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Creation Date: 2002-05-29
I decided to write my mom, so this is the text of the e-mail. It's pretty good if you read it. I explain the picture in the third paragraph.

I'm doing okay, but things are really hitting the grindstone. Next week I have four very large papers due. I'm going to do my best. They're going to be fun, but rough as heck. I've got a bunch of Optics Labs to write up. I'm writing an essay on Martin Luther King Jr.'s use of racial politics to empower blacks to display "fitness for self-government" for my American History class. I'm doing a particle physics simulator for my Humanities 200 class. I've got another seminar paper to write. It ought to take a lot of work in the next two weeks.

But my problem is that I'm just not doing enough. I was protesting NATO today by downloading 230 MB of videos to back up their server. Where did they get that much bandwidth. Well, I decided to watch their videos. They're all of bombs blowing up in Kosovo. Wonderfully morbid, right? You can just see me in tears screaming at the computer screen watching bombs exploding. Well, I saw one from a missile hitting a bunker and there was this little blob on the side of the video. So I slow it down and pause it. Right there, it's a soldier standing in front of the bunker. He's perfectly calm and standing straight up in profile of the camera. I can see his shadow. Seeing the size of the explosions, he was killed on impact and probably heard the missile less than ten seconds before he was killed. [See above photo from video at Nato.int ] Many people say that the television broadcast of a Vietnamese soldier executing a young kid in custody was the lowest that television has ever gotten. But I say that this is right next to it. On a website that is rated E (for everyone) they show mass murder. I downloaded 24 minutes, 230 MB of murder. But what more, I'm related to the victim. You see, this victim is an army troop. He's a Serb, but that doesn't mean that he's any different from Pete Voss or David DiPalmermo. Really, I liken him to someone less militant than Pete or Dave. He's more of a Charles Wallander or perhaps a Joel Voss. And here he gets hit with a missile without a trial, without warning, and without time to face his maker for any sins he has committed. Hopefully he lived his life well and prayed for forgiveness often. Who fired that missile? NATO, of course. But who more specifically? A US bomber. A US pilot and crew. The pressed a button and kept the laser on target for thirty seconds and they didn't even have to look across a field to shoot him. Gutless cowards they are, murdering people without remorse and without prejudice. The US is (and has been since inception) the world's Osama bin Laden. Blowing up hospitals, whole cities, Chinese Embassies, and innocent civilians the world over.

I sometimes become ashamed to be human, let alone American, seeing the atrocities that we commit against ourselves and our world. It's hardly something to be proud of. Being one part of eight billion makes many feel blameless, but I never have allowed statistics or feeling of helplessness justify evil actions. Pete and Dad have used (and I assume will continue to use) the statistic that 3,000 innocent Americans died on 9-11 to justify that the US has killed 3,000 innocent Afghanis (through direct murder, not even counting starvation through blocking the Red Cross) since then. Certainly the US Supreme Court would not justify the Oklahoma Federal building since the FBI killed the Waco Davidians (perhaps you could ask Dad and Pete for me if those statistics work or not). Yet where is the Supreme Court with their blind justice in opposition of the "war on terrorism"?

Michael Moore (the guy who did "Roger and Me" about GM) had a good explanation: America was founded on fear and fear has been the main value above freedom since Columbus. He isn't completely right, but he's really good at hitting our weak spots. He was doing a talk in Vancover, BC and was gave his theory and related it to Canada. He said that he asked his Canadian friends about if they lock their doors. They answered all no. He told them statistics that people in Canada get robbed and murdered fairly often. They gave a very clear answer, "We've been robbed and violently attacked, but locking your door does not lock a villian out, while it does a great job of locking you in. Giving up your freedom is a robbery and violent death everday." Not to mention that if you are attacked, your neighbors are the only people who will help you considering the police either won't show up or will kill you instead. Open doors invites neighbors to help you and makes friends of potential robbers. They attribute unlocked doors with the lower crime rate in Canada than the US. I say he hit the nail on the head. If you read the news, you know that all the privacy violations, unconstitutional detainments, crackdowns on protests, and murder at home and abroad has made the US more vunerable to terrorist attack.

When all my papers are written and my tests are taken, I'm going to have a house meeting where I will propose that we will unlock our door(s) everday at prime times. Not that they can stop me from unlocking the door while I'm cooking. I'm also going to start a one-man litter pick-up army. I'm going to talk to Food Not Bombs about getting food for the homeless people that live on my street. I'm going to talk with Copwatch about what they need help with and try to help them. I'm going to learn Japanese and eat vegitarian Asian food at Uwajimaya weekly (I want to find and meet and help that chopsticks thief).

For long term, I'm going to pay off my debt to become a free man and then I will act free. I will ditch my world and see if I can make a difference by simply doing what other people are doing around the world. Michael and I talked about it and he said that it's wise beyond my years to think of travel. The US has an extremely limited point of view. By living here, I have limited myself to a very narrow spectrum of ideas. By living elsewhere, I will be able to pick up what is going on and how it affects the US. Of course, that means that next summer or so, I'm going to have to fly around the world a few times. Until then, I need to learn conversational Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Spanish, French, and Italian. I know German plenty well and many African countries speak French or English. South America speaks Spanish, so I need to learn a bit of that. I'm learning Japanese quickly and I dunno about Chinese and Korean, but I need to have a broad language base if I want to be free to travel and discuss issues of global importance. And anyway, being able to speak minimally in many languages is important for community relations. It shouldn't be too hard, anyway. Michael said that travelling before I get a wife is very smart. Most domestic wives don't do travel. Guys don't often think about that even if they think about travel.

Really, it's this very careful balance between freedom and responsibility. I have a responsibility to make my community and my world better. I may soon have the freedom to do so after twenty-two years of inprisonment, the latest of which have been the worst. A person must really wonder whether their Constitution was based on freedom or property. It's interesting about that because many people believe that America was founded on freedom. In fact, in American History, we see that liberty is correctly translated in to "private property". People need not be free, but need to be able to own land, a house, a car, and a slave. Shay's Rebellion explains this quite clearly. Farmers (property owners) were about to lose their land to other property owners by way of the government's unfair taxes without representation. The government brought in the militia to quell it and sentenced the rebels to death. They were later pardoned. You can see that the American government protected the second group of richer property owners simply because they had more property and more representation. If a person wishes to be free to do what they want (skateboard, dance, play video games, be a physicist, live in a commune in Waco), they are not allowed. Why? Because richer property owners are more important than poorer ones.

Sorry for the long rant, take it with a grain of salt, ya know. It'll be a great textbook on anti-social disorders one day.
Every day, Peace,
Javantea
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