Thursday, May 24, 2007

US vs. THEM Part III

While the facts behind 9/11 are so far obscured by American Patriotism that one must simply accept it as a tragedy which demanded justice, the WMD hunt in Iraq which ended an execution raised enough eyebrows for people to look at what the United States is actually doing in the Middle East. In the third act of the War Against Terrorism, we see the US preparing to do battle in Iran, starting with an obfuscation of the facts, illegal wire tapping, along with other signature maneuvers of the Bush Administration.

Recently, Democracy Now! reported the head of the UN Nuclear Watchdog Committee and Nobel Peace Prize winner ElBaradei had stated that the International Atomic Energy Agency has "no evidence of ongoing prohibited nuclear or nuclear-related activities in Iraq." Some may recall that his similar findings regarding nuclear capabilities of Iraq resulted in the United States illegally wiretapping his conversations with foreign diplomats in an attempt to force him from the head of the IAEA.

Four years later we find that nothing has changed, as today the United States rolled up several war ships filled with tens of thousands of soldiers off the coast of Iraq in an attempt to place even more pressure to comply with UN sanctions. As for the lies, the United States has stated that the IAEA has compiled "a laundry list of Iran's continued defiance of the international community," a statement which plainly contradicts the findings of the agency.

ElBaradei did, however, warn of nuclear proliferation throughout the Middle East due to the secret activities of the Israeli government -- a fact that has been omitted from the American press, along with the incredible amount foreign aide we give to the one country which actually has a nuclear program which is developing warheads. Figures show that one third of all foreign aide goes to Israel, along with additional loans from the US Military, in a staggering figure which simplifies down to the fact that Israel receives more support per person than the average American citizen. Strange considering that Israel is on technological and economic par with the rest of the world.

Meanwhile, the majority of Americans have become entranced by American Idol, focusing instead on the trials of Paris Hilton without seeing their government boldly ignoring the Geneva convents with the illegal torture and imprisonment of suspected terrorists. The fact that the Bush administration is clearly ignoring the United States Constitution with illegal wiretapping while pushing an unsupported war into its third stage of conflict is of little concern to a cowboy nation which is thrilled by the blood-thirsty prospects of kicking even more Middle Eastern ass.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Thanks for All the Vacuums

Over the weekend I decided to take the first step towards getting my house ready to sell. While the notion of buying a vacuum would certainly be small to most -- it was a great undertaking for me to personally find the perfect vacuum. Until then I had gathered three our four rundown cleaners that were stacked up in the basement. Some of them had only lasted a year before they were rendered useless. I pulled out my handy mobile phone and browsed the reviews on As it turned out, the returned unit which was out of the box and missing a few pieces had the highest user rating, and cost a 1/3 less than the competition.

While one could fascinate on the "make believe" pennies earned through, you'd be missing the point of the power of the people. The largest corporations spend billions on marketing -- at times, a full 60% of the manpower. This means that image is everything to a corporation. We control that image and reward them for gaining it by buying what they're selling. The mobile model shows us that we can share our knowledge and thus control the industry with a higher degree of accuracy. Imagine simultaneous support of products & services with real-time impacts on massive corporations.

The larger they are, as they say.

And therein lies the problem: Where many would cry the failure of Socialism is the ability of one man to persecute a nation. We could argue this of our current president, but I believe there are larger forces -- forces which naturally grow in the fertile soil of Capitalism. The Corporations. Growing larger than countries with virtual borders that extend across the great oceans. And like their Fatherlands the private institutions will break away from the governance of the State. This will begin the end of Government and the rise of the United Corporations of North America.

From our immediate past we also see the fall and rise of the Church. With Science and Reason taking a stab at its last leg, Religion is moving to overtake the rule of Government. However, this is little more than two left wings flapping for control, ultimately strengthening the grip of the right. In our case, big business controls the food, big business controls the medicine. Big business is degrading the quality of public services and will soon control the education as it does all the other services: electricity, water, gasoline. We already see the signs as today's fragments of Democracy are simply the bureaucratic machinery behind the wheels of the Corporations.

This is why I sincerely say "Thanks for all the vacuums." No matter how large the Church or Government, no matter how All Powerful the Corporation, WE are ultimately IT. IT is OUR Faith, OUR Beliefs, OUR Support that drives those forces towards success or failure. WE have a tool that allows us to speak with one another directly, in order to form the first True Democracy ever witnessed in the History of Man. We can now connect into one cohesive body which truly represents each and every individual through the power of their own voice. This is where we take a stand. This is where we claim the throne. This is when it all begins:

Standing in the Mall buying a used vacuum.

Thanks, again, for all the vacuums.

Friday, May 18, 2007

America: Empire or Republic?

Future of Freedom Foundation
May 17, 2007
by Jacob G. Hornberger

We now live in a country in which the president wields the power to send the entire nation into war on his own initiative, without the congressional declaration of war required by the Constitution.

We live in a country in which the president and the military wield the power to arrest an American citizen and incarcerate him in a military installation for the rest of his life on suspicion of being a terrorist, denying him due process of law, trial by jury, and other procedural rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.

We live in a country in which the president wields the power to conduct warrantless searches and seizures, regardless of the provisions of the Fourth Amendment.

We live in a country in which the president wields the power to ignore any law passed by Congress simply by signing a statement, in his military capacity as a commander in chief, indicating an intention to ignore the law.

In fact, we live in a country in which the president effectively wields the same power here in the United States that he wields in Iraq, given his belief that the entire world, including the United States, is a battlefield in the "war on terror."

How did it all come to this? How did a country that once prided itself on being the freest nation in history end up with a ruler who wields such omnipotent powers?

Read the full article!

Friday, May 4, 2007

What is Free in America?

My grandfather once asked, "America: Land of the Free? What's free in America?" While my passion for this country dwindles each day I try to remember that it isn't as bad as it obviously is elsewhere. In fact, whenever I voice my distaste for America the Pride and Glory's tell me I'm an idiot. Apparently, there is no greater place on Earth than the United States of America.

In reality, this country is in the middle of most charts that include key concerns such as health, welfare, and education. The only statistics we really top are waste and pollution -- that is why most of the globe actually view us as greedy, capitalistic pigs. Imagine all of our grandparents mending their own clothes, or their parents actually making them from cloth! Now picture our parents buying our clothes at the department store. Our generation currently buys two to three times more clothing than them.

So we are greedy and wasteful. That's Capitalism. But that's also the reason why we all get to live our cozy iPod lifestyles, buying middle classed houses which cost a quarter million on the low end -- half million in the middle. But consider that a shell that paints a separate reality from what exists in the core. Our inner cities are war torn countrysides. Don't consider it to be a race issue: it's a class struggle -- something else we painted as a problem "somewhere else."

Few of these realities actually pierce the Power Ranger veil we place around ourselves and our children. In response to the governor of Ohio putting an end to school vouchers which give state money to send students to private schools, one woman got on the radio crying her heart out. She called for the governor to look her little girl in the eyes and tell her she had to go back to all the guns and violence in the public school system. Her greatest desire was to have her little girl get a privately funded education.

This woman is obviously aware of the war in our country, but she missed the fact that these class struggles exist because of our lack of social welfare. Most of us are aware that the rich are getting richer but we believe this is happening evenly across the board. We call it inflation. We also call corporations people. That means your middle class, fifty thousand paycheck somehow compares to the billions corporations earn each year. Millions in the country live under the poverty line. I'm sure they want to know: "What is free in the Land of the Free."

If we are to believe that our voices are free then we've missed the riots in L.A. where millions of Latinos were shot at by the local authorities. Those thirteen million illegal aliens have come here looking for the milk and honey and instead found themselves being rounded up in concentration camps as possible threats to our National Security. Our conversations are recorded, our actions monitored by satellite technology, and our rights to eat and live sold to the corporations. What is Free in the Land of the Free? Why do so many want to live desperately in a place which sickens me?

I believe it has something to do with the image we're selling on television. When you look at the world through the eyes of American media you'd see Russia as a cold, desolate wasteland; South America as a hot bed for blood-thirsty revolutionaries; Canada as a bunch of moose-huggers; Europe as the Dark Ages; Asia as a gigantic sweat shop; and of course the Middle East. That goes without saying. Apparently the only civilization worthy of First World status is the U.S.A. Everybody else is obviously second class citizens.

And yet, the more I see of the Green Revolution taking place in Europe, the more I wonder why we would allow all the solar energy technology to be shipped over seas instead of over-hauling the corporate grip on our basic necessities -- food, energy, transportation. Realize that we're developing nanotechnology in this country which can be painted on our rooftops and siding. This means that your entire house can generate enough electricity to power your cars and appliances, and have enough left over to SELL BACK to the electric country at the end of the day!

Nothing is Free! We don't even own our property -- the BANKS do! While I do have issues with calling us Wage Slaves (being that it lessens the experience of actual SLAVES) I know that I cannot live without a job. Furthermore, I cannot live WELL without a corporate job. This country is a rich tapestry of farms woven together and yet we have few choices other than factory food and livestock? And yet after decades we are still blind to these truths because of the reality they're selling us on television!

So if nothing is Free in America, I want a revolution before things get any worse. I tell myself that the buildings aren't on fire without realizing that they're rotting from the inside instead. I see the progress on the fringes and know it to be a lie. I want the truth. I want the truth to be heard. I want what our forefathers promised: I want freedom. I want what they're selling to Iraq: I want Democracy. And I'm not alone. This is what America wants -- what America believes in.

If we're fighting for it in other countries, shouldn't we be brave enough to fight for it at home?

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Back in the Summer of '96

My recollection of the past is sketchy at best. What I do remember is that sometime after I entered into college I began learning how to publish my writing on the Internet. Before long I had a couple dozen stories hosted on a free server, tied together with a personal biography along with a list of authors that inspired my writing. As the story goes, the traffic started to travel towards the information I gathered about Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, with little attention paid to my writing. Shortly after, I gathered the list of authors onto their own site and called it the Bohemian Ink.

Over a decade later I find myself on a similar path. "The Collected Works of Christopher D. Ritter" -- also known as Corduroy's Coffeehouse -- has long been forgotten, and in it's place, this blog; while the Ink has added a few letters and become Impresto. I've even met a couple great people from a start-up right before entering an awesome job at a big design firm. I'm hoping that history continues to repeat itself and offers a great position at a company that I truly have my heart in. Of course, being bought out by corporation after corporation did suck the first time around.

And all the while life moves as wildly as it pleases. I continue to hold on to each passing cloud, hoping someday that the rain will cause the crops to grow. I plant this seed of insanity in hopes that it will blossom into a dream -- one empowered by the social web, bringing this fully connected world back home to reality. I see so many problems all around and I realize that it is time to bring about the rise of an Open Society, allowing each individual to contribute their ideas, and evolve, as a species, into One.

Let's just hope I don't go crazy in the process!