Thursday, March 31, 2005

Oil on Ice: ANWAR + Drilling = Problems for future

I was just at a little Pacific University viewing of Oil on Ice. It was good. It goes into depth about the Artic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWAR), and the proposed drilling in this vital area.

ANWAR is a diverse area, home to many species of wildflowers, musk ox, wolverines, grizzly and polar bears, swarms of insects, and over 180 different species of birds. Not to forget to mention the cornerstone species of the area, the Caribou. There are tens of thousands of caribou that use ANWAR for calving (raising their young), they travel hundreds of miles from all over Canada and Alaska to get there, and drilling would destroy their habitat, and scare them off. This in effect, would drastically hurt the native Gwich’in Tribe of this area.

However, this is not the extent of the problem. Currently, there are 1,000 square miles of land that are being used at their full potential for oil drilling. This is in Prudhoe Bay. These people were guaranteed that there would be no problems, and in fact, they would receive a small part of the profits that the oil companies would make through drilling. This was good for a while, until it scared off the caribou, the main source for food of the Gwich’ins. The oil companies also said that the people should not be afraid of oil spills, and they were right, for a little while. Then there was the largest oil spill ever, Exxon Valdez killed destroyed another cornerstone species, the herring. Without the herring there would be no other fishes or birds that ate them, and there were many. After the spill Exxon made a clean up where they polished some rocks, and made everything look pretty good. It was not good. They created glossy pamphlets, and made it seem like they did the right thing, and most people believed them. Unfortunately for Exxon a group studying the spill came back 12 years later and found that many of the beaches were still contaminated with oil, under the rocks, in the soil, everywhere.

These are risks that we can not take. Oil on Ice also points out that when the oil is tapped, it does not belong to the United States, it belongs to the drillers. And the drillers have a say where it goes, no matter how desperate the U.S. situation may seem. It is more economically sound to send drilled oil from Alaska to Asia, rather than to mainland United States.

There is a funny part in this movie when a man says “When we are addicted to drugs, we are told to cut off the supply. If we are addicted to oil we are told to increase the supply.” This does not make sense, and Oil on Ice offers a couple ideas on how best to fix our dependency on oil rather than drill.

Oil on Ice message to us is that we need to stop wasting gas, and use our modern technology of bio-diesel and hybrid cars to help us. They also point out that if we increase our standards for fuel efficiency we would not be reliant on foreign oil, nor ANWAR oil. John Kerry in a 2002 speech said that 88.9% of Americans want better fuel efficiency. Why is it that we aren’t getting it? Everyone should see this movie, or at least go to their website, even after ANWAR’s recent turnover.

Oil on Ice ends this entry well when they say:
    “On March 16th, the U.S. Senate voted to not strip Arctic Refuge oil revenues from the Federal Budget Resolution by a vote of 51-49. Activists say the battle is far from over and have vowed to continue to block drilling in the Refuge. To have your voice heard, call the Arctic Action Hotline at 1-888-8-WILDAK (1-888-894-5325).

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The best way to increase blog readership

Is also the worst way to increase blog readership. I was doing an experiment on different types of commentary strategies, as far as pointing people back to my blog. It turns out, the most evil type of comment worked the best.

That is, when I just spam people’s comments I get a lot more Traffic. I was just copying and pasting this :

I would just look for the newest blogs popping up on blogwise, and spam my comment. This worked great; in fact, it doubled my average traffic, or readership, for the last couple of days. However, it is evil.

I feel bad for doing it, and I am sorry to everyone that I spammed. Although it works great, it does not offer anything good to the blogosphere. It is especially not on par with most of the productive comments that are usually posted – especially in the blogs that I frequent.

So, although it works, I do not suggest that anyone tries it unless they want to be hated. I do not want to be hated. On the contrary, I would rather be liked. And even followed as some sort of good example, that is why I am not doing this anymore. But I do still plan on leaving quality comments even though it makes more time.

I am stopping the spam in accordance with my revolution. I want to make the world a better place, not a worse one.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Cost of war in Iraq in relation to GDPs

I have seen various “Cost of War in Iraq” counters. This made me wonder how much money that really is. Because it looks like a lot!

I figured a good way to do it would be to compare it to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of several countries. The estimated cost of the war is about $159,214,000,000 at the time of this post.

Now let’s relate that number to The United State’s GDP which is, $12,955,370,000,000.
That makes the total cost of the war in Iraq only one per cent of our Nations GDP. This is miniscule. However, it does not look so small when compared to the GDP of other nations.

For example, the cost of the war has almost reached Argentina’s GDP ($161,899,000,000). The shocker about this is that Argentina is the 36th richest country in the world (179 different countries)!

The Argentina example may be staggering, but the most powerful example I have found about the cost of the war is its relation to the poorest countries in the world.

The cost of the War in Iraq is equal more than the combined Gross Domestic Product of 65 of the poorest countries.

Nepal, The Bahamas, Mozambique, Haiti, Mali, Burkina Faso, Brunei, Zambia, Republic of Macedonia, Malta, Namibia, Chad, Georgia, Cambodia, Madagascar, Republic of the Congo, Nicaragua, Benin, Papua New Guinea, Guinea, Niger, Armenia, Zimbabwe, Netherlands Antilles, Barbados, Laos, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Swaziland, Togo, Malawi, Fiji, Tajikistan, Rwanda, Central African Republic, Mongolia, Lesotho, Mauritania, Suriname, Sierra Leone, Belize, Cape Verde, Antigua and Barbuda, Maldives, Guyana, Bhutan, Seychelles, Saint Lucia, Burundi, Eritrea, Djibouti, Grenada, The Gambia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Comoros, Samoa, East Timor, Vanuatu, Guinea-Bissau, Dominica, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Kiribati, São Tomé and Príncipe

Yes! That is 65 countries! And their combined GDP is $156,919,000,000. 3 billion less than the cost of the war!

Since I compiled all of this information, it is your job to think about what kind of use this money could have gone to, instead of helping one country, we could have helped 65. If we were just handing out presents, we could have matched 65 of the poorest countries GDP. That would undoubtedly help a huge chunk of the world.

In fact, the combined population of these countries is around 291,090,910 people. That is roughly the population of the United States, the third largest country. If we split up the $159,214,000,000 (cost of the war) to all of the people in these 65 countries, they would all receive about 547 dollars! In some countries where people receive as little as $5 dollars a day for living that would help out tremendously! I hope this help put the cost of war into global context. After all, if we do not spend it on ourselves, we might as well send it to something good!

Monday, March 28, 2005

Australians view U.S. as a threat to peace

America lags behind Japan and China in popularity, poll finds

By Raymond Bonner and Donald Greenlees
The New York Times, International Herald Tribune
Tuesday, March 29, 2005

U.S. foreign policy poses as big a threat to world peace as Islamic fundamentalism, while the rise of China is the last on a list of potential threats, according to a survey released Monday of public opinion in Australia, one of Washington's closest allies in the Asia-Pacific.

…The survey …shows that America trails far behind China and Japan in public popularity. Although 84 percent of Australians had positive views of Japan and 69 percent expressed positive views of China, only 58 percent felt the same way about the United States.

…"There is quite a big disconnect between how the world views Bush and how the Americans view Bush," says Don Russell, Australia's ambassador to Washington between 1993 and 1995.

The war in Iraq appears to be one of the strongest points of disagreement Australians have with U.S. policy…

…57 percent of Australians rated U.S. policy as a threat equal to Islamic fundamentalism.

…But if Australians are feeling more ambivalent about America, their attitude to the economic powerhouses of East Asia is surprisingly warm, suggesting economic interests outrank old strategic friendship in the popularity stakes.

Australians are surprisingly sanguine about the emergence of China. Only 35 percent of Australians thought China's growing power was a threat.

Even on trade, China was ranked as a more attractive partner, A free trade agreement with America was viewed as good for Australia by only 34 percent of respondents. A similar deal with China won majority support, 51 percent.

In case of a U.S.-China war over Taiwan, there were limits on how far Australia should go in support of the alliance. Seventy-two percent were against coming to the aid of the United States.

Surprisingly, this is only news right now in Australia, India, and Europe

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Not as Original as I thought.

I thought that I was original when I was talking about making a campaign that would say that Jesus wants you to save the environment. Fortunately for the environment (unfortunately for my unoriginality) there is already a group like this.

I was so interested in this and I really wanted to pursue it, but then I found the Evangelical Environmental Network. This group is the creator of What Would Jesus Drive and other genius things.

These guys have already done everything that I planned on doing and more. They are super great, and I encourage anyone to go to their website, religious or not. Here is a little sampler:
    Biblically understood, "the environment" is actually part of God's creation, of which human beings are also a part. So why should we care for all of God's creation?

  • Christ died to reconcile all of creation to God (Col. 1:20).

  • All of creation belongs to Jesus (Col. 1:16; Ps. 24:1).

  • It fulfills the Great Commandments to love God and love what God loves. (It's hard to love a child with asthma when you're filling her lungs with pollution.)

  • Pollution hurts the poor the most, and Christians are called to care for the poor and the less powerful (Mt. 25:37-40).

  • Thus, caring for all of creation provides a Christian with the deepest sense of joy and contentment since it is part of loving God. We call this "creation-care."

These guys are great. I emailed them, and asked them to make a banner for me to put on my blog. I can only hope that they follow through, they are doing such a good thing for our country/environment.

Jesus Wants You! (to save the environment)

I was inspired to write this after reading a great essay by Richard Louv entitled Replanting the environmental garden

In it, he writes about revitalizing the environmental movement. One of the most interesting ideas in this essay is the idea of pushing environmentalism through religion.
    the MIT Press published the results of one of the most extensive surveys of how Americans think about environmental issues. The researchers were stunned by what they discovered.

    A substantial majority of people surveyed justified environmental protection by explicitly invoking God as the creator, with striking uniformity across subgroups. "What is going on here? Why should so many nonbelievers argue on the basis of God's creation?" the researchers asked. "It seems that divine creation is the closest concept American culture provides to express the sacredness of nature. Regardless of whether one actually believes in biblical creation, it is the best vehicle we have to express this value."

    If the MIT report is correct, spiritual arguments for the environment, seldom used by the environmental movement, will be far more effective than utilitarian arguments. Made on behalf of our children and our children's children, this spiritual argument is the most emotionally powerful weapon we can deploy in defense of the Earth and our own species.
I personally think this is a genius idea. Especially now, when religion and the government are becoming more intertwined than ever. Saving the environment could be among Terry Schiavo, The Ten Commandments, abortion, gay marriages, and many others.

More than 75% of people in the United States are some sort of Christian. Therefore this spiritual environmental movement would have a big backing.

It does not matter if you are republican or democrat, as long as at least 75% of the population thinks that God is the creator of all things in this world, no matter if it was through the creation of all things in 7 days, or 7 billion years.

Environmentalism needs to be looked at in a different light in order to grow and continue. I want to help create this spiritual push into environmentalism. I want to create some sort of religious environmental propaganda; I want more people to care about what is happening around them.

I am thinking an Uncle Sam like Jesus. With Jesus pointing and lettering beneath: “Jesus Wants YOU! To save the Environment”

If anyone can help me with this, or would be willing to run a banner like that, like the “there is no Crisis” banners, please tell me. We need to get this revolution a goin’!

Saturday, March 26, 2005

New Reasons Against Fast Food

Earlier this week a woman in San Jose was enjoying her delicious Wendy’s chili. That is, until she discovered a human finger in her MOUTH! That is gross! Fortunately it was only about AN INCH AND A HALF OF FINGER!

Wendy’s along with the authorities are still looking for the owner of this finger ``We contacted each one of our suppliers that provide ingredients for chili, and each one of them told us they have had no employee accidents involving the fingers or hand,'' says Wendy’s Spokesman Denny Lynch.

If it was not from the “restaurant”, all I can think of is that it must be from one of the suppliers. I would not be surprised if employees working for these suppliers did not report it, or a report such as this would be lost, especially if the finger came in the ground beef container. The employees in slaughterhouses are often treated worse than the animals.
    "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. 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
    - Eric Carlson

Wendy’s sales have dropped, especcialy in the San Jose area. All that I can hope is that all fast food sales start to drop until they start to change their dirty ways. I know that eating a finger is a little bit out of proportion, and I truly feel sorry for the almost cannable lady that was eating finger chili, but I just hope that the customers of the fast food industry realize that fast food does not have to be gross, and the workers do not have to be treated poorley.

Furthemore, I encourage everyone to read Fast Food Nation, and to watch Super Size Me.

For simple reading about why you should not eat fast food, I wrote a couple of articles on it.
  • Boycott fast food part 1

  • Boycott fast food part 2
  • Thursday, March 24, 2005

    Tell Gordon Smith about the "nuclear option"

    The Following is the letter/email I sent to Gordon Smith, our republican senator, telling him how I feel about The "nuclear option." I think if you care about anything that happens in this country, you should email your senator as well. Copy mine if you want, it is easy!
    If you are in Oregon, please tell Gordon Smith how you feel!
      The "Nuclear Option"

      First of all, I am concerned with the state of the senate, and as your constituent you represent me. I can only hope, and urge you not to be in favor of the “nuclear option.”

      Since this is all happening over the judicial nominees I think it is important to realize that with 55 republicans and 44 democrats in the senate, all a judicial nominee would need are 5 extra democrat votes (I am sure you already know that).

      I think that if a judicial nominee can get some sort of bipartisan support they deserve to be nominated. If the “nuclear option” goes into play then there would be no point for the democratic senators to show up to work. They would have no say in what goes on, and I do not think that is how our government should work.

      Furthermore, the Republican Party will not always be the majority in the senate (although the represent the minority of the people: 44 Democratic senators represent 148,026,027 people; the 55 Republican senators 144,765,157). Whoever is in the majority will have control over the senate. Be it Republican or Democrat. This is a very short sighted view into the future.

      I am just saying NO to the “nuclear option” and as your constituent I URGE you to do so as well!

      Eric Carlson

    What are you waiting for, tell Gordon Smith what you think!

    Mexican solution to Army recruitment problems

    The Army expects to fall short of its targeted number of recruits, Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey told reporters yesterday, confirming the likely continuation of a trend that began in February when the active-duty Army missed its monthly goal for the first time since 2000. Last week, Lt. Gen. Franklin L. Hagenbeck, the Army's personnel chief, said in congressional testimony that "monthly recruiting figures from March and April will be difficult to achieve."

    The Iraq war, coupled with lower unemployment, creates one of the toughest recruiting environments in years, Army leaders are struggling to come up with innovative ways to reverse the trend of insufficient enlistees.

    To increase the recruitment amount the Army has raised its recruitment age from 34 to 39. They are also going out to the “heart land” and pushing patriotism by saying that joining the army is the “noble” thing to do. They are trying some strategies with raising the age, but there are other options to them NOT INCLUDING THE DRAFT!

    Coinciding with this decrease in military recruitment is an increase in Illegal aliens. A recent report showed that the number of illegal immigrants is growing by roughly 485,000 people a year. Furthermore, an analysis of government data by the Pew Hispanic Center, a private research group in Washington, showed an estimated 10.3 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States last year, an increase of about 23 percent from 8.4 million in 2000

    Harry Pachon of the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute in Los Angeles said the growth in illegal immigrants has risen with the US economy, with American businesses such as Wal-Mart looking to contractors who rely on undocumented workers "to fill jobs no one else will fill."
    Bush already has a goal to create a "guest worker" visa program. Which, surprisingly, I think is a great idea. However, I think there is a connection to be made from these two recent news stories.

    Mexicans by far remain the largest group of undocumented immigrants at 5.9 million, or about 57 percent of the March 2004 estimate. Many of these people have fought hard conditions to get into the United States, and now many of them are working in less than minimum wage conditions.

    I think that if an illegal alien wants a no-complications way to become a U.S. resident, they should be able to join the army. I think that if someone wants to be a U.S. resident enough, they should have the option to join the military. This would create Mexicans that are “Proud to be Americans.” With joining the military the Mexicans would be able to learn English, support their family from abroad, and become a legal member of a somewhat functioning society.
    I think there should be army recruiters giving the option of citizenship with military service at the border. This OPTION would increase the amount of traceable, legal, people in our country, give the Mexicans a legal lifestyle, and increase our military.

    I realize that this would require some assimilation, which I am against. But in a crazy world that is controlled by Bush, where everyone that is not with you is against you (Canada, Axis of Evil, Syria) it would decrease the likelihood of a draft, which I AM VEHEMENTLY AGAINST!

    For more information on the rise of illegal immigrants go here
    For more information on the decrease of military recruits go here

    Wednesday, March 23, 2005

    The Great Beach Cleanup: Dirty Seaside

    I just got back from seaside, and boy was it dirty. The beach I mean, there was tons of little plastic junk and garbage everywhere. It blew my mind, being only 2 days after the Great Oregon Beach Cleanup. As you may or may not know, I took part in this cleanup, but I went to a little beach, because I did not think there would be not that much help there. Turns out, I should have gone to Seaside. Seaside was so dirty, I just can not figure it out. There were tons of kids there for spring break, it seems like some of them must have helped out, or should have helped out. I CAN NOT understand, there where so many people there even during the bad weather yet there was still a problem.

    The 4,100 volunteers who came out to beaches up and down the coast on Saturday, trash bags in hand, hauled away 58,000 pounds of garbage - impressive, but far below the record of 70,000 pounds.

    I am one of the die hard 4,100 volunteers, and along with my special lady helped contribute to 1/2050th of the finding of a television set, a washing machine, a couch, two hot water heaters and more than 100 tires.
    This fall, more people better come, or I will have to take some sort of EXTREME ACTION!

    Good news for GSA in GA

    I have been following the actions of Kerry Pacer for about a month, well since February 26th. Kerry pacer tried to start a Gay Straight Alliance club in her bigot dense town of Cleveland Georgia. After facing much anti-gay harassment she took her club idea to the school board. They turned her down. Fortunately for Kerry, she was smart enough to get the rule book and put the bigots in their place. However, it took about a month of fighting with community members and some crazy church groups to get the club into the school.

    "I can’t tell you how relieved I am that the board is finally going to do the right thing and let us create a safe space for gay students at my school," said Kerry Pacer, a 16-year-old lesbian who decided to form the club with friends in an attempt to counteract rampant anti-gay harassment at the school. She added, "I understand that not everyone supports this club, and those people have a right to their opinion. But we also have a right to exist, and nobody’s rights should be trampled on."

    With the help of the ACLU, Kerry Pacer’s club, with a revision of the name, will be able to meet after school. Hopefully without a problem.

    I wish that there were not so many bigots and religious zealots in the south, but it is good to know that their close mindedness can not completely stop progress. I think Kerry Pacer is a type of revolutionary, standing for what she believes in and not bowing down to the pressure that is put on her by those in her community. She fought for, and with help created a positive change in her school. She should be applauded for what she has done, and I hope that her Peers Rising in Diversity Education club (PRIDE) does not face any more problems, and continues to grow.

    Monday, March 21, 2005

    Latina Gang Problems in Portland? Get Laura Bush!

    As some of us may remember, the President and Mrs. Laura Bush on March 8, 2005, highlighted the need to volunteer to help children and teens reach their full potential. Well I think the time for Mrs. Laura Bush to volunteer to help children is now! I am sure if any troubled kids were to meet Laura they would turn back in their ways, renounce all gang activities, and become productive members of society.

    That is what we need in the greater Portland area, where gangs are becoming so cool that even girls are starting to “do it.” This is a problem that needs to be looked into, thankfully The O, has done some research on this subject.
      Rebecca, a Milwaukie-area teenager who declined to give her last name, said she joined Latin Babes, one of the largest Latina gangs in the area, for protection after getting involved in several fights.
      She said Latin Babes has about 35 members in Milwaukie, who range in age from 13 to 18.
      "We tag," she said, using a slang term for graffiti. "If we see girls we don't like, we'll jump them and take their stuff. We get into trouble. Basically, all we do is go party."

    I know in my school in St.Helens, tagging was to be taught inside the classroom rather than outside. Seriously, the alternative school taught tagging as an elective! However, the Portland area schools are trying to do something more productive. They are trying to create punishments that keep kids in school, rather than out of school suspension.

    These kids just need a place to belong, and I think that if anyone could help these kids belong, it would be our First Lady. Maybe she could unite these kids behind something positive, instead of tagging, they could garden or adopt a highway (I do not think the “Latin Babes” sign would get torn down). And there is nothing that joining a chess club couldn’t solve. These kids need direction. Who do you think would be the best director? Maybe a former educator, librarian, and all around America Youth helping go getter!

    If you can hear our cries Mrs. Laura Bush, Please come and help our teens!

    Sunday, March 20, 2005

    Oregon takes one step closer to clean rivers

    A little bit of good news for the Columbia River was announced today in the Oregonian,

      Hundreds of acres of wildlife habitat on the Columbia River and nearby coasts will be restored and protected with $1.2 million paid by shipping companies caught dumping waste oil.

    This is a great start to help clean our rivers, but this is just taking care of random occurrences of the dumping of waste oil, while a variable cornucopia of toxins at toxic levels are being dumped into our rivers on a daily basis.
    Fortunately, if Oregonians are really serious about stopping the pollution of their rivers, there is a more permanent solution which is currently being debated in Salem.

    I’m talkin’ ‘bout senate bill 555. Environmental groups are calling this bill the most important water quality proposal in the last 30 years. It is a bill that would phase out toxic mixing zones over the next seven years.

    These toxic mixing zones are areas where lead, mercury, arsenic and other dangerous toxins are being pumped into the rivers, namely the Willamette, to be diluted in areas as large as two football fields.
      …the mixing zones permit the dumping of 30 billion gallons of toxic pollution into Oregon rivers. Yet there's no public information about the location of the mixing zones -- no buoys, no signs, no warnings about the mixing zones or the pollution they contain.

    I see this as a huge problem that is dangerous to everyone that uses these areas. We should not live in an area where it is not safe to play in the water, or eat the fish, Oregon is supposed to set an example for the rest of the nation to follow. I can see no reason not to fix these toxic mixing zones, and I urge everyone to write or talk to their representative and tell them how they feel about this blatent disreagard to the publics heatlh and saftey.

    Saturday, March 19, 2005

    Fifth Action: Spring Beach Cleanup

    Today my special lady and I went to the Great Oregon Spring Beach Cleanup which was set up by SOLV, keeping Oregon green, and it was GREAT! After checking in at Tillamook we took a little drive to Oceanside. The beach was already pretty clean when we got there, and there were about 10 different little groups of people, but we went and cleaned up a little bit. We almost died a couple of times when we were searching for garbage next to a big cliff wall. There were several large rocks that plummeted from the cliff; I think it is the rains fault, which nearly hit us. It was kind of scary, but we were troopers working for a cause. After about an hour of cleaning up the beach we came back to my car and had the Great Car Cleanup. Overall it went well, and I would be glad to do it again.


    Friday, March 18, 2005

    Obesity in Oregon

    Oregon is ranked as the 19th fattest state. In 2003, 21% of all adults were considered obese. It looks like these adults are influencing their children. A new report yesterday in The New England Journal of Medicine, says the prevalence and severity of obesity are so great, especially in children, that the associated diseases and complications - Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney failure, cancer - are likely to strike people at younger and younger ages.

    The report says that for the first time in two centuries parents have a longer life expectancy than their children, and the kid’s life expectancy could be reduced by as much as five years.

      “The report's lead author, Dr. S. Jay Olshansky, a professor of public health at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said he considered the report's projections of reduced life expectancy to be "very conservative, and I think the negative effect is probably greater than we have shown."

      - International Herald Tribune

    This is kind of scary! Fortunately Oregon is trying to do something about children’s health, they have introduced House Bill 2023, a bill which would make it unlawful to have a vending machine in an elementary school.

    The removal of vending machines in school will directly cut down on the amount of junk food these kids can get at school while simultaneously removing unneeded advertising from these children’s lives

    Another bill,Senate Bill 228, is being pushed in the senate to require 2 ½ hours of PE each week for elementary kids, and 3 ¾ hours of PE each week for middle school kids.
      Senate Bill 228 “would require physical education in public elementary and middle schools in Oregon. The state has no PE requirements or standards… fewer than half of Oregon's schoolchildren get daily physical education.”

      - The Oregonian
    The growing problem of obesity needs to be combated; these two bills are helping out by forming healthy eating and exercising patterns. Unfortunately, these kids do not spend all of their time at school and even if they are eating healthily and exercising, the parents can still mess it up by feeding their children fast food. YOU ARE SLOWLY KILLING YOUR KIDS!

    Parents need to get involved with their children and show them how to live and eat healthily. To learn more about obesity and how to combat it go to Obesity is a Problem.

    No Vending Machines in Elementary Schools: OR HB 2023

    Debates have ensued regarding soda and food vending machines in elementary, middle/junior and high schools. Some states have introduced and enacted legislation to replace existing food and drinks of minimal nutritional value for healthier options or to restrict student access to the machines. As of January 2004, Arkansas is the only state that has passed legislation banning vending machines in elementary schools. This is not just a state issue, however. Some cities and local schools districts have taken the lead and enacted policies to ban or replace certain foods and beverages in vending machines or restrict student access to the machines.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS) 2000 survey concluded that 43% of elementary schools, 89.4% of middle/junior high and 98.2% of senior high schools had either a vending machine or a school store, canteen, or snack bar where students could purchase competitive foods or beverages.

    Oregon House Bill (HB) 2023 would prohibit the school district board from contracting with vendors to sell food or beverages via vending machines that do not meet the standards of the UDSA national school lunch and breakfast programs. If a school does not have students in grade 5 or below, the board may contract with a vendor to sell items that do not meet the standards if the access to the machines is limited to after the last regularly scheduled lunch period for the school.

    2004 National Conference of State Legislatures

    The Nuclear Option

    In the past couple of months Senate’s republicans, lead by Frist, have been pushing for the “constitutional option” or more popularly known as the “nuclear option.” This tool would largely favor the republicans in the senate by allowing Bush’s judicial nominees to be voted for by majority, 51 votes, rather than the current 60 votes. This would eliminate the democrats’ ability to filibuster and stop some of these judicial nominees, and without the option to filibuster the federal bench would tip to the extreme right.

    55 republicans and 44 democrats in the senate, all a judicial nominee would need are 5 extra democrat votes. I think that if a judicial nominee can get some sort of bipartisan support they deserve to be nominated. If the nuclear option goes into play then there would be no point for the democratic senators to show up to work. They would have no say in what goes on, and I do not think that is how our government should work. I am just saying NO to the nuclear option!

    Thursday, March 17, 2005

    The unlawful LASER Pointer: House Bill 2014

    U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta says that “Recent research conducted by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration… has found that some lasers, when shined into a plane’s cockpit, could temporarily disorient or disable a pilot during critical stages of flight such as landing or take off,” Mineta said. “Even worse, in a few cases, these lasers can cause permanent eye damage for those who look directly into the beam.”

    “Let me be clear,” Mineta said. “Shining these lasers at an airplane is not a harmless prank. It is stupid and dangerous…If you are shining a laser at a plane, we will find you and we will prosecute you.”

    Directly relating the U.S. Department of Transportation, Oregon has put a bill into the house that would make it illegal to point a LASER pointer HB 2014 would make anyone who purposely points a LASER pointer into a cockpit of an aircraft. This act alone would be punishable by a max of 18 months of imprisonment, a $100,000 fine, or both.

    Furthermore, if someone shines a LASER pointer on a rent-a-cop (private security officer) that is on duty or on a “peace officer” that is acting in course of official duty they will receive a Class A misdemeanor. That means that they could go for up to one year in the county Jail.

    Do you think this is a little extreme or just right?

    Oregon legislature and a billion bills

    Actually, it is only somewhere around a 1,267 new bills in the House and 1,060 new bills introduced in the Senate, but no body is keeping track of them. After reading a post called Oregon Legislature Fiddles While State Burns by Vocal Minority

      ...the fact that these new bills are introduced daily and the media chooses to virtually ignore them. The Oregonian posts a Bill Watch column buried in the paper’s Metro section listing a few of the interesting ones. They generally don’t write anything about a new bill unless it pertains to land use laws or same sex marriage. In the past the press has been touted as a government watchdog that protects us by informing the public on what our government is doing so they can’t operate in secrecy.

    I have been inspired. I am going to spend my spring break pouring through the vastness that are the 2005 legislature house and senate bills. I am making it my mission to bring some sort of light onto what is going on in our state.

    Stay tuned for more! also, if you want to do some searching for yourself I urge you to go to Oregon Legislative Assembly, 2005 Regular Session Measures"

    A semi-refreshing republican: Senator Gordon Smith

    Senator Gordon Smith has put himself at odds with the majority of his party, and that is the kind of thing I like to see. He's got moxy! Today smith went against the grain of his peers, and instead of fighting for big businesses helped out the little guy. I am delighted to see this, and I hope more quality work is on the way.

      The Senate voted this afternoon to restore some $14 billion in Medicaid cuts that had been proposed for the next five years, setting up a confrontation between the two houses of Congress over tax and spending policy.

      The 52-to-48 vote to restore money to Medicaid, a federal-state program for poor people, came on an amendment offered by Senator Gordon H. Smith, Republican of Oregon. His was one of a long string of amendments being deliberated on the $2.6 trillion budget for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.

      ...An elated Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader, called the vote "an important victory for states, families, seniors and children" and said it came about because of "a truly bipartisan effort."

      -The New York Times

    I hope that good things continue to happen like this in the face of Bush's budget, but I think that it is sad that Harry Reid called it a "true bipartisan effort," because I can not see how a 52-48 vote is bi-partisan, that is a near tie, however, I will take what I can get.

    statistic brilliance

    Wednesday, March 16, 2005

    OH MY GOD! Wolfowitz?

    Either I am out of my mind, or Bush is trying to make the whole world hate us. And I am feeling uncomfortably sane. It seems like the sticks and the carrots everyone talks about are beginning to lose all meaning. These sticks are used for stabbing, stabbing anyone in the eye that might just like the United States.

    It seems as if there was to be someone that would work on behalf of the United States they would be a person that is... Nice? Maybe not nice, but at least someone that seems like they would not vehemently oppose all things non-United States.

    Well I just can not believe that we are doing that with Bush's nomination of Paul Wolfowitz as President of the World Bank. Wolfowitz is a key architect of the Iraq war whose hard-line foreign policy stance as deputy defense secretary has stirred criticism. I just cannot see that as a good choice.

      "As well as lacking any relevant experience, he is a deeply divisive figure who is unlikely to move the bank toward a more pro-poor agenda," said Patrick Watt, policy officer at British charity Action Aid.

      Dave Timms, spokesman for London-based World Development Network, called it a "terrifying appointment" that highlighted a lack of democracy in major lending institutions.

      - Jocelyn Gecker

    Sadly, this comes just weeks after bush nominates our United Nation Ambassador, that’s right, I'm talkin' 'bout Bolton.

      Bolton, a founding member of the neo-con Project for The New American Century (PNAC), is a mad-dog unilateralist who wants the world to bow to U.S. demands now that America is the only remaining superpower. Bolton has said: "If I were doing the Security Council today, I'd have one permanent member [the United States] because that's the real reflection of the distribution of power in the world." Treaties and international laws are irrelevant, he believes, since they are attempts to constrict the justified use of American power around the globe.

      If other countries refuse to bow to America's wishes, according to Bolton, the U.S. should either find a way around them to get what it wants, or unleash its full diplomatic, economic or military might on them.

      Bolton despises multi-lateralism and thinks the U.N. is an abomination. His mouth, by any accounts, is an undiplomatic sewer. By appointing him, Bush is telling the world: Screw you, we're making no concessions, get out of our way or get run over.
      What a nominee! It's like giving matches and a can of gasoline to a known arsonist and sending him into a building where firecrackers are stored.

      - Bernard Weiner

    Now, there must be a reason for these nominations. I am just afraid that these last two big nominations are just made to distance the United States from EVERYONE. I am afraid to guess why we would want to do that. Any ideas?

    Tuesday, March 15, 2005

    SOLV's Great Oregon Spring Beach Cleanup


    I am going to the "Great Oregon Spring Beach Cleanup!" I urge you to do so as well! I got some information from the SOLV website to try and convince everyone to go. EVERYONE!

    Hey, everyone is doing it!

    The first Beach Cleanup in the nation was held here in Oregon in 1984. Since then, annual beach cleanups have spread to every state in the Union, all US territories and more than 100 countries around the world. In 2003, 450,000 volunteers picked up over 7.6 million pounds of trash from 16,250 miles of coastline nationwide.

    It is like a treasure hunt for garbage!

    Among the many interesting items found on Oregon's beaches last year were a 10-foot section of a creosote-covered utility pole, an ax, a refrigerator door, a hot water heater, a recliner, a container of oily liquid, and lots of rope, fishing nets, plastic, Styrofoam, and tires.

    It is cool, and by cool I mean safe!

    In the 20 years that the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department has worked with SOLV on the Beach Cleanup, there have been no serious injuries. Just remember that you need to bring your gloves!

    What is holding you back? You don't want to be totaly awesome to the extreme?

    Join us from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 19, 2005, for the annual Spring Beach Cleanup. Click on Zone Map at right. Select a registration site and show up there at 10 a.m. Groups of 20 or more should contact the appropriate Zone Captain in advance.

    Come on guys! Jump on the Bandwagon!

    Monday, March 14, 2005

    My Concerns for the Future of the First Amendment

    I know everyone on the left side of the blog-o-sphere has written about the Guckert/Gannon Scandal, but that is just one small part of the problem. It is a large concern to me that one man can make up a name and get into the elite White House Press Corps, and just lob easy questions, almost compliments, to the president. But that is only one of my many concerns.

    This is only one thing that has come to light in the last couple of months that makes me a little bit scared. Propaganda is another one. The Bush administration is feeding us fake news stories, propaganda, to make us believe that everything he does is right. For example, the people’s tax money is going towards a political agenda. It did so when the Bush administration paid for a fake news story where Education Secretary Rod Paige promotes the No Child Left Behind act while leaving out the most important factor, the fact that it was a commercial paid for by the government rather than a news story.

    But that is not all. I am now reaching back into time, to around 9/11, for an example of what the White House Propaganda Machine. That would be the false connection between Iraq and the 9/11 bombings. Interestingly enough immediately after we were attacked a public pole found that only five percent of the nation thought that Iraq was involved. After several months of propaganda another pole found that there were 70% of us that thought that Iraq had something to do with the bombings.

    The thing that is most disturbing about this is its effect on people who do not know how to think for themselves. That would be our next generation of voters. I feel that the most serious of the problems is that while there is more and more propaganda being spewed into our news, the young public (High School-ers) is turning to government censorship of the media. WOW!

    Don’t believe me? A study was just done on more than 100,000 high school students, nearly 8,000 teachers, and more than 500 principals and administrators, and their feelings and knowledge on the First amendment.

    • 73 percent of students polled say they don’t know how they feel about the First Amendment or take their rights for granted.

    • More than 30 percent would welcome press censorship and think the First Amendment goes too far in the rights it guarantees.

    • 75 percent incorrectly believe that flag-burning is illegal.

    • 50 percent incorrectly think the government can restrict indecent material on the Internet.

    I am more than a little concerned for the future of this country.

    Written By: Eric Carlson

    Sunday, March 13, 2005

    News Update 2: Cleveland Georgia Gay Straight Alliance (GSA)

    Most of this news is the same information repeated, but written by a different newspaper from a different state. Anyway, it is still great that this story is getting so much coverage!

    High school gays get a harsh lesson
    Kerry Pacer's failing struggle to encourage acceptance of homosexuals in her rural Georgia hometown is echoed across the U.S.

    ..."There has always been a lot of bullying at school, and there was never anyone to stand up for me," said Pacer, explaining that she and other gay students felt a Gay-Straight Alliance club would promote understanding. "I knew there would be people who disagreed with it, but I had no idea it would grow this big."

    With heightened national attention on family values as championed by Christian conservatives, students such as Pacer said they have felt pressure to keep their sexual orientation hidden, particularly in Bible Belt states where many people believe homosexuality is a sin. Those attitudes were manifested last November when voters in 11 states approved constitutional amendments banning gay marriage...

    Written By: Dahleen Glanton

    For more about Kerry Pacer and the news surrounding her go to: White County, Georgia: Controversy in Gay PRIDE

    Saturday, March 12, 2005

    House bills with negative impact on Oregon's Measure 37

    Legislators and special interests are working on nearly 100
    bills which would impact the land use system in one way or
    another; some positively, others *very* negatively. Because of
    the uncertainty created by Measure 37, the OCN believes it is
    simply irresponsible to work on anything other than correcting
    the problems that Measure 37 creates.

    House Bills 2458 and 2549 are examples of this problem. Though
    we expected votes on these two bills this week, they have been
    carried over until Monday. This is our last chance! Both bills
    represent very bad policies for our land use system. But they
    are also wrong because they do not provide a comprehensive
    solution to Measure 37.

    Please call your Representative toll free and ask for their
    opposition to both HB 2458 and HB 2549. Call 1-800-332-2313.

    HB 2458 would create sprawl and uncontrolled development,
    potentially threatening the economies of rural communities. A
    fundamental premise of Oregon's land use planning program is
    that development should be contained within urban growth
    boundaries to prevent sprawl. House Bill 2458 would allow
    counties to authorize industrial or commercial development, as
    well as hotels and motels, in an unlimited number of so-called
    "development zones" outside of UGBs. This means Wal-Marts and
    strip malls could be built far from population centers and
    existing infrastructure, severely undercutting the purpose of

    HB 2549 authorizes a dwelling on every parcel of land if the
    owner could have constructed a dwelling at the time of purchase.
    We oppose HB 2549 because it adds more damage to the damage done
    by Measure 37. This bill is not offered as a replacement to
    Measure 37, but instead goes further - applying itself both
    inside and outside of the Urban Growth Boundaries that protect
    our farmland. The result of this bill would be less farmland,
    higher taxes (to provide services to these dwellings), and
    children who have to travel long distances to go to school.

    Call now to ask your representative to oppose these bills -
    because they represent both bad policy and the wrong approach to
    dealing with Oregon's land use system.

    Call 1-800-332-2313.

    If you don't know who your State Representative is, you can find
    out by calling the number above or by visiting:

    For more information contact Elon Hasson, 1000 Friends of
    Oregon, 503-481-8622

    For more updates on bills that affect Oregon's environmental future sign up at SalemWatch

    Friday, March 11, 2005

    Bush for Kids?

    President hides attack on future generations in child-friendly rhetoric

    ...the Bush tax cuts of today are the tax burdens of tomorrow. That doesn't sound like a "better world for our children and our grandchildren."

    The federal deficit this year is $394 billion and climbing -- before you include the costs of war. But the conductor of this White House train wants to extend the tax cuts for first class and pass the debt to the youngest passengers in coach.

    As for our children being more important than partisan politics, one in six American children live in poverty but the 2005 budget already has kid-unfriendly cuts in programs such as subsidized day care, and the Republican Congress is looking at cutting off food stamps for 300,000 people in working families...

    Written by: Ellen Goodman

    Read the rest here

    Thursday, March 10, 2005

    Bush's Push for Drilling in Arctic - How big is 2000 acres?

    President Bush has been including a call for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in his regular stump speech.

    He recently mentioned how big of an area he wanted to “explore”

    "You know, there's 17 million acres up there -- and all they're asking to do is explore on 2,000 of the 17 million, which, had we done this nearly a decade ago, we'd have an additional million barrels of oil -- of U.S. oil helping to fuel our economy."

    "We can now reach all of ANWR's oil by drilling on just 2,000 acres... the size of the Columbus airport," declared Bush, citing technological advancements. "We can carry out the project with almost no impact on land or wildlife."

    I just have one question, How much space would a 36 inch wide pipe take up, you know like a pipe that would transfer oil from point A to point B? That would travel from Alaska to somewhere in the United States? Would it be somewhere around 2,000 acres?

    There are 6272640 square inches in an acre
    Divide this by a 36 square inch pipeline
    174,240 inches is how far one acre of pipeline will reach
    Multiply that by 2,000 acres
    Get 348,480,000 inches
    That is 5,500 Miles

    To drive from the middle of Oregon to the Heart of Alaska it only takes 2,600 miles

    This would give tons of room for actual drilling sites, along with a pipeline to connect Alaska to the United States. All in 2,000 acres.

    When someone asks for just a small amount of land it is important to keep in mind what you may be giving up. Please keep in mind how much space 2,000 acres is, especially when it is spread thin!

    Also, someone please check my math, I do not want to mislead anyone with false numbers.

    Wal-Mart Labor Battle Puts Quebec on Edge

    Canada is Great!

    This is from the International Herald Tribune

    ...Wal-Mart's announcement last month that it could no longer do business here because of skimpy store revenue and escalating union demands is having a much broader impact across Canada and even south of the border. The closing - the first of a Wal-Mart in Canada - is a strategic retreat for the retailer in its war with organized labor.

    ...At least three other Wal-Mart outlets in Quebec have received bomb threats since the Jonquière closing announcement, forcing evacuations of people and losses in sales. Bernard Landry, the leader of the separatist Parti Québecois and a former premier of the province, has announced that he is personally boycotting the chain. A Quebec television broadcaster compared Wal-Mart to Nazism, but later apologized.

    "What we were left with was a store that was not going to be viable," Andrew Pelletier, director for corporate affairs at Wal-Mart Canada, said in an interview. "We felt the union wanted to fundamentally change the store's business model."

    Written by: Clifford Krauss

    [I think the "buisness model" they were talking about was getting cheap dispensable labor to be able to push around, and fire when they start to ask for to much.]

    Revolution Updates

    In the last couple of days I have been busy with my revolution, as you may or may not know, I just started working to raise money for save the children, so I pretty much just stand around in downtown Portland and ask them if they are interested in helping the program. So far I have raised $85 dollars for save the children which will go to literacy programs, and health and nutrition education. Also I made a little part on the sidebar for a running total of the amount of money I have raised.

    Also, In school today, I am giving a speech to tell the Portland Community College students that they should get involved with reading the news, and knowing what kind of bills are going through legislaton, and telling them that they should get involved, and talk to their legislators and make a diffrence.

    Overall I have been really busy, with working for save the children, educating myself, and advancing my revolution, I might need a revolutionary weekend, where I just sleep.

    Tuesday, March 08, 2005

    Bigots Bonanza - Ban on Civil Unions proposed in Senate

    I know I have been writing, or looking for articles, about problems with the gay community. I guess this is a big problem for me. The problem being that there is so much discrimination against a people. For example, when Measure 37 was passed in Oregon it was the only thing to actually discriminate against a certain people. This is amazing that there is so much discrimination still going on! I thought we were done with that kind of stuff in the 1960's. I guess the ignorant will always prove me wrong. Anyway, I found this article in the Portland Mercury.

    Bigots Bonanza

    Encouraged by the victory of Measure 36, the bigots are trying to push gay and lesbian rights back even further during the current legislative session in Salem. State Senator Gary George (R-McMinnville) and Rep. Mac Sumner (R-Molalla) are pushing S.B. 799, a bill that would ban not only same-sex marriages but also civil unions.

    An equally nefarious bill is working its way through the House. Sponsored by Gresham-based representative John Lim, H.B. 2401 would demand that married (heterosexual) couples be given preference over same-sex couples when an adoption is being considered.

    I urge you to write your representative and tell him what you think, if you want to learn more about that, go to How to write effective letters to elected officials.

    Monday, March 07, 2005

    White County Gay Club Draws Kansas Protests

    News snippets about the protesting over White Counties gay club by a Kansas church in a format that is slightly story-like.

    Gay club draws Kansas protests

    A group from a Kansas church condemned White County for allowing high schoolers to organize a club for gay students and supportive classmates.

    The protesters, congregates of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, are planning three days of demonstrations that will culminate outside White County High School when classes resume Monday morning.

    Protesters turn up heat

    "They preach the big lie that God loves everybody," said Shirley Phelps-Roper, waving a sign at passers-by minutes before services began at Cleveland United Methodist Church, just off the town square.

    Protesters expected this weekend

    Roper said the protesters will be composed of about 10 people, some of them children. "I always take children with me on protests," she said. She said she is the mother of 11 children.

    Kansas Church Protests Gay Club

    Members of a Kansas church do not approve of having a gay club at White County High School. Even though students have changed it to a "Diversity Club," the members of Westboro Baptist Church still came to Cleveland to protest outside the school Monday morning. But the protesters weren't the only ones who had something to say.

    Two groups. One says Jesus loves everyone. Another says God hates homosexuals. Both groups are at White County High School, separated only by police barricades. They’re all here because some high school students wanted to start a “Gay-Straight Alliance Club.”

    Other groups plan to voice opinion on GSA

    PFLAG, a support group for parents, friends and families of gays and lesbians, has said it will not counter protest the group from Topeka, Kan. Instead the group is conducting a fund raiser.

    People may make pledges for every minute Westboro Baptist Church protests at White County High School on Monday.

    "Our hope is that this will encourage this group to make their protest short, knowing they are helping to raise money for our group," said Cynthia Green, a Gainesville PFLAG spokesperson.

    ...If interested in donating to the cause, make pledges to or call 770-540-6999 for information. Checks may also be mailed to P.O. Box 737, Cleveland, Ga. 30528

    And if you are interested in getting in touch with the principal, and telling him what you think go to Email to Principal Dorsey of White County High

    Sunday, March 06, 2005

    Genetically Engineered Foods

    An Experiment on Our Health and the Environment

    Genetically engineered ingredients, such as corn and soy, are currently in 60-70% of the food on grocery store shelves, such as cereal, soup, tortilla chips, infant formula and soda. Amazingly, NONE of the genetically engineered foods on the market have been adequately tested for effects on human health or the environment or labeled by the FDA, EPA or USDA. As a result, we have become the subjects of a large-scale experiment on our health and our environment by genetic engineering companies such as Monsanto—the makers of Agent Orange and DDT.

    Risks include health and environmental hazards such as new food allergies; decreased antibiotic effectiveness; increased pesticide use; and harm to the monarch butterfly and beneficial insects like ladybugs. Genetically engineered crops also pose risks to our family farms through genetic pollution of organic and conventional farmers' crops, the creation of “superweeds” from cross-pollination, and virulent new plant viruses.

    Every year, more genetically engineered crops are developed and currently more than 100 million acres of genetically engineered crops are being grown around the world. It is time to stop this experiment on our health and the environment!


    Kraft Foods is the largest food company in the country, and the second largest in the world. Kraft’s products are found in 99% of U.S. households, and many of them, such as Taco Bell taco shells, Boca Burgers, Lunchables, Post cereals and Stovetop Stuffing have been found to contain untested and unlabeled genetically engineered ingredients that may put our families and environment at risk. Kraft refuses to label these inadequately tested foods, taking away our right to know what we are eating, despite the fact that between 85 and 95% of Americans want labeling.

    Kraft is aware of the potential health and environmental risks of genetically engineered foods. After StarLink corn—a variety not approved for human consumption—was discovered in Kraft’s products by GE Food Alert in the fall of 2000, the company recalled millions of boxes of taco shells and, to avoid further contamination, switched to non-engineered white corn in its corn-based taco products. Kraft also called for stricter regulation of engineered crops. Despite their strong statements and moves to avoid GE corn in some products, Kraft continues to use questionable genetically engineered ingredients in many of its other products. Meanwhile, hundreds of Americans have reported allergic reactions to the FDA after eating Kraft and other name brand corn products likely to contain GE corn.

    Kraft has also moved to avoid genetically engineered ingredients in European markets because of consumer demand and strict laws there. They should be doing the same around the world.

    Kraft must stop using genetically engineered ingredients in all its products and immediately label what’s on the shelf so we can make our own choices about what we’re eating. Kraft has a responsibility to support the health of its customers, as well as their environment and America’s family farms. As the largest food maker in the country, Kraft must make sure its food is safe.

    Tell Kraft that you don’t want to be part of the experiment!


    We are calling on all food companies, particularly Kraft Foods, to immediately do the following:

    Stop using genetically engineered ingredients in all of its products unless adequate testing, labeling, and liability are established;
    Start labeling products containing tested genetically engineered ingredients, so consumers can make their own choices; and
    Pledge not to use genetically engineered wheat, currently being developed for commercial introduction by the biotechnology industry.

    Written by: Krafted - Genetically Krafted Foods

    Saturday, March 05, 2005

    Fourth Action: Save the Children

    Today I took a huge step forward with my revolution, and will continue to do so three days a week. I am trying to help people and get the public informed on the problems of our community. The best part is, while helping, and advancing my revolution, I am going to get paid for doing so.

    I just got a job in Portland, and now I work for Save The Children.

    I am the guy on the street that asks you if you have a second for Save The Children, and tells you how 1 in 5 (20%) of children in rural United States are living in poverty without proper education nor adequate health care. I am the guy that helps raise funds to go towards literacy and nutritional education programs. I am the guy that asks you to make a contribution to help break the vicious cycle of poverty, by getting these kids out of their current situations, and helping them catch up to their peers.

    I am feeling pretty good about this job, as far as my revolution goes, and I hope that I can help somebody ( I already raised $17 for this NPO) . Maybe I will keep some sort of running total of funds raised.

    If anyone is concerned with the state of our national problem, and wants to help these poverty stricken children, I encourage you to go to Save The Children and look into sponsoring a child.

    Friday, March 04, 2005

    News updates:Cleveland Georgia Gay Straight Alliance (GSA)

    Georgia continues to make the United States look bad, as many bigots and close minded people are protesting the formation of a high school Gay Straight Alliance club, now known as PRIDE (Peers Rising in Diverse Education). There have been two new news stories recently printed.

    Gay club ignites controversy in North Georgia town

    ...“We’re not taking away the GSA. We thought people wouldn’t be so quick to judge if it was named PRIDE, but this is 100 percent a GSA,” Kerry Pacer, 16, said just hours before the school board meeting, which became a heated public forum on the club.

    ...“I am not for gay bashing and I prefer people be treated with respect … but people need to understand our moral issues,” Fowler said.

    ...“I’d rather we not have any clubs at all,” he said. “These kids are condemned to hell and I’d like to see them saved.”

    Written By: Dyana Bagby

    Georgia bill ignores school ‘fear factor’

    ...We were there to testify against Senate Bill 149, a proposal by state Sen. Nancy Schaefer (R-Turnersville) to require parental permission for students to participate in extra curricular activities. The bill was introduced in direct response to the student club organized by gay and straight students at a White County high school.

    ...Gay and lesbian students nationally are at least three times more likely to attempt suicide; five times more likely to miss school out of fear for their safety; five times more likely to be threatened with a weapon at school; and six times more likely to be physically assaulted.

    ...Although Schaffer claims her proposal is a “common sense” bill, it is far from it. The bill ignores the fear factor gay students experience while expanding the power of the state by adding an administrative hurdle to student participation in clubs.

    Written By: Edward Gray

    For more about these stories go to Georgia School's Gay Pride Effort Hits Hurdles or White county Georgia Controversey in Gay PRIDE.

    If you want to try to make a difference Email Principal Dorsey of White County High

    Thursday, March 03, 2005

    Dirty Rivers, and Oregons Toxic Mixing Zones: Senate Bill 555

    As previously mentioned I went to environmental lobby day in Salem Oregon, on Monday the 28th, to talk to my legislators about a change in the quality of our rivers. Unknown to me at the time, the Oregonian published an article called Toxics and Rivers don't Mix.

    A bill to phase out "mixing zones" in Oregon streams may be too ambitious, but the status quo isn't acceptable

    …Senate Bill 555, which would phase out so-called mixing zones on the Willamette and other rivers. These are unmarked areas of rivers where industries and municipal sewage plants are allowed to spew their polluted wastewater, where it is blended with and diluted by river water.

    …Oregon will never restore the Willamette to full health as long as it allows industries and communities to dump toxic pollutants at known toxic levels at sites all along the river.

    …Environmental groups, which call SB 555 the most important water quality proposal in Oregon in three decades, say the mixing zones permit the dumping of 30 billion gallons of toxic pollution into Oregon rivers. Yet there's no public information about the location of the mixing zones -- no buoys, no signs, no warnings about the mixing zones or the pollution they contain.

    …The state Department of Environmental Quality does some minimal testing of the outflows into mixing zones, and it tries to estimate how the pollutants are diluted with river water. But it rarely, if ever, tests water quality inside and just outside mixing zones to determine pollution levels.

    I encourage everyone to read the rest of the article, and then email, phone, write, or visit your representatives and tell them it is important to you that this bill passes.

    You can get a hold of Ted Kulongoski here

    Wednesday, March 02, 2005

    How to Write Effective Letters to Elected Officials

    I found this great information in a Conservation Activist’s Toolkit that I received at environmental lobby day in Salem Oregon.

    Writing a letter to your elected official is one of the easiest ways of conveying your thoughts and concerns on an issue to elected officials. Taking ten minutes to write a letter does make a difference.

    Letters to your own legislator are especially important. When an elected official receives numerous letters on a specific issue, it does influence their vote. Some tips for writing a letter to an elected official follow:

    Use your own stationary. A neatly typed or legibly handwritten letter on your own stationary is best.

    Write your own thoughts and words. Form letters or preprinted postcards are not as impressive as an original letter in your own words. Write about your personal experience and how the issue affects you. Be brief and not overly dramatic.

    Be clear on your position. Be sure you clearly state your position on the issue. Show your knowledge of the issue, but in a concise format. Be direct and firm, but not hostile.

    Identify yourself. If you have met the legislator before, personalize the letter by noting briefly when and where that occurred so they can place a face with your name.

    Address elected officials properly (e.g. “The Honorable…)”

    Be concise. A one page letter is more likely to be read than a longer one. Write about only one issue in your letter.

    Mention legislation. If appropriate, cite specific bill number and name or its principal sponsors. If the bill is not well known, a short summary of the bill may be necessary to include in your letter.

    Request a specific action. Be sure to state exactly what you want the elected official to do. If appropriate, ask the legislator to vote for a particular bill or amendment, requesting a hearing, or cosponsor a bill.

    Ask for a reply. If you ask a question or request something, ask the legislator for a reply to your letter. Ask that your legislator state his or her position on the issue in the reply.

    Include a return address. Make sure that you include a return address in your letter.

    Mail the letter. Particularly for local elected officials, mail the letter directly to where the legislative session is held. If the legislature is not in session, send the letter to the legislator’s home office address.

    Write a follow up letter. If you asked for a reply and did not receive one, write another letter asking for a response. If the legislator complied with your request (e.g., voted favorably for a bill), send a thank you note. It is a refreshing change to most letters they receive.

    Tuesday, March 01, 2005

    Importance of being involved in your community

    I think that it is important to stay in your community, once you find one worth helping. It is important so that you can become a presence in your area, so you can have an effect on your surroundings. The longer you are in one place, the more time you have to make it better and more comfortable for you. You start by making contacts in your community, those with the same beliefs as you, and as you grow older with the community, you become more connected. This connection gives you a chance to make an impact. You do not like your schools? Volunteer in them to make them better. You do not like the way the garbage is piling up on your roads? Adopt them, and clean them yourself. You do not like the way the county/state government is being run? Write a letter or visit your representative.

    The best way to stay involved in a community is to stay in the community. Through maintaining a positive impact on the community we gain respect, friendship, pride, and a better home place.

    It is important to find a place to belong, and then belong. Find a place that you think will work with you, and stick it out. If no one took pride in their community, and if no one liked what was happening in it and just left, we would have a nation of people wandering from sub par community to sub par community. This is what we need to stop, we need to root ourselves in a place that we are comfortable with and try to create an environment of constant growth and betterment of society. This can only happen when people stay where they are, and take responsibility.