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Voice of the Voter - This Weeks Articles

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War Good, Health Care For Kids Bad, What The @#$#!!!

In an expected and heartless move, George Bush has issued another veto of a bill that would benefit working and poor Americans. With over half a trillion dollars already spent on the Iraq war, the Bush administration has decided that sixty billion for health care for low income families and children is too much for America to spend in a year. Apparently his “compassionate conservatism” has no compassion for kids that need to go to the doctor.

Democrats and Republicans alike have blasted the president for this veto of the bill that would have provided health care for millions of American children who desperately need the services. The president who has never wanted for anything in his personal life is clearly unmoved by the plight of innocent American children whose only wrongdoing was being born to families without enough money to afford both food and healthcare.

This time the president may have gone too far for even his own fellow Republicans. The Democrats and Republicans in Congress have been talking together about rallying enough votes to override the veto. In a time of contentious politics and what’s sure to be a hard fought presidential election, there is seemingly a glimmer of leadership coming from Washington on our most important resource. Both liberal Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and conservative Republican Utah Senator Orin Hatch have committed to supporting a vote to overturn the president’s decision.

While the Senate has enough votes to override the House is still coming up short so the Democratic leadership is taking some time before putting the measure to a vote to give time to their Republican colleagues to put pressure on their fellow Republicans to do the right thing for the American people. In this election year, it is expected that unwilling Republicans may face negative ad campaigns attacking them in their districts for not supporting America’s children. With an approximately two dozen Republican House votes needed, the pressure on those facing re-election will be most profound. Many have called this vote a chance for both the House and Senate to regain the public trust that has been eroded by the war in Iraq and perception of the Congress as a “do-nothing” body.

This effort to override the president’s veto, if successful, could mark the end of George Bush’s effective power during his remaining time in office making him the “lame duck” many predicted he would become after the 2006 Democratic takeover of Congress. Once the Democrats and Republicans have shown that they can come together on an important issue, it will make it harder for the two parties to claim they cannot come to compromise and it will put pressure on the president to sign the bills or face further veto overrides. Despite that, given this president’s history, it is likely that Congress would have to override more than one veto to send a clear message to President Bush that he is no longer in control of the direction of our nation and that the people no longer trust in his ability to make the right decisions for America.

Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer | E-mail Comments on this article.

Is It Time For All Private Security Firms To Withdraw From Iraq?

In Iraq another shooting by another private security firm has left two innocent civilians dead for no discernable reason. The Dubai based firm Unity Resources Group shot and killed two women in a car for not stopping when told to do so. The group has apologized for the incident and says that they are prepared to face the consequences which puts them ahead of firms like Blackwater who refuse to admit they do anything wrong but it still begs the question of whether or not mercenaries belong in Iraq.

With mounting evidence of wrongdoing in the Blackwater investigation, and more incidents coming to light involving private security firm mercenaries it seems that there may be a larger problem with these firms than has been made public. The eyewitness accounts of the Blackwater incident of September 16th are revealing that not only did ground forces open fire on unarmed civilians but that fire also came from helicopters above manned by Blackwater staff. The Blackwater gunners shot a woman in the head while cradling her dying son that they had just shot because he didn’t stop his car quickly enough. The woman was a doctor and her son was a medical student. This type of brutality and callous disregard for human life is something that should be completely unacceptable no matter the benefits gained by the presence of these mercenaries in an area. The incident currently under investigation, as well as others that are coming to light, show that there has been an atmosphere of fear surrounding these firms since they first came to Iraq. Incidents of this nature are a good part of the reason that the majority of Iraqis polled said there were times when it was acceptable to try to kill Americans in Iraq.

The claim for the necessity of these firms is that they need to be there to protect international diplomats and private contractors doing business in Iraq. Perhaps the larger question that needs to be asked is whether the foreign contractors and dignitaries need to be in Iraq. Perhaps it’s time to turn the rebuilding of the nation over to the Iraqi people and confine diplomatic visits to the Green Zone so as to minimize the need for private security details. There is plenty of equipment in Iraq that is more than paid for by our government. It can be left for the Iraqi people to use in the reconstruction. They were a fully modern nation prior to 2003 and have people capable of doing the work. The contractors don’t need to be there taking jobs away from Iraqis that need them.

Unless the actual goal is the raping of the Iraqi resources by international business interests, there is no good reason that the people of Iraq can’t take over the work our private contractors are doing now. They maintained their country before and can again. We need to get the foreigners out and let the people of Iraq begin to heal their nation. Beyond that, if they are busy rebuilding their nation, they won’t have as much time to be fighting a civil war. Life has a way of putting differences aside when mutual adversity faces a nation.

There are roles that the independent security firms could be filling elsewhere that would be more beneficial. They could work as peacekeepers in Darfur or help to search out Al Qaeda in Afghanistan if they are determined to do mercenary work for the U.S. Killing innocent civilians in Iraq does not seem like a good use of battle tested soldiers. We need to put them in places where they can protect innocents instead of killing them.

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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