Scott Ritter is noted for his role as a chief United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991 to 1998, and later for his criticism of United States foreign policy in the Middle East. Prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003, Ritter publicly argued that Iraq possessed no significant weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). He became a popular anti-war figure and talk show commentator as a result of his stance.

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“There’s only so much you can do right? So let’s at least start talking about it. Maybe let’s even write a book and try to change to world. DJ Ing leads a discussion about American/Czech policies, culture and language, not to mention the impending radar base set to be built in the Czech Republic. Joining the discussion is American author, Aiden Delgado. His book titled, The Sutras of Abu Ghraib explains his experiences as a soldier in the war in Iraq which led him to apply and ultimately obtain conscientious objector status. Also joining the discussion, Jeremiah Palecek (King Vitamin) and musical interludes by Lorin Bassnectar.”

In Czech and English

Listen to the show here.
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Brought to you by: Alcohol, American tourists in Europe, frustration, dualist perspectives, and unjustified generalizations.

If you are an American male or female citizen reading this post, I would like you to reach down into your pants and touch your proverbial balls. Do you feel something? Good. Now stop being such god damn pussies (so to speak). I’m tired of hearing all the Americans in Europe bitching about how the US sucks, how president Bush is an idiot, and how everything in America is going downhill. No shit! It’s wonderful you came to this profound realization seven years too late. And to clarify, the current conditions we are dealing with aren’t a result of the Bush presidency, but the general decline of society in the US over the past few decades. Of course, that would require some actual insight by some of you, which at times seems too much to ask for. But I’m going off on a tangent.

I write to tell you that there’s hope. This isn’t the manufactured, rhetorical hope that Obama is spouting nor is it the blind and wishful hope that other institutions have been peddling for centuries. I’m talking about jumping off the “America sucks” band wagon, thinking progressively, and actually doing something. Criticizing the United States at this point in time is like being critical and concerned with Britney Spears. Everyone knows something needs to change, so get off your asses and do something about it. Do something in whatever area interests you, whether it is law, movies, acting, dancing, cooking, just do something in your own little way. Stop counting on someone else, grab your nuts, and act.

As the Zen demon once said:
Now! Now! Now! Now! Now! Now! Now! Now! Now!

An undercover reporter takes a hidden camera into the London Scientology center. An interesting English documentary from 1995.

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This video is a wonderful example of the influence the Internet has on political candidates. As time progresses, politicians are realizing the untapped potential of the Internet as a means for public relations and propaganda. The use of the Chuck Norris meme is an indication of a slightly more savvy campaign. It also seems to me that the values Huckabee is promoting suddenly sounds a lot like those held by the Internet’s favorite politician Ron Paul. Is it possible that the Huckabee campaign is trying to win over Ron Paul voters? If so, how much can he be trusted to follow through with his promises?

True, politicians have been making websites and doing streaming interviews and so on, but this is the first time I’ve seen a video produced by a politician, aimed at a specific Internet audience that is trying to be hip and funny.

thomas-friedman.jpgI was reading the New York Times today when I came across Tomas Friedman’s article ‘Generation Q‘.

He writes: “I just spent the past week visiting several colleges… I am impressed because they [students] are so much more optimistic and idealistic than they should be. I am baffled because they are so much less radical and politically engaged than they need to be.”

Friedman calls this generation of college students “Generation Q- the Quiet Americans, in the best sense of that term, quietly pursuing their idealism, at home and abroad.”

He continues: “America needs a jolt of the idealism, activism and outrage (it must be in there) of Generation Q. That’s what twentysomethings are for – to light a fire under the country. But they can’t email it in, and an online petition or a mouse click for carbon neutrality won’t cut it. They have to get organized in a way that will force politicians to pay attention rather than just patronize them.”

“Activism can only be uploaded the old fashion way – by young voters speaking truth to power, face to face, in big numbers, on campuses or the Washington Mall.”

The article incited many conflicting emotions within me. If you follow the Princeton Review, I apparently attend one of the top five most politically active colleges in the United States. So are “we” the exception? Should my college be the model for the rest of the US? No, not really. We certainly attend many protests in our state and abroad, but this is hardly what Friedman is calling for. It’s going to take more than 10 students in front of a Wal-Mart or on the corner of the street with ‘Impeach Bush’ signs to make a difference. Thousands of students meet at protests around the US every year, to what end?

Oh, and “young voters”? Give me a break. What happened to the last kid who confronted a US politician about the bungling of election results?

If our generation is to be the fire lit under this country, then it’s to make people aware of the road this nation is heading down. We need to be seen and heard, and this is where the older generations have failed us miserably. How can we start a fire in a media vacuum? In a country where the government has engineered the most powerful techniques to silence us. Sure we can “protest” as long as we stay in our “free speech zones“. We can be fined and arrested for loitering in malls, and we should be protesting there? Sounds like fun, but when the previous generation organized they faced this. Today, if we organize in mass we face this and this. Rubber bullets being shot at us, getting lodged in our skin, with broken arms and bloody faces. Our message mangled and distorted in the news as we are all dubbed anarchists. And still many of us continue to protest.

Tomas Friedman, we are active and we certainly are outraged but we face a government that has learned from previous generations. In the 60s college students met face to face with the state and learned it was even stronger than they imagined. The government won’t allow such a threat to arise again.

I may come off sounding hard, but I sympathize with Friedman’s message. He is certainly right about one thing: “Virtual politics is just that – virtual.” Many of us have mistaken the tool which enables us to organize for the act of organizing itself. In other words, it’s pointless to form groups on social networks such a facebook for political ends unless students actually mobilize, all at once, and are heard.

There may be another explanation for “Generation Q”, one that Friedman unsurprisingly looked over. As the old saying goes “beware of the quite ones”. Perhaps some of us have learned that protests are inefficient. Perhaps we have experienced the power of the media, of culture, of corporations, and of politics. And perhaps a few of the really smart students are sitting in their library carrels studying hard and hoping to one day make obscenely dirty and wild love with their shadow. If you can’t beat ’em, become ’em.

And please do not miss the irony of my post because – “In the blogosphere, no one can hear you shout.”