Reform America
Giving Americans a Voice in the World of Politics.

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Voice of the Voter - This Weeks Articles

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Where Has Logic Gone in America?

To find yourself, think for yourself. – Socrates

The greatest thing about this man (President Bush) is he’s steady. You know where he stands. He believes the same thing Wednesday, that he believed on Monday, no matter what happened Tuesday. Events can change, this man’s beliefs never will. – Stephen Colbert

This was not the article I intended to write. I had intended to write a well-researched, unbiased piece that explored both sides of the issue of same sex marriage. I quickly found myself absorbed in articles and arguments about Obscenity or Morality Laws. I read the ACLU, Wikipedia and others. I got to reading some of the Evangelical Christian / GOP backed sites; I started yelling at my computer screen. Who are these people? What’s going on here?

The whole point of this publication is to generate discussion, to propagate change through the exchange of ideas, both to honor the intent of our founding fathers and to expand on the one and a half party system currently ruining, I mean running the country. We, as citizens of a free voting democracy are at least partially responsible for the leaders we elect, ok Florida and Ohio not so much, and ultimately must endure the lasting results from the decisions our representatives make. Yet we as a nation hate to accept our responsibility for anything. Everything is somebody else’s fault.

Somehow we, the (little) people, have been pitted against each other to the point that we lament the immigrant who crossed the border by hiding in a porta-potty for fourteen hours to pick grapes at a buck fifty an hour. That guy is costing us our livelihood, our way of life?” But we give the CEO who guided his company into bankruptcy, outsourced and laid off 15,000 and then voted to give himself and his poker buddies, the board, 60 million “retention” bonuses a pass. One President starts a war under questionable circumstances, based on faulty and fabricated intelligence, spends trillion of dollars with the Vice President’s former company to help run the war and claims victory before the real fighting even begins, the other gets a happy ending in the Oval Office and we impeach which one? How did this happen?

Politicians spend millions capsulating and homogenizing their message. They, bomb Iraq, use more misdirection, bomb Iraq, than David Coperfield, and when, bomb Iraq, they do get caught in a lie, bomb Iraq, deny, deny, deny until it sounds like the truth. Thomas Jefferson wrote that it is a citizen’s first duty to question the leaders, and yet we’ve been told for the past five plus years that to do so is unpatriotic. Nonsense. I say it’s unpatriotic not to question our leaders!

The last Presidential election generated some much-needed discussion. Unfortunately it was by a bunch of like-minded people sitting in a room agreeing with each other. Pro-choice first door to the left, estate tax, down the hall to the right. Finally we all are in agreement about something. We all agree that we should support our troops, we just can’t agree on what “support” means. Republican, Democrat, Independent or Other, we all want safe, healthy, happy and productive lives for our families and ourselves sitting in our own rooms and talking to ourselves isn’t getting the job done. We need to get out and disagree with each other, listen to listen to both sides of an argument to find solutions that we can all, not just live but prosper, with. It’s ok to come to the table with our beliefs and convictions, but if we can’t put those aside for a moment, if we can’t start from the common ground we as Americans all share, we might as well pack it in an move to India or China. Why not, most of our jobs already have.

Kyle Pesonen - Staff Writer | E-mail Comments on this article.

Red Cross Blood Donation Poster

Give Life, Give Blood (As long as you're not gay.)

In 2007 a gay man that is HIV negative still cannot give blood in America's blood donations centers simply because he has had sex with another man. This has nothing to do with disease control or science. In most cases, HIV/AIDS testing has become accurate enough to detect antibodies to the HIV virus in the bloodstream within weeks of exposure. In nearly all cases antibodies are detectable within six months from time of exposure. Setting the standard for blood donations by gay men based on realistic criteria rather than the arcane question of whether they have had sex with another man (protected vs. unprotected is not even asked) since 1977 should be made policy immediately at the nation's blood banks.

In a recent response to an inquiry by a visitor to "The Body", an HIV/AIDS advocacy website, the reply to how long it takes for an HIV test to read positive after exposure was as follows:

(HIV)"Antibody tests have been reported to be positive within 4 weeks. My guesstimate would be that 80-90% and 95-98% would be antibody positive by 2 and 3 months respectively." - Mark Holodniy, M.D., F.A.C.P., C.I.C.*

With that knowledge in hand, it seems reasonable that blood centers could accept blood donations from gay men once they’ve determined that they have not had unprotected sex within the last six months or if they have been in a committed relationship with a single partner in the same timeframe. For that matter, why are they not simply asking potential donors if they have had unprotected sex in the last six months period and leaving it at that? Why is it only gay men that are singled out? Is it promoting safety or merely homophobia? Here are the criteria for unacceptable sexual history from the Blood Centers of the Pacific website:


You are a man who has had sex with another man since 1977

You have engaged in sex for money or drugs since 1977.

While organizations such as the Red Cross add even more discriminatory conditions on blood donations based on sexual history those two basic conditions seem to be universal to all of the organizations asking for blood donations.

Pretty much everyone that has not been under a rock for the last decade should understand that HIV/AIDS is not a "gay" disease. Health professionals such as blood bank staff members above all should know the realities of the risks and make policies that don't exclude potentially valuable donors. With blood donations often critically low, how can we afford to exclude willing donors that pose no real risk to the safety of the blood supply?

If you really want to be completely safe when receiving blood, you need to have your doctor draw and store your blood prior to a surgery. That is the only way to assure that the blood you receive has nothing in it that is not in your bloodstream already.(Assuming that nothing happens in the hospital to contaminate it.) Other than that, if little heterosexual Johnny decided to mess around and didn't tell his girlfriend little Sally, little Sally's blood just might be infected. Are we going to start taking sexual partner histories every time people donate blood? Probably not. If not, we should take only the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the diseases that the policies were put in place to prevent.
Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer - E-mail Comments on this article.

*Mark Holodniy, M.D. is a professor of medicine at Stanford University, Stanford, CA. He is director of the HIV Clinical Program and Public Health Research Center at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, CA.

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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