Monday, February 28, 2005

Third Action: Speaking with Senate and House

Today I drove for two hours to Salem Oregon, my states capital, to speak with my representatives in the house and the senate. This was a great thing to do for my revolution, because I got heard by people who can really make a difference, and at least one of them liked what I had to say.

Today was environmental lobby day, and I learned how to effectively speak with my representatives, and I learned about a variety of issues. I pushed my representatives to endorse bio-diesel, create a protective habitat for fish, and get the Department of Environmental Quality to monitor the emissions of various toxins into the Columbia, and Willamette River.

Overall this was a great experience. I learned that the people in the House of Representatives and the Senate of Oregon are very approachable. They are ordinary people, except, they have a larger say in what is happening than most voters.

This has prompted me to write allot more about visiting your capital, and how to lobby effectively. I plan on doing this in future posts, but until then, I encourage everyone to try and get involved in your communities.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Georgia School's Gay Pride Effort Hits Hurdles

It looks like the country is watching(listening) to find out what will happen in White County High School, relating to their students proposed Peers Rising in Diversity Education club. It has realized a national scope, and can be listened to at NPR's All things Considered.

"February 26, 2005 · High school students in Cleveland, Ga., are trying to get permission to form a club that promotes tolerance of gays and lesbians. But they're running into tough opposition from religious and parent groups"

Another story entitled: White County, Georgia: Controversy in Gay PRIDE, can be found here.

Email to Principal Dorsey of White County High

Email to Principal Dorsey of White County HS

This is the email I wrote in response to White County, Georgia: Controversy in Gay PRIDE

Principal Dorsey,

I have been following the news about your school, and its formation of PRIDE, which I fully support. I think there is no better place to teach tolerance and acceptance to students than in schools, and as educators, you have an obligation to lead by example. You must realize, what was once a town squabble has now become national news. At this time the nation is watching to see which actions you take, and what you are doing will reflect on Georgia, the south, and the United States. I can only hope that you take a responsible action, and allow Kerry Pacer to form her club.

Eric Carlson

I encourage all of you to get involved as well, and email Principal Dorsey at and tell him what you think. (Please feel free to copy my email if you cannot think of one on your own)

Saturday, February 26, 2005

White County, Georgia: Controversy in Gay PRIDE

In the mountains of Georgia lies a school of a thousand students where religious beliefs and personal rights are conflicting.

In Cleveland, Georgia there has been a lot of controversy over a clubs formation; the Gay-Straight Alliance. All of this was started by a Junior named Kerry Pacer. The proposal of the clubs formation sparked a religious fervor in the community surrounding White County High School.

This clubs attempted formation was partially prompted by boos from a crowd as Kerry, an openly gay Junior, joined a procession at the Sweetheart Assembly the Friday before Valentine’s Day while holding a rose given to her by a female classmate.

After much Baptist pressure, the group decided to pull out their request for the GSA club and instead requested permission to form a PRIDE club (Peers Rising in Diversity Education). The proposed club will be “a broader-based tolerance group” rather than just a support group for gay students.

However, the controversy did not stop merely for a change in the club’s name. On February 25, the White County Board of Education allowed 30 minutes for comments from the public, eight people for and against the group’s formation, including parents and religious leaders.

Rev. Chris Anderson, Pastor of Shoal Creek Baptist says, “Our children’s education is in jeopardy,” and says that there is no reason to form a club “because there have been no reports of bullying or harassment.”

This was joined by Lee Moore, a parent who does not want to see this club formed, “I don’t think the students this age, should be subjected to [this] or have it shoved down their throat.”

The students are not alone in their ongoing battle to form a club; Kerry Pacer is joined by her parents, and a good chunk of the community.

The ultimate irony is that while Kerry is trying to start a club based on tolerance and acceptance there are community members who are trying to stop its formation with bullying and harassment.

"Everyone at school is like 'It's against God. It's against God,' "Kerry said.”They tell me God is watching me, but who is watching them?"

We are watching them Kerry, and we will do what we can to support you, and your quest in tolerance.

You can reach Principal Bryan Dorsey at and tell him what you think.

Written by: Eric Carlson

::Update - March 13, 2005::

For more information on this story, I point you to:

Consumer Awareness: Esso / Exxon Mobile

While the rest of the world is trying to stop global warming and protect the planet for future generations, Esso/Exxon Mobil is busy drilling for more oil and polluting the atmosphere. What's worse, Esso/Exxon Mobil is doing its best to stop other countries' attempts to prevent the world from heating up.

Here are five reasons why Esso/Exxon Mobil is worse than other oil companies.
1.Esso/Exxon Mobil tries to convince the public that global warming isn't happening even though Esso/Exxon Mobil is one of its main causes. It spends millions of dollars on misleading propaganda every year.

2.Esso/Exxon Mobil has played a leading role in sabotaging international attempts to stop global warming. It would rather sell more petrol than protect future generations.

3.Esso/Exxon Mobil doesn't believe renewable energy has a future. "With no readily available economic alternatives on the horizon, fossil fuels will continue to supply most of the world's energy needs for the foreseeable future." --Lee Raymond, Exxon Mobil CEO, 1997

4.Esso/Exxon Mobil is the biggest oil company in the world - its profits totaled more than US$12 billion in 2000. If anyone can afford to help stop global warming it's Esso/Exxon Mobil.

5.Esso/Exxon Mobil was one of the main financial contributors to George Bush's election campaign. As soon as George Bush became president, he announced that the US would pull out of international agreements to stop global warming - exactly the position that Esso/Exxon Mobil was promoting.

The lesser of many evils, Shell, is recommended over most other oil giants. If you can make the choice, the world would be a better place if you chose alternatives to Esso/Exxon Mobile.

It may seem daunting, but when these corporations notice even a three percent drop in their sales, they start reconsidering their actions.

For more information on Esso/Exxon Mobile you can either visit their site, or Stop Esso (the site where this information originated)

For more information on other products to boycott go to Boycott Bu$h.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Treating students like cattle


...In rural Sutter, California, a town just north of Sacramento with a population of 2,300, a controversial new program has all of the students in the one-school district being forced to wear radio-frequency identification badges that can track the students. It's the same technology used to track cattle in feedlots, or product inventory in factories.

...The motivation for this system is not entirely a mystery; it turns out that the company that makes the technology, InCom, is a local company co-founded by the parent of a former Brittan student. Some parents are suspicious of the financial arrangements between the district and the company, which hopes to market the technology nationwide.

...It should scarcely have to be said, but human beings, no matter how small, are not cattle. They are not widgets in a factory. They do not deserve to be treated as such. Teachers should be able to recognize names, not just badge numbers on an electronic readout.

There is no particular reason to have students wear this sort of paraphernalia, except to remind them... that the students are owned by the school.

...The scariest thing about this technology is that there is absolutely no reason it need be limited to elementary school students, and there is virtually no limit to the amount of information it can carry...

Written by:Geov Parish

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Your rights are Under attack. Don't Wait.

From: The Peaceworker.

...Dr. Lawrence Britt, a scholar who studied fascism and summed up his findings in an article entitled Fascism Anyone?

Dr. Britt has defined 14 characteristics of fascist regimes. They are:

1. Powerful and continuing nationalism an overwhelming “my country, right or wrong” attitude;
2. Disdain for recognition of human rights a willingness to turn away from human rights violations;
3. Attempting to unify the country by identifying common enemies or scapegoats;
4. Supremacy of the military;
5. Rampant sexism;
6. Controlled mass media;
7. Obsession with national security, defined in military terms;
8. Religion and government become intertwined;
9. Corporate power is protected;
10. Labor power is suppressed;
11. Disdain for intellectuals and the arts free expression is suppressed;
12. Obsession with crime and punishment;
13. Cronyism and corruption are rampant, i.e. friends of the leaders wield all the power;
14. Fraudulent elections.

...It is all-too-easy to toss around words like “fascism” as easy as it is to label people “terrorists” or “communists.” In fact, it may come under heading #3 above unless we carefully define our terms. Britt’s 14 points do that in a clear and definitive way. Measure George Bush’s policies against these 14 points and make your own determination. Does the shoe fit? I think it does.

Now measure Hitler’s regime against the 14 points. Another good fit.

...Whether you are a feminist, peace activist, environmentalist, [etc]... your right and ability to struggle for your cause is under attack. Please note the distinction: it is not just the cause itself that is under attack. That’s obvious. My point is that the Bushies want to undermine your ability to even express and work for your vision. They are giving comfort to those who would accuse you of disturbing the peace, supporting the terrorists, being a terrorist, being a criminal, being too smart for your own good and/or destroying America.

Written by: Peter Bergel

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Boycott Fast Food! Part 2: The Slaughterhouse

If you need other reasons to boycott fast food, besides those found in "Boycott Fast Food! Part 1 here is something else to ponder.

Fast Food is fueled by a constant need for beef. This would not be a problem if there were standards for the beef, and if the workers were being treated fairly. However, the workers of slaughterhouses are being treated on par with animals.

Everything following this paragraph comes from Sustainable Table This excerpt talks about worker safety in the slaughterhouse. I encourage you to read the whole article, found in the link above.

"Meat processing facilities are also known to pose significant threats to worker safety. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, meat processing is the most dangerous job in the nation; in fact, the rate of injury and illness among slaughterhouse workers is approximately three times higher than the injury rate in the average U.S. factory. Every year, 29 out of every 100 meat processing workers sustains a work-related injury or illness that requires treatment beyond first aid.10 Given the pressure placed on slaughterhouse supervisors to report low injury-rates and the numerous past scandals involving injury-log falsification at slaughterhouses, it is likely that many additional injuries are never recorded.11

As a result of breakneck production line speeds and the strain caused by repetitive cutting, slaughterhouse workers often suffer from lacerations, tendonitis, back problems, shoulder problems, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other cumulative trauma disorders.12

Although meat processing is a difficult and dangerous occupation, precautions can be taken to minimize the threats to worker safety. Among the most important safeguards is to maintain production line speeds so that workers are able to process meat without putting themselves or their coworkers at unreasonable risk of injury. However, in order to maximize profits, meat processing companies continue to maintain unreasonably fast line speeds, thereby jeopardizing the safety of workers and the food supply.

Unfortunately, workers at meat processing facilities have very little power to address the dangerous working conditions to which they are routinely subjected. Slaughterhouses typically recruit unskilled, recent immigrants many of whom are unfamiliar with U.S. labor laws, and/or unable to speak English and who are unlikely to file complaints about company policies or attempt to organize labor unions.13 The creation of effective labor unions is also impeded by high rates of worker turnover; for instance, at ConAgra's Greely slaughterhouse, the nation's biggest meatpacking complex, the labor turnover rate is approximately 80% per year.14

Given the high incidence of worker injury, the recurrence of sanitary violations at meat processing facilities, and continual outbreaks of food-borne illnesses caused by contaminated meat, it is clear that the U.S. meat processing industry is in dire need of reform. Production line speeds should be slowed to a pace at which workers can perform their duties safely and food safety standards can be guaranteed. Government oversight of food safety standards must also be improved; in order to protect public health, the USDA should conduct more rigorous inspections at meat processing facilities and should have the authority to order recalls of contaminated meat and the power to shut down processing plants that fail to meet food safety standards."

Boycott Fast Food! Part 1

After writing about obesity, something really sparked inside of me. A feeling stronger than I normally get: disgust. I am disgusted with fast food. However, I am not just disgusted with the food itself, but everything. I have a problem with almost all things “fast food.” So I say “BOYCOTT!”

Do not worry, I will back all of this stuff up, I am not going to just stop with no reasons for my boycott, but stick with me.

First, we start with the food. All fast food has something in common: to much sugar, fat and salt. The worst of all of the fast food places to go is McDonald’s

For example, McDonald's spends over two billion dollars each year on advertising its junk food - high in fat, sugar and salt, and low in fibre and vitamins. A diet of this type is linked with a greater risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other diseases. Their food also contains many chemical additives, some of which may cause ill-health, and hyperactivity in children. (Boycott Bush)

Not only does it contain to much sugar, fat, and salt, it is unclean. We need to boycott it because of the unfair and unhealthy standards of the meatpacking industry.

Eric Schlosser, writer of Fast Food Nation roughly states that the USDA has no real power over anything slaughterhouses, ranchers, meatpackers, renderers, or distributors do. The meat industry enjoys being the only industry in America that does not have to answer to government regulations, especially when it comes to recalling meat for whatever reason. Whether there is glass in the hamburger, E. coli or Salmonella the USDA cannot force a company to recall its meat and therefore has to wait for a company to make the decision to issue a recall.

Fast Food Nation also addressed the issues of E. coli O157:H7 and briefly mentions bovine spongiform encephalopathy (also known as BSE or Mad Cow). It states how researchers have known since the early eighties about the dangers of both E. coli and Creutzfeldt-Jakob, or the human form of BSE (also known as vCJD), and still did nothing to stop common practices that spread both of these diseases.

This seems to me to be reason enough to stop eating fast food. But there are more reasons to come in Part 2.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Obesity is a problem.

After thinking about what I wrote a little while ago (My Concerns for the State of the Nation) I thought of another thing that should be fixed: obesity.

According to the American Obesity Association, "Obesity is a complex, multi-factorial chronic disease involving environmental (social and cultural), genetic, physiologic, metabolic, behavioral and psychological components. It is the second leading cause of preventable death in the U.S." Today, public health leaders recognize obesity as a "neglected public health problem."

The AOA also says: "The number of adults who are overweight or obese has continued to increase ... Currently, 64.5 percent of U.S. adults, age 20 years and older, are overweight and 30.5 percent are obese. Severe obesity prevalence is now 4.7 percent, up from 2.9 percent reported in the 1988..."

Obesity prevalence has increased across all education levels, but it is higher for persons with less education. For example in 2001 27.4% of the obese did not finish high school, while only 15.4% of the obese finished college. I am not saying that people are obese because they did not finish high school, and less people are obese because they completed college, but it is an interesting hypothesis. And if it were true, our push for education should be even stronger!

All of this leads me to my revolution, and the things that I want to change to help fix the problem. First, the USDA says "51 percent of children and adolescents eat less than one serving a day of fruit, and 29 percent eat less than one serving a day of vegetables that are not fried." I say "you kids should eat more fruit!" I think if school lunches were better prepared, using natural and local produce, the kids would live healthier lives, and the communities would benefit. Another change that should take place in schools should be the removal of pop and candy machines. These kids do not need more advertising in their lives, nor the sugar that comes with it.

After school is over, it is up to the parents to take over. In my new revolution we will encourage parents to take charge in the diets of their children, offering fruits and vegetables instead of chips and donuts, and water instead of pop. It would provide a better family environment if the parents would make their childrens’ food, and sit down and eat it with them. Families are part of communities, and when one gets better it affects the other.

Lastly, Everyone should watch the movie Super Size Me.

My Concerns for the State of the Nation

I have decided that in my revolution, I should focus on problems that I need to fix. I have been going for a good two weeks without any specific ideas. Today is the day that I start to identify the major social problems that I think should be corrected.

Although these are problems of the world, I think that like my personal revolution, it is important to help yourself grow before you can effectively help others. I am not saying that I do not condone efforts around the world; in fact I think they are fantastic, but I think that the people of the United States should take a look at its priorities. For example, when the tsunami hit southern Asia there was allot of money sent for relief. We need to consider the metaphorical tsunami that is hurting our educational system, our environment, and our people. If people volunteered or donated to help something they can not see, why can’t they donate and volunteer to help better the ills of society that they face every day?

In my revolution I want to fix these problems, and the most important thing that needs attention in our society is education. The growth in concern for education has been growing but the funding for education has been declining. I want to help improve the state of our schools. If I focus on education all of the subsequent problems will cease to exist.

Secondly, the environment is a major concern. We are only given one earth, and we have to make the most of it. We should stop pollution. Global warming is a problem, and should be stopped by the implement of the Kyoto agreement. We should be working more towards an economy that is not gas powered, and we should recycle (especially the middle part of our country). Those are my major environmental concerns for right now, but more may come to me.

Thirdly, we have to eliminate poverty and hunger, thus eliminating homelessness. If we were to increase our minimum wage, to increase buying power, and increase availability of affordable housing, by restructuring land usage codes, we could take out a huge chunk of homelessness. Another way to fight hunger and create jobs would be to create more community gardens, and start more farmers markets. Most of the homeless do not want to stay in their current situation, and they should be helped.

Lastly, we should work towards peace. If everyone helps out their neighbor, the world would be a better place. We have to lead from example. Instead of school shootings and wars, there should be volunteering and, well volunteering abroad.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Revolutionary Quotes

I wish I had found these quotes when I wrote Thoughts on Making a Difference.

The greatest revolution in our generation is that of human beings, who by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.
--Marilyn Ferguson

Revolution is not something fixed in ideology, nor is it something fashioned to a particular decade. It is a perpetual process embedded in the human spirit.
--Abbie Hoffman

Any revolution has to start with the transformation of the individual, otherwise individuals are corrupted by the power they get if their revolution succeeds.
--Wes Nisker

The most important of all revolutions, a revolution in sentiments, manners and moral opinions.
--Edmund Burke

I hope you have become inspired to make a change in your life that will positively affect others.

::Update - Febuary 25, 2005::
For some reason people keep looking up revolutionary quotes. The best list that I found is at Brainy Quote. Enjoy.

Sunday, February 20, 2005


The reason that I am starting this social revolution is simple. When you are looking for something, and you cannot find it, you have to make it. I could not find a better way to help fix the things that are important to me, so I am creating a way to fix these problems through my new revolution. One of the easiest ways I have found to change a problem, is to take action. It requires a little more than complaining, but the benefits are tenfold. If you want to make a change in your community or have an effect on society, one of the most productive things you can do is volunteer. Volunteering is a great form of public service, and shows that you think something should be fixed, by physically doing it. I know that I just recently started volunteering, but I will not stop. I will become focused, and hopefully down the road, I will start coordinating projects instead of just joining them. I encourage all of my 5 readers to get out and do something, from walking dogs at a humane society, to cleaning up a beach. The most important thing is that you get involved in what is important to you, if you want more ideas go to VolunteerMatch. Thank you.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Second Action: Cleanup of Transient Camp - part 2

I am taking action in my community, well my future community. Today I went to the Gales Creek Cleanup in Forest Grove, Oregon. Which was sponsored by Pacific University, Americorps, and Clearwater Services. A grand total of 65 people showed up, which was more than expected. Most of them were students; however, a few of them were professors and there were a couple from Americorps. It was a great turnout, and also a beautiful day.

A group of 65 people can clean up anything. The transient camp was saturated with filth. There were literal mountains of garbage gathered, enough to easily fill two large dumpsters (not the kind outside of businesses, the kind used for construction) , unfortunately we only had one, but that will be for another day. We restored the beauty of the riparian zone with ease, and completed our project in only two hours, which was two hours faster than we thought it would take. This was a great example for me, in a way that a clean-up should be staged, or pretty much any sort of community help program.

With this clean-up I brought away some good knowledge for future community action works. First, it is important to publicize your cleanup/tree planting/what have you, in order to get allot of people to show up. Many hands really does make light work, I hardly felt like I did anything, as did many others, yet so many things were accomplished! A good idea for recruiting is to target fraternities and sororities, they will help with anything! Secondly, it is important to have a focused goal and stick to it. This is important, because when you start to veer away from your goal, your group loses focus and motivation. Thirdly, It is important to keep it short, the faster it can get done, the better. This will result in people willing to help again, and again. Lastly, it is a good idea to get some sort of snacks, and water. Even apple or orange slices, or some cookies, anything is appreciated.

Overall this was a really good experience, I feel good about myself for cleaning up a riparian zone, habitat to many plants and animals, and also I learned allot about how to set up an organized work group. It was a great experience, and I encourage anyone with an opportunity to join your community, and help make it a better place.

::Update - Febuary 22, 2005::
I just recieved an e-mail which said that our cleanup removed two and a half tons of garbage. That is amazing!

Friday, February 18, 2005

Second Action: Cleanup of Transient Camp - part 1

Today I helped bring cleaning supplies, rakes, gloves, garbage bags, etc… to an abandoned transient camp in Forest Grove Oregon, at Gales creek. This creek is the source of drinking water for Forest Grove, and is also prime steelhead, cutthroat trout, and coho salmon habitat. Tomorrow we will be cleaning up an abandoned transient camp, which was estimated to have had up to 100 homeless people living there at one time. The transient camp was occupied off and on for the last five years. Now that they are out, there is a lot of garbage to clean up. For example, today while scouting out the site we found, a plethora of aluminum cans, holey tents, bike parts, tarps, lawn chairs, clothing, a couple of seats taken from vans, and much more.

Tomorrow I, along with upwards of 60 students from Pacific University, and Clearwater Services, will be trying to clean up the majority of the camp, restoring the riparian zone to its once uncluttered natural beauty.

Every day I am becoming more revolutionary.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

My first real action

I stopped talking about a revolution and I finally did something! I am currently a student of Portland Community College in Portland Oregon. However, there is a potential problem with its funding.

"As you may know, the state budget for community colleges is grim," said Pulliams. "We are the only sector of education that received a cut in funding from last biennium in the Governor's proposed budget. Unless we receive additional funds from the state, we will have to make major program reductions and cut access for thousands of students."

There is a group of students, educators, and others going to the capital on the 24th to the House and Senate galleries where they will be recognized from the floor by each chamber.

Unfortunately, I have to be in class on this day, but I did the next best thing, I wrote a letter to my congressmen. Although this is just a small thing to do, everything makes a difference, and you have to start somewhere.

Many activist websites recommend writing letters to your elected officials, because you do have the power not to vote for them, so they will usually read what you have to say. Especially if you write them a real letter instead of just email them. To find information on your elected officials go to one of the million activism websites such as:

If there is something important to you that you think should happen. Tell someone about it!

Listening and Revolutionizing

After talking to my writing professor about my revolution he told me that one of the most important things about starting a revolution is to listen to the people. After some consideration of this I believe that a major factor in my ability to start a revolution will be my listening skills. I can hear most things just fine, but I really need to take an active part to try and understand what people are saying before I attempt to fix a problem. Instead of listening with the intent to reply, I need to listen with the intent to understand.

“Listening is an attitude, a mindset that dictates whether you are either self-centered or other-centered. If you are self-centered, you are most likely cutting others off, refusing to give feedback, not engaged, and daydreaming among others. If you are other-centered, you are focused on listening, but more importantly you are hearing what is being said and are working intensely to connect the dots—the hidden messages, the ones that are not openly communicated yet are there for the taking.”
--Phil Holborton

Being “other-centered” is essential to my revolution, I do not want to start a revolution just to change myself, but I want to do something to help make our society better. Therefore, I need to focus on the many various thoughts that are being conveyed and try to understand them. As I become a better listener I will become a better revolutionary.

No need for charity if there is justice

I have been talking with people about my revolution (my fiancée) and a genius topic was brought up, that I think everyone should think about and should definitely be included in my quest for a better (insert noun). The genius-ness is that if there was justice in the world there would be no need for charity. This is because justice involves a social change, while charity involves a social service. If there was a social problem, and it was changed, it would not have to be serviced. Justice takes care of problems in the long term while charity is a quick fix.
The downfall to this is that charity can happen quickly, you can donate clothes or food or money in a snap, but justice takes time.

I found the perfect quote on the internet:

"Charity will never be true charity unless it takes justice into account ... Let no one attempt with small gifts of charity to exempt themselves from the great duties imposed by justice."
Pope Pius XI, Divini Redemptoris , #49

I have decided that in my ever changing personal quest of some sort of revolution, I will definitely try to be involved with charities, or social services, but I will not let myself think that a quick fix is good enough. I want to work towards social justice, but until then charity is the second best option.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Education is Fundamental

Not only is education fundamental, it is crucial for my revolution, something that I want to become is a citizen. I know that I like many are “citizens” of the United States. But what does that mean? I believe that you should only really be considered a citizen if you know what is going on around you. Becoming a citizen is not a passive act, citizens need to vote, but a vote is worthless if you do not know what it will mean to you. I am working on becoming aware of the news, not only in my local area, but global news as well. I have started reading the International Herald Tribune, a fantastic newspaper with a detached and varied view on the United States and its affects on the world. I am also reading the Oregonian, Oregon’s main news paper. It is important to be informed of the news because all of the things happening in the world can affect you, and you have to be aware of what you can do to affect these situations. Reading the paper will help you find ways to make a difference. This in essence, is why I feel that education is important.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Gandhi is an outstanding example of a revolutionary, one that many other revolutionaries have followed in their quest for a nonviolent change in society. Albert Einstein was one of many to praise Gandhi's achievement; MLK, the Dalai Lama and all the world's peace movements have followed in his footsteps.

Gandhi began by believing that the politics of passive resistance and nonviolence should be effective in any situation, at any time, even against a force as malign as Nazi Germany. His hunger strikes could stop riots and massacres, and he alone was responsible for the transformation of the demand for independence into a nationwide mass movement that mobilized every class of Indian society against the imperialist.

I, like many others, will try to follow an example in nonviolence as I start forming my personal revolution.

Thoughts on Making a Difference

After thinking about my revolution for a while I realized that in order for this revolution to grow I have to start somewhere. I am going to start with changing myself. I think that everything I do has an affect on someone else, and I can either affect them unconsciously, or consciously, meaning, I have to be aware of all of my actions, from the things that I say to the way that I drive. Everything. I believe that I have a personal responsibility to make a difference; I can only make a positive change in society by becoming a better person first. I know that this will not be easy to start my revolution, but you do not run a marathon without first running a mile. I have to take small steps. And maybe I should start running too. Like real running, not metaphorical.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Why I want to start revolutionizing

An amazing thing happened to me today, someone left me feedback. The great thing was, it asked a question that I have yet to answer. Why do I want to start a revolution? It started when I got back from Mexico right around Christmas time, after 3 months away from the United States I started school, and started to try to become aware of my surroundings. I started reading the newspaper and thinking about how things that everyone are doing every day effect my life, from the drunken drivers of the holidays influencing enhanced police patrols to the United States Government's opt out on the Kyoto agreement, which will affect the entire globe. I decided that not only am I being affected by others peoples decisions, but I make decisions that have effects on the things around me. Everything I do will have an affect. Kind of like a ripple in water or the chaos theory. The two main components of chaos theory are the ideas that systems - no matter how complex they may be - rely upon an underlying order, and that very simple or small systems and events can cause very complex behaviors or events. Even though it is a theory, and used in Jurassic Park it is still how I believe that I can have an impact on society, by merely making a change in my behaviors. I think that before I was a part of the problem; the unaware unattached member of society. However, now I am trying to make a difference by informing myself of current events and how my actions affect the world (see the Ecological Footprint). Well I am going to rest myself well so that I can be fresh for another great day of revolutionizing tomorrow. I invite anyone who can change something about themselves to join me in the fight for a better way of life.

I know what I do NOT want my revolution to reflect.

I was playing around with the next blog button for a while today until I found the antithesis of my revolution is: Libhater. This site is intense, and is pretty much about how liberals are ruining the United States. It is amazing, and I think all people should see what kind of thing not to do. Be close minded. I think part of my revolution will be based on inclusion rather than exclusion, and maybe more importantly, open mindedness rather than closed.

I also learned something else valuable from this site: It is allot easier to get reviews when you right ad hominem attacks on half of the populations beliefs, opposed to writing papers that praise good things that people do.

Anyway, my quest for a new revolution is slowly becoming more focused, thanks to great examples of what I do not want to become.

Activism, another option to be revolutionary

Wow, It seems like now I have three options. I can either be a revolutionary, a renegade or an activist

activist - ac·tiv·ist n.
One involved in the use of direct, often confrontational action, such as a demonstration or strike, in opposition to or support of a cause.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union an activist can be from any race, gender, educational background or part of town. An activist is simply someone who cares enough to use his or her time and energy to work on an issue.

Which is AWESOME! This gives me allot of options to change some stuff, because I definitely fit in one of the categories given by the ACLU.

Besides eating less meat, I think that I should get involved in my community as well. At the very least I think I should be informed about what is going on in my city/county/state/country/world.

Ecological Footprint (I take up allot of space)

Looking to see what kind of things I could improve in myself and my community, to start my revolution to make something better. I found a website to find out how big my Ecological Footprint is. I found out that if everyone lived like I do we would need about 4.3 earths to satisfy all of the demands of everyone in the world. This made me start thinking about my revolution HARD. I know that I use allot of products, many of which I do not need, and I am aware that many people are not getting products that they do need. I think I am going to try to equal this out.

One of the first things I am going to start to do is to eat less meat. According to the web link above, the people from Earthday say that, "A plant-based diet generally requires less land, energy, and other resources. Crop-based food requires an average of 0.78 global hectares per ton of food, compared to 2.1 global hectares required to produce one ton of animal-based food. "

That means that if I eat fewer Animals there will theoretically be less demand for space and more room for plants. My revolution is becoming clear. I encourage you to go and see what your Ecological Footprint is and send it to me as feedback. I think that I can make a difference... you know, with your help.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Revolutionary Ideas are Presenting Themselves

After allot of reading about revolutions I have realized that they do not happen overnight. This is going to take allot of work from me. As I have earlier stated, this revolution is going to be based on education. I have also decided that the best reason for a revolution is to help people change their damaging ways. I think that my revolution will be a friendly one, and I am going to keep looking back to revolutionaries, but also keep looking for ways that I can help people and things that need it (help). My quest continues, but it is slowly becoming more focused, change is a commin’.

Dr.Martin Luther King

This mustached man is Martin Luther King, if you do not know of him, you should. He is my second quality example of a revolutionary, Martin Luther led a mass struggle for equality that doomed segregation and changed the United States for ever. That is something pretty big to accomplish. TIME magazine says: “For all King did to free blacks from the yoke of segregation, whites may owe him the greatest debt, for liberating them from the burden of America's centuries-old hypocrisy about race. It is only because of King and the movement that he led that the U.S. can claim to be the leader of the "free world" without inviting smirks of disdain and disbelief.” I can probably only use him as a good example a revolutionary person. King was a minister who fought for freedom, he was courageous and radical.

I to, will fight for radical-ness, and every day I am coming closer to my personal revolution, I think it will involve helping.

Revolutionary = Renegade (Maybe)

I think that I will get the option to become either a revolutionary, or a renegade, OR BOTH! It appears as if they are very similar:

Renegade - ren·e·gade n. 1. One who rejects a religion, cause, allegiance, or group for another; a deserter. 2. An outlaw; a rebel.

Revolutionary - rev·o·lu·tion·ar·y adj.
1: markedly new or introducing radical change; "a revolutionary discovery"; "radical political views"
2: advocating or engaged in revolution; "revolutionary pamphlets"; "a revolutionary junta" n: a radical supporter of political or social revolution

It pretty much looks like these two can be related. Also we can relate them by how Rage Against the Machine's Lyrics of "Renegades" matches up with Time's list of Revolutionaries

Nothing stayed the same, but there were always renegades
Like Chief Sitting Bull, Tom Paine
Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X
They were renegades of their time and age
So many renegades

TIME's list matches with one: Martin Luther King. Therefore; King was a revolutionary and a renegade. Furthermore, I can become one or the other. But I do not really want to be an outlaw, or go to jail, I just want to change some stuff. And I will, as soon as I figure out what some stuff is. Any suggestions would be welcome.

Lech Walesa

This man is Lech Walesa, he is my first example of a revolutionary, because he was revolutionary. Lech was the first non-communist Prime minister of Poland in more than 40 years, and also elected Poland’s first non-communist president. He helped end communism and thus end the cold war, and he was feisty.

Lech’s First Main Goal: moving his fellow workers away from mere wage claims and toward a central, daringly political demand: free trade unions.

Walesa started his protest against the government when he was 37, therefore, if I want to start a revolution, I have 16 years to work on it. According to TIME magazine Lech had an “electrifying personality, quick whit and a gift for gab...[he was] unpredictable, often infuriating, but he had a natural genius for politics, a matchless ability for sensing popular moods, and great powers of swaying a crowd.”

Gab – gab n 1. light informal conversation for social occasions

I think that I might have gab as well, I am going to have to work on being electric though, I guess there might be some revolutionaries who are not, I will have to do some more research. Also, I find myself to be unpredictable and infuriating, and I am going to take a Political Science class so that might help me with this revolution of mine.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Looking to the past

I decided that the best way to find out what a good revolutionary is like; I would have to look to our history. Maybe if I can figure out what I can do to be like some of the people that really changed the world I can figure out how to make my own revolution (not that I am exactly sure what that is yet). TIME has published an article on the top 20 leaders and revolutionaries of the last century. I am positive that it will help my cause. I will learn about people such as: Martin Luther King Jr., Adolf Hitler, Winston Churchill, Pope John Paul II, Mao Zedong, and more. I am not going to only stick to Time’s list though, I plan on looking back further into history, I think I will also look into all wars that have the word Revolutionary in them, and also look at some people that time magazine did not mention like Jesus, I am sure that I will come across many revolutionaries, and I will try to learn as much as I can from learning about them.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

The revolving continues

While trying to educate myself in the way of revolution I stumbled across this little description written by a Young Socialist Alliance Leader on May 3, 1969 in New York named Peter Camejo.

In a certain way you can make a parallel between revolution and pregnancy. In the very early stages of pregnancy, if just on empirical evidence you ask whether or not someone is pregnant, the answer will be no. However, with the use of science you can determine whether the person is pregnant very early. Later on it becomes evident for everybody to see. The same thing is true of social revolution. In the early stages most people don’t see it. You always begin on the assumption that in every society that needs a revolution, the majority of the people don’t think it’s possible… You need two things to make a revolution – a vanguard and an objective situation in which there is a crisis and a mass radicalization.

Vanguard - van·guard
1: the leading units moving at the head of an army
2: any creative group active in the innovation and application of new concepts and techniques in a given field

Now I do not know if I want to be a socialist, but I am not opposed to a social revolution. It seems like there are allot of different thinks to revolutionize, I am not sure where I will start. It looks as if i will need a vanguard, and an objective situation though. That will be my goal. I will change something...


I guess the only way for me to make a revolution / become revolutionary is to figure out what that means. I probably should have thought of looking for definitions first, but i thought of it like fourth, but that is just the beggining.

Revolution - rev·o·lu·tion n.
1: a drastic and far-reaching change in ways of thinking and behaving; "the industrial revolution was also a cultural revolution"
2: the overthrow of a government by those who are governed
3: a single complete turn (axial or orbital); "the plane made three rotations before it crashed"; "the revolution of the earth about the sun takes one year"

Revolutionary - rev·o·lu·tion·ar·y adj.
1: markedly new or introducing radical change; "a revolutionary discovery"; "radical political views"
2: relating to or having the nature of a revolution; "revolutionary wars"; "the Revolutionary era"
3: advocating or engaged in revolution; "revolutionary pamphlets"; "a revolutionary junta" n: a radical supporter of political or social revolution

It looks like I have a lot of options with these definitions. I do not think I will join a revolutionary junta, but maybe I can make one. I will have to find out what that is before I can decide.

Junta - jun·ta n. 1:A group of military officers ruling a country after seizing power. 2: A council or small legislative body in a government, especially in Central or South America. 3: A junto.

My experience with Spanish tells me that a junto is just a boy junta. I am pretty sure that my revolution is going to start small, so I will probably have to decide against having a junta; at least in the beginning of my revolution.

Another thing that looks good to me is the revolution, like a complete turn, that will probably be the easiest type of revolution to accomplish. I am going to shoot in between a complete turn and a junta. Wish me luck.

The Revolution is forming itself.

In search of the basis of my revolution I have been trying to educate myself about revolutions and get some good ideas.
Here is one of the things that i have found:
"To see yourself as small and powerless serves no one. Real growth is about tiny shifts in thought, perception, belief, and action. It's about realizing that you are the person who can and should do something about the injustices of the world. The "something" you can do is what BE NICE (OR ELSE!) is all about: starting a BE NICE revolution."

-- Winn Claybaugh

I will start a revolution, but i dont know if it will be a "nice" one yet. Only time can tell.


I am sure that something involving Education has to do with my revolution. I am not quite sure what it has to do with it yet, but it is so fundemental. Education will be an important factor on my journy in the Revolution. This is a big day.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

It All Starts Now.

I just decided, I am going to start a revolution, and I am starting from nothing. I am not sure where i am going with this revolution, but I am sure it will realize itself. I will just have to keep considering what needs to happen, but i know something will happen, I am sure of it.