Greenpeace Canvasser

The other day, I was walking to Whole Foods when I was stopped by a canvasser from Greenpeace. Because of my experience as a canvasser and my understanding of how difficult that job is, I was very friendly to him and allowed him to give me his whole spiel. The guy was knowledgeable about the topics and seemed genuinely interested in environmentalism. Our similarities allowed us to carry on a 30 minute conversation right on the sidewalk.

Although he was very good at conveying why it was so important for people to sign up and donate, I still refused in the end. I spent most of my time trying to explain why I had a reluctance to donate, but I was unable to. One thing I did say was the advice that Chomsky gave me about having to focus one's efforts on a few things because there are just too many issues. I do believe that this is part of the explanation, but there is something else about signing up and donating that I just do not like. It might be because I feel like it would not do much or maybe it is because I need a lot of time before I decide to support an organization. I do not know; I am still unable to explain it. However, I do know that I have spent too much time trying to figure this out.

All things considered, it was a very good discussion and I do not regret to have had it. Though the next time this happens I will make sure to give the canvasser a more succinct answer so that we do not waste anyone's time.

San Francisco Update

It has been 2 weeks since I have moved to San Francisco. My life has finally started to become somewhat routine. I found a room in a Victorian style apartment in the hippie area of SF called Haight Ashbury which is luckily filled with all sorts of shops and restaurants. I live just around the corner of the main street right next to a post office and a free clinic. Needless to say, it is very noisy. I actually have to sleep with earplugs again. Located near me is a Whole Foods, a huge park and a cafe called Coffee to the People which has an entire wall covered with leftest bumper stickers. I feel at home with my hippie brethren.

My work has been extremely interesting so far. We have been spending most of our time conceptualizing what will be on the Institute's website and how we will create an international, interactive cradle to cradle community. I am happy to say that we have made a lot of progress so far; I cannot wait until everything is up and running. As to the office itself, it is located near the Financial District in a well-lit 9 story building. We are sharing the office with McDonough's architecture firm so it is really nice seeing all the designs of past projects they have done. I am very happy with my situation right now.

Another piece of good news is that I have already been accepted to the graduate program at Durham. I did not expect them to respond so quickly; I doubt the other universities have even read my application yet. Although this is good news, it places me in a somewhat uneasy position. I have not decided yet if I will stay or go back to school because of a number of factors. I told my employers that if I felt it was more important for me to stay, then I would, but it will be hard for me to see how my job develops before I need to respond to Durham.

What I have going for me now would have been unimaginable half a year ago. I remember at that time, I could not find a good job in DC and therefore had to move back to LA. Now, I am in such a privileged position that my biggest dilemma is choosing between two extremely good opportunities. I cannot express enough how fortunate I am to be here in SF pursuing my dream. Hopefully, there will not be a tragic event to balance out these recent good events.

The 25-point Program of the NSDAP

The following was the official Nazi party platform, a 25-point program.

  1. We demand the unification of all Germans in the Greater Germany on the basis of the people's right to self-determination.
  2. We demand equality of rights for the German people in respect to the other nations; abrogation of the peace treaties of Versailles and St. Germain.
  3. We demand land and territory (colonies) for the sustenance of our people, and colonization for our surplus population.
  4. Only a member of the race can be a citizen. A member of the race can only be one who is of German blood, without consideration of creed. Consequently no Jew can be a member of the race.
  5. Whoever has no citizenship is to be able to live in Germany only as a guest, and must be under the authority of legislation for foreigners.
  6. The right to determine matters concerning administration and law belongs only to the citizen. Therefore we demand that every public office, of any sort whatsoever, whether in the Reich, the county or municipality, be filled only by citizens. We combat the corrupting parliamentary economy, office-holding only according to party inclinations without consideration of character or abilities.
  7. We demand that the state be charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood and way of life for the citizens. If it is impossible to sustain the total population of the State, then the members of foreign nations (non-citizens) are to be expelled from the Reich.
  8. Any further immigration of non-citizens is to be prevented. We demand that all non-Germans, who have immigrated to Germany since 2 August 1914, be forced immediately to leave the Reich.
  9. All citizens must have equal rights and obligations.
  10. The first obligation of every citizen must be to work both spiritually and physically. The activity of individuals is not to counteract the interests of the universality, but must have its result within the framework of the whole for the benefit of all. Consequently we demand:
  11. Abolition of unearned (work and labour) incomes. Breaking of debt (interest)-slavery.
  12. In consideration of the monstrous sacrifice in property and blood that each war demands of the people, personal enrichment through a war must be designated as a crime against the people. Therefore we demand the total confiscation of all war profits.
  13. We demand the nationalisation of all (previous) associated industries (trusts).
  14. We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.
  15. We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.
  16. We demand the creation of a healthy middle class and its conservation, immediate communalization of the great warehouses and their being leased at low cost to small firms, the utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State, county or municipality.
  17. We demand a land reform suitable to our needs, provision of a law for the free expropriation of land for the purposes of public utility, abolition of taxes on land and prevention of all speculation in land.
  18. We demand struggle without consideration against those whose activity is injurious to the general interest. Common national criminals, usurers, profiteers and so forth are to be punished with death, without consideration of confession or race.
  19. We demand substitution of a German common law in place of the Roman Law serving a materialistic world-order.
  20. The state is to be responsible for a fundamental reconstruction of our whole national education program, to enable every capable and industrious German to obtain higher education and subsequently introduction into leading positions. The plans of instruction of all educational institutions are to conform with the experiences of practical life. The comprehension of the concept of the State must be striven for by the school [Staatsbuergerkunde] as early as the beginning of understanding. We demand the education at the expense of the State of outstanding intellectually gifted children of poor parents without consideration of position or profession.
  21. The State is to care for the elevating national health by protecting the mother and child, by outlawing child-labor, by the encouragement of physical fitness, by means of the legal establishment of a gymnastic and sport obligation, by the utmost support of all organizations concerned with the physical instruction of the young.
  22. We demand abolition of the mercenary troops and formation of a national army.
  23. We demand legal opposition to known lies and their promulgation through the press. In order to enable the provision of a German press, we demand, that: a. All writers and employees of the newspapers appearing in the German language be members of the race: b. Non-German newspapers be required to have the express permission of the State to be published. They may not be printed in the German language: c. Non-Germans are forbidden by law any financial interest in German publications, or any influence on them, and as punishment for violations the closing of such a publication as well as the immediate expulsion from the Reich of the non-German concerned. Publications which are counter to the general good are to be forbidden. We demand legal prosecution of artistic and literary forms which exert a destructive influence on our national life, and the closure of organizations opposing the above made demands.
  24. We demand freedom of religion for all religious denominations within the state so long as they do not endanger its existence or oppose the moral senses of the Germanic race. The Party as such advocates the standpoint of a positive Christianity without binding itself confessionally to any one denomination. It combats the Jewish-materialistic spirit within and around us, and is convinced that a lasting recovery of our nation can only succeed from within on the framework: The good of the state before the good of the individual.
  25. For the execution of all of this we demand the formation of a strong central power in the Reich. Unlimited authority of the central parliament over the whole Reich and its organizations in general. The forming of state and profession chambers for the execution of the laws made by the Reich within the various states of the confederation. The leaders of the Party promise, if necessary by sacrificing their own lives, to support by the execution of the points set forth above without consideration.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Socialist_Program

Cradle to Cradle and San Francisco

I got a job working for the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute and I am moving to San Francisco this coming Wednesday. I cannot believe this is really happening but I am not ecstatic at the same time. I think this is because so much has happened between the time I got in contact with them and the time I got the job.

It felt like only yesterday when I went to that c2c event in Burbank. The guest speaker was a woman who knew the president of the C2CPII. After she spoke, I asked her if she would be willing to forward my resume to the president and she agreed. At first, I did not have very high hopes that she would actually forward it, but she did. I also was not expecting the president to get in contact with me, but I was wrong again. The president wrote me an email and we started talking. To my surprise, that whole process went very smoothly.

And from there it progressed. They told me what their plan was and I wrote them a proposal offering to manage their web content to which they eventually agreed. I have been in contact with their web designers and we are already hard at work making the new website. The institute sent me the work contract a couple of days ago and I already signed it and faxed it back. Hence, I am now officially employed.

I have to say that this entire process was relatively quick and I was extremely nervous the whole time. I was playing worst case scenarios in my mind over and over. Maybe at the end they would realize that they did not actually need my help or something like that. It was really difficult doing anything else except think about this job opportunity. And at the same time I was applying for graduate school so my mind was too occupied to read political theory.

Speaking of graduate school, I finally finished applying to 8 British universities. Now all I have to do is wait for a response. I should find out in about 2 months and by that time, I will have a good idea of how my job is going. I told my employers that my decision to go back to school is not set in stone and that if I felt like it was more important for me to stay that I would. So we will see how that goes.

All of these recent events have again made me reflect on how I live my life. Am I living my life in the best way I can? Am I abiding by my principles? Am I achieving what I want? After asking these questions, I have concluded that I am very satisfied with how I have lived my life up to this point. I do not want to say that I am happy with my life because I have not actually done anything to better the world, so I will leave off that question for another time.

The next stage of my life awaits me.