as a nation over many issues and collectively our society is paying the price with the loss of freedoms and the rise of increasingly corrupt politicians who are selling their people out for power and money.

If you go into virtually any fundamentalist church in America and say something like "I believe that gays should be allowed to marry because Jesus taught to love and respect everyone and that only he who is without sin should judge anyone else's life." you are likely to get not only kicked out of the church but also beaten up in the parking lot by some of the parishioners. Why is that? Didn't you just express your opinion in a free society that is supposed to cherish open dialog?

The answer lies in the politics of demagoguery that has become a plague on American society. The politicians only care about getting and holding power in the vast majority of cases. The purveyors of propaganda have taken over the campaigns and the more emotional an issue is, the more the politicians ride it to the polls. If you want to get elected in this country, you have to divide people as sharply as possible or be beaten by the other guy who was able to convince them that anyone who didn't support him was un-American.

The answer to the question of "Why would they want to divide Americans?" is actually fairly simple. There's no profit in unity and real solutions. If the politicians actually solved the problems of our society and worked for unity among our people, they would eventually be out of a job. Once Americans figured out that the problems were not so insurmountable and we don't need some white knight to save us all from the imaginary advancing horde, the people in power who know nothing other than bureacracy would have to actually work for a living. The power brokers in Washington would not be able to peddle influence and the corporate puppeteers would not have the blanket protection from the people that they have bought and paid for in the past. To be blunt, there is more profit in the problem than in the solution. As long as we are arguing about how to solve the imaginary problems, they don't have to solve the real ones and we still rely on them to run things.

Some would say "My party doesn't do that." Wake up! There is no monopoly on corruption or self-service on either side of the political aisle. The simple fact that it takes hundreds of millions of dollars to run national campaigns has put every major candidate in debt to someone that does not have the best interests of the American people anywhere in their mind. The reality of politics today is that Americans don't really pay attention other than to the most divisive of issues and that is just the way the politicians want it to be. They keep their power, accomplish little, get paid a lot and the people footing the bill just vote for whomever and whatever the TV tells them to vote or, more often, not to vote for. While many say they want an end to dirty politics, they overwhelmingly respond to the more negative ads time after time even if those ads are solely populated with half truths and utter lies.

So what is the solution? Two simple words. Two simple words that should be the first to come to mind any time a politician, activist or pundit says anything. The same two words that you should say when you see the political commercials with wild claims about how something will "impact all Americans" either positively or negatively. Those two words: "Prove it." Just ask the simple question that nobody asks. Ask how they can make the wild claims without any proof that what they are saying is true. Ask them to back up their statements with something other than buzzwords and talking points. Where's the science? Where's the data? When they pull out a poll, remind them that a poll is not a fact. Polls are snapshots of opinions from a select group of people based on a tailored question desiring a specific result. They don't prove anything other than what some people think.

When a politician responds to a question with words like "freedom", "fairness" and "greatness" which have less than nothing to do with the question you can pretty much assume that they are not answering the question because they either can't or really don't want to answer. When that is the case they are either incompetent or full of something that doesn't smell nice and you really don't want soiling the carpet of the capitol.

Good democracy requires an educated public that is skeptical of the claims of would-be leaders who smile a bit too much. Just because someone seems nice does not make them a good leader. Conversely, just because someone is not dynamic it does not follow that they are not a good leader. It is better to support a competent and honest person who may be a bit surly than it is to support a person who will charm you while their companion sneaks up on you to get you from behind. Be wary of those who would wave the flag with one hand and use the Constitution to wipe the feces from their bottom with the other.
Troy Wilson-Ripsom - 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:

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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