I Don’t Believe You

I don’t believe you,
you with maimed souls
sermonizing from high up
in your ivory towers,
you pretend purveyors of justice,
you apostles of false purity who
deliberately misconstrue your
impotence for prudence,
you morose molesters of the lifeblood
who spew mindless mantras
and parade around labels
that you convert to absolutes,
you who attempt to garble truths
to accommodate your
muddled worldview —
to massage your feeble sensibilities,
falsifying human existence
to make virtue out of your fragility,
you crusaders of sterility,
you champions of censorship
who sneer beneath banners,
detesting everything
that reeks of vitality
as you type away
with uncalloused fingers
in the basement of life, waging
digital war on a world
that you’re too frail-spirited
to revel in.

The American Life is Killing you, The Interview


The great documentary filmmaker, Alden Olmsted, set off across America in an old classic convertible. His aim: to get a little closer to the soul of a nation during these trying times.

America Unmasked is the name of his latest project.

I was honored that he chose me for an interview in the wake of a viral post I’d written in February.

Here’s Alden:

“In February of 2020 poet and writer Erik Rittenberry wrote a blog post that would change his life, and maybe mine too. When Medium picked up ‘The American Life is Killing You,’ Erik’s simple but honest post about losing our souls and our way via consumerism and neglect for awe, the post went viral, and struck a nerve. As a documentary filmmaker I wanted to interview Erik immediately, but from Northern California, Florida isn’t exactly next door.

Cue a historic shutdown and not only did I have time, but a check from the Federal Gov’t that would pay for the gas.

Finally, on a humid Thursday in late June, I landed in FL and got what I wanted, a candid unpacking of a difficult topic, by two questioning souls. I hope you enjoy it and are compelled to ask yourself – is this life killing you? Would you even know if it was? What do you really want? Are you willing to go against the machine of materialism to find it? Have you thought about God? And how to find him? Have you searched your heart for the purpose of your life?

Erik isn’t a guru, and I’m not a theologian. We’re just two guys willing to explore the harder questions about what we’re living for, and to acknowledge when we’ve been sold a lie. Comments are welcome.

Subscribe to my journey America Unmasked right here on YT. More info on my films and projects at http://www.aldenolmsted.com”

And here is the interview:

Go Back To Sleep America


“In war, truth is the first casualty.”

It just came out recently that hundreds
of US Officials including three
sitting presidents, yes, even the
one you adore today (he can’t be bought!!)
or the one you worshiped before (Change!!)
knowingly lied out of their teeth
to you and I and the rest of the American
people about the motives, cost, and purpose
of the war in Afghanistan.

This went on since the beginning.
It was an unwinnable war since the start
and the war wagers knew it all along
and they still sent our youth over there
to die with zero objectives.

The longest war in American history —
two trillion dollars
three thousand American deaths
and the murders in your name
of more than 150,000
innocent Afghans.

But no one cares.

No one cares as long as the lies feed
into our illusions and superstitions
of our home-brewed reality, it’s ok.

We’re patriots. We never question war.
We obey and comply. We’re patriots.
War is good. War keeps us safe.
Jesus loves war too.

No one will be punished for this holocaust.

No one will be held accountable
for the hundreds of thousands
of senseless deaths.

No one cares too much that our
children are being ordered to die for lies
in foreign lands to fatten the pockets
of the sociopaths that sent them
over there.

Over a hundred active construction projects
in Afghanistan worth more than $110 million
in development funds.

Go back to sleep America.

Never question anything, America.
Your government is in control
and they have
your best interest at heart.
Just keep waving your flags and singing
your anthems and shopping…

Ignore Hemingway even though he was
right: “in modern war, there is nothing
sweet nor fitting in your dying.
You will die like a dog for
no good reason.”

Go back to sleep America.

God’s in Control?


The good-natured people tell us to not worry about certain situations in life because “God’s in control.”

I have to admit, I cringe a little every time I hear this.

I understand it’s a convenient way of subscribing to hope during difficulties in life. I know that history and the truth of things aren’t fresh on the minds of those who attend church on Sunday’s, followed by a delicious little brunch, and go home to air-conditioned homes to scroll on social media.

I do understand this. But it still leaves me perplexed as to how these good people can so easily pawn everything off — good or evil — as merely God’s plan.

I wanna ask so desperately but in polite way if they’ve ever picked up a history book.

Do they not know about the butcheries, the utter carnage, the atrocities, the vast bloodbath that is the history of the human race? Isn’t history, as James Joyce so keenly put, a nightmare from which we are all trying to awake?

“God’s in control.”

Have they not invested time to study the holocaust, the Red Terror, the 65 million Chinese people slain as a result of Mao’s merciless attempts to create heaven on earth?

Do they not know of the millions upon millions of children sold into sex slavery each year — the rapes, the wars, the senseless killings, the hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, and tsunamis that has ravaged the lives of millions?

“God’s in control.”

Have they not been paying attention to the world around them?

Don’t they realize that the human race has resided on this planet for roughly 250,000 years, and all that time — almost every bit of it — the majority of the people have either died in childbirth or were tortured by a ghastly disease that killed them off before the age of 25 years old?

“God’s in control.”

Wonder if they realize that of all species that have existed on Earth, 99.9 percent are now extinct due likely to five cataclysmic earthly events. That’s completely mind boggling.

“God’s in control.”

Have they not had the guts to ponder why billions of people were murdered by the same governments that the Bible tells them are ordained by God?

“God’s in control.”

Well then, maybe it’s time for someone else to take the reins.

Like you.

You Know What Makes the 4th of July So Sexy?


Rebellion, man.

The Declaration of Independence,
as cherished as it is, was an illegal
approach to preserve the dignity
and freedom of the individual.

It was an act considered treasonous and
deemed unpatriotic by most of the
compliant colonists.

If you were alive then, you would have
probably been against our independence.
That was the position held by many
good citizens of the times.

Let us not celebrate the belligerent empire
America has become —  the exact thing
the Founders worked so hard
to prevent.

Let us not celebrate our powerful national
government and the immense police state
we’re all subject to — a government
that functions against our wishes
and devoid of our consent.

Let us not celebrate this abstract
notion of freedom that we naively
believe we have.

Instead, let the 4th stand as a reminder
that it’s not always prudent to be
a law-abiding citizen.

It’s a day we honor the outlaws,
bootleggers, farmers, whores,
merchants, and drunks, who
took up arms & withdrew their
consent to be governed by
domineering politicians.

Let us drink to the wise and courageous
“traitors” who forged one of the
greatest rebuttals of state power
in the history of the world.

Let us celebrate the great
poetic outlaw, Thomas Jefferson,
and his searing words of defiance.

We celebrate not the birth of a nation,
but a split from one.

Happy Secession Day.

America Is…

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America is the hand job giver of the great Middle-East dictators

America is a war machine that sacrifices its youth for lies

America is a cubicle decorated with diplomas and certificates

America is a dive bar fight in the middle of Brooklyn

America is a gang that makes the Bloods and Crips look like puritans

America is a nightly fast food dinner

America is a forest of dead pines

America is a traffic jam of the soul-weary

America is an empty library in the middle of summer

America is a blood-soaked cotton field in the middle of July

America is a flashing billboard that radiates to the end of time Continue reading

The Ballot of a Non-Voter


Democracy is a pathetic belief
in the collective wisdom
of individual ignorance.

~ H.L. Mencken

So, I hear there’s an election tomorrow and once again they tell me it’s the most important election of my lifetime.

Just like the last one.

And the one before that.

They say I neeeeed to VOTE — they beg, plead, and philosophize like it holds some type of magical solution to something—something evil.

Voting is the way — they swear by it, even though the government we have today is a result of decades after decades after decades of voting.

I often wonder how two law-abiding, productive citizens who grew up in the same area can have two totally different views on how the political system should work?

How can we know that my political solutions are better than yours?

How can we know if your political solutions are better than mine?

Can we measure? Does it even matter? Continue reading

Christianity and War

Laurence Vance is a prolific writer and author of many books on the subject of Christianity and war. Yesterday he published an interesting book review on Lewrockwell.com on Philip Jenkins new book, The Great and Holy War: How World War I Became a Religious Crusade.  In the article, Vance writes:

One would think that if there is any group of people that would be opposed to war it would be Christians. After all, they claim to worship the Prince of Peace. But such is not the case now, and such was not the case 100 years ago during the Great War that we now call World War I.

I have often pointed out how strange it is that Christians should be so accepting of war. War is the greatest suppressor of civil liberties. War is the greatest creator of widows and orphans. War is the greatest destroyer of religion, morality, and decency. War is the greatest creator of fertile ground for genocides and atrocities. War is the greatest destroyer of families and young lives. War is the greatest creator of famine, disease, and homelessness. War is the health of the state.

Just as it was easy for the state to enlist the support of Christians for the Cold and Vietnam Wars against “godless communism,” so it is easy now for the state to garner Christian support for the War on Terror against “Islamic extremists.” But World War I was a Christian slaughterhouse. It was Christian vs. Christian, Protestant vs. Protestant, Catholic vs. Catholic. And to a lesser extent, it was also Jew vs. Jew and Muslim vs. Muslim.

Although fought by nation states and empires, World War I was in a great sense a religious war. As Baylor historian Philip Jenkins explains in the introduction to his new book The Great and Holy War: How World War I Became a Religious Crusade:

The First World War was a thoroughly religious event, in the sense that overwhelming Christian nations fought each other in what many viewed as a holy war, a spiritual conflict. Religion is essential to understanding the war, to understanding why people went to war, what they hoped to achieve through war, and why they stayed at war.

Soldiers commonly demonstrated a religious worldview and regularly referred to Christian beliefs and ideas. They resorted frequently to biblical language and to concepts of sacrifice and redemptive suffering.

The war ignited a global religious revolution. . . . The Great War drew the world’s religious map as we know it today..

Not just incidentally but repeatedly and centrally, official statements and propaganda declare that the war is being fought for god’s cause, or for his glory, and such claims pervade the media and organs of popular culture. Moreover, they identify the state and its armed forces as agents or implements of God. Advancing the nation’s cause and interests is indistinguishable from promoting and defending God’s cause or (in a Christian context) of bringing in his kingdom on earth.

We can confidently speak of a powerful and consistent strain of holy war ideology during the Great War years. All the main combatants deployed such language, particularly the monarchies with long traditions of state establishment—the Russians, Germans, British, Austro-Hungarians, and Ottoman Turks—but also those notionally secular republics: France, Italy, and the United States.

Christian leaders treated the war as a spiritual event, in which their nation was playing a messianic role in Europe and the world.

Without appreciating its religious and spiritual aspects, we cannot understand the First World War. More important, though, the world’s modern religious history makes no sense except in the context of that terrible conflict. The war created our reality.

(Read the rest here)

Why Fear Anarchy?

Writes the economist and historian, Robert Higgs:

The idea of anarchy strikes fear in the hearts of most people. Their imaginations run wild with scenes of social disorder, violent gang warfare, and unrelieved insecurity. Yet, strange to say, these same people live comfortably in the present world, a world in which states bring relentless plunder, brutal oppression, unjust laws and punishments, gargantuan waste, endless wars, and political measures that generally enrich the already rich and powerful and ensure permanent marginalization of the down-and-out.

Can it be the case that the present state-dominated situation with all its horrors is necessarily superior to every possible stateless alternative? Is the world in its present condition really the best of all possible worlds? Your rulers want you to think so. They tempt you with visions of reform, but the reforms they allow, as a rule, only make matters worse for the masses, who must settle for the delusion that in a de facto one-party state such as the USA their votes can alter either the current situation or the trend of events.

Sensible anarchists do not promise heaven on earth. They understand that even in the absence of the state, the full range of human folly, foibles, and capacity for evil will remain, and hence so will crime and bad behavior of many kinds. What the anarchists do promise, however, is that under anarchy no overwhelmingly dominant organization will exist to suppress people’s decentralized experiments in building better lives founded in freedom, rather than in centralized predation and oppression by an overarching ruling class.

(Click here to read a phenomenal research article by Mr. Higgs on the subject of self-government)

Voting is Useless, Surprise, Surprise

A recent Princeton study supports my unconventional belief in the uselessness of voting in today’s rigged political system. They’ve concluded that the “American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts.” They go on to show that “policymaking is dominated by powerful business organizations and a small number of affluent Americans (elite class)”, which is exactly what Tocqueville predicted over a century ago. It’s worth checking out. http://goo.gl/w1R8xP

Today’s article in The Telegraph touched on this study and informed those who haven’t recognized what is in plain sight, “The US government does not represent the interests of the majority of the country’s citizens, but is instead ruled by those of the rich and powerful.” The article went on to say that “Researchers concluded that US government policies rarely align with the the preferences of the majority of Americans, but do favour special interests and lobbying organisations: ‘When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organised interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the US political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favour policy change, they generally do not get it.'”

So what should we conclude?

America is a Corporatocracy ruled by sociopaths and self-serving dunces, all under the guise of democracy. And the people, befuddled in a reality show haze, will keep showing up at election time to put that little check in the box for the candidate that has lied to them the most. Maybe this time, they naively think, maybe this time, it will change.

This type of bizarre behavior reminds me of the words of  H. L Mencken, “Democracy is the worship of jackals by the jackasses.”

The system is broke not because of who is in office. It’s broken because the state is rooted in violence and functions through coercion and exploitation. The entire system must be abolished not reformed.

If we want to change the tide in this country, if we want to stop the senseless murders overseas with our money and in our name, if we want to stop the devaluation of our hard-earned money, stop the ravaging of our freedoms, stop politicians raping our bank accounts, if we want to stop the insane national debt that is sure to enslave our kids…


I believe this is the only way. (Click here)