October 2007


Today is my 16th birthday.

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If I lived in another country I might be working full time or married. I am glad I live here and only need to worry about finishing the 10th grade and spending time with my friends and trying to keep this country from becoming a fascist dictatorship. Back to politics tomorrow. For now, fun fun fun!!!!

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bumblebee puppy

cowboy dog

dino2.jpg   ipod dog (more…)

Kwgrlup sent me these. Not sure which one I like best.

firedog firepup

Hawaiian dog

piglet and pooh pups

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These kids care about their health and the health of all their classmates. They protested, got suspended, got press, and MADE A DIFFERENCE! Now their school will be cleaned and even the other schools in their district. Good for them! (The part about their protest is at the end of the article in bold.)

Entire school system to be scrubbed after superbug case

PIKEVILLE, Kentucky (AP) — An eastern Kentucky school district with one confirmed case of antibiotic-resistant staph infection plans to shut down all 23 of its schools Monday, affecting about 10,300 students, to disinfect the facilities.

 

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Workers clean a classroom in Chicago, Illinois. Staph infections have spread recently through several schools.

The project will involve disinfecting classrooms, restrooms, cafeterias, hallways, locker rooms, buses and even external areas such as playgrounds and sports fields, said Roger Wagner, superintendent of Pike County schools.

“We’re not closing schools because there’s been a large number of breakouts, but as a preventive measure,” Wagner said.

One Pike County student was diagnosed with in September with MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. The bacterial strain can be treated with other antibiotics, but without treatment it can be deadly.

The bacteria was blamed for the death of a 17-year-old Virginia high school senior and a 12-year-old New York City middle school student this month.

At least seven students on New York’s Long Island were recently diagnosed with MRSA, as were 10 members of an athletic team at Iona College in New Rochelle, New York.

However, a government report has estimated it may sicken more than 90,000 Americans each year.

Two weeks ago, students staged a sit-in at the lunch room of Pike Central High School in effort to get school officials to clean the school as protection against the bacteria.

Most abandoned the sit-in after Principal David Rowe threatened them with a three-day suspension, but 33 stayed and were given the choice of one day of in-school suspension or two days out-of-school suspension.

Three chose out-of-school suspension.

I liked the movie Spy Kids when it first came out, and parts of the second movie were filmed near where I live. Never saw the third one. I know some middle school kids that want to be spies when they grow up, and Valerie Plame seems pretty cool. But ……

Should kids be spies NOW when they are kids? Here in America?

In the book 1984, the adults are afraid that their kids will rat them out, and some kids really did that in Germany during World War II. But it is NOT part of what the United States is about

The NSA has a website where they’re teaching kids how to spy. Learning codes seems fun and the brain teasers are cool, but the section called “How can I work for the NSA?” seems a little extreme for kids that like websites made of “crypto-cat” and other cartoon rabbits and puppies.

This case is just wrong. Kids should be able to choose their books at school and at the library. The parents and the administrators here are in the wrong. Let the kids read, especially if it’s a book that has won awards and can teach things and not just a book that is violent for no reason.

Teacher put on leave after book complaint

By ANGELA K. BROWN

TUSCOLA
— A popular English teacher has been placed on paid leave — and faces possible criminal charges — after a student’s parents complained to police that a ninth-grade class reading list contained a book about a murderer who has sex with his victims’ bodies.

Kaleb Tierce, 25, is being investigated for allegedly distributing harmful material to a minor after the student selected Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Cormac McCarthy’s Child of God off the list and read it.

Tierce, a third-year teacher and assistant football coach at Jim Ned High School, has not been arrested, but his case has caused an uproar in this West Texas town of 700 people. Last week, more than 120 parents and students crowded into a meeting where the school board voted to keep Tierce on paid leave.

Most parents say Tierce should be reinstated, regardless of whether the book is too graphic for teens.

“He’s a great teacher and coach and motivates the kids like no one else can,” said Chris Garcia, whose daughter was in one of Tierce’s classes. “If you’re trying to protect your kids from things in books, you may as well turn off the TV and video games. You try to protect them as much as you can, but these days kids are just exposed to so much.”

Tierce, who has not been charged with any wrongdoing, declined to comment when
asked by The Associated Press about the allegations.

Some students and athletes have worn armbands to school and football games
emblazoned with Tierce’s initials, hiding them under clothing. Others said teens were meeting secretly to decide how to help the teacher they believe did nothing wrong.

“He was the only one who understood us,” said Patrisha Ramirez, 15. “He would joke around. He would make English interesting, for once.”

In Tuscola, south of Abilene, Child of God was on a list of titles compiled by all the high school English teachers for a pre-Advanced Placement class.

Although administrators’ approval was not required for the list, school officials have since removed the book because they deemed it inappropriate for ninth-graders.

The book tells the story of a town’s outsider who is falsely accused of rape, then begins killing people. The character ends up living in a cave with his victims’
decomposing bodies. The 1974 novel “plumbs the depths of human degradation,” according to its back cover.

The parents of one ninth-grade student filed a police report on Oct. 1 with the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office. Before contacting law enforcement officials, they complained to the teacher and principal, said district Superintendent Kent LeFevre, who declined to reveal their discussions.

The superintendent placed Tierce on administrative leave on Oct. 9.

Sheriff’s Sgt. John Cummins said the case will be turned over to the district attorney once the investigation is complete. Distributing harmful material to a minor is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

Dear Mr. Friedberg,

When I was in middle school, I knew three girls who had babies before we graduated. One has had a second baby already. By the time we graduated in 8th grade, many of us were 14 and a few were already 15. Two of the kids I know turned 16 the summer after 8th grade. And a lot of people had been having oral sex. Some had been having intercourse.

Did you read this, which was also in the Huffington Post?

“One in eight youth are sexually experienced, having engaged in intercourse, oral sex or both before the age of 14,” the Journal of Adolescent Health reported in 2006. According to the Project Connect study, supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

* “9 percent reported ever having sexual intercourse…and 8 percent ever had oral sex (active or receptive).”

* “Of those who reported intercourse, 36 percent were age 11 or younger at first sex, 27 percent were 12, 28 percent were 13, and 9 percent were 14 or older.”

* “Alarmingly, 43 percent of sexually experienced participants reported multiple sex partners.”

Here in Texas, most of our sex education at school is abstinence-only. They teach us about the existence of condoms and other birth control, but they don’t teach us how to use anything safely or where to get it. I don’t know how much birth control will make kids decide to have sex that didn’t have sex before, but I do know that it will make a lot of kids who are already having sex safer. And it will mean fewer abortions and fewer teen pregnancies and less AIDS and less STD’s. Which is more important?

—-Freckles

Malcolm Friedberg: Sex, Condoms in Schools

Eleven-year-olds shouldn’t be having sex.

A middle school in Maine is handing out condoms
. Middle school children are as young as 11 years old. Is it just me, or is 11 just a tad shy of an appropriate age for intercourse? I don’t think I had even made it to second base by then. In fact, I don’t even think most 11-year-old girls had a second base.

According to an op-ed in the New York Times Republicans in Congress are attempting to add $28M to the State Children’s Health Insurance bill that was vetoed by the president. The money goes specifically to teaching abstinence. The editorial states that studies show that abstinence doesn’t work, and abstinence programs teach false information.

Clearly, if kids are getting bad information, that issue needs to be addressed.

But the fundamental point remains: Isn’t handing out condoms encouraging 11-year-old kids to have sex?

In the Maine article, a supporter of the handing-out-condoms program states that society can’t rely on parents to protect their children. So, does that mean its now the State of Maine’s job to make decisions on the behalf of parents? And, even assuming Maine has the ability to make the “right” decision to protects kids (although I’m unsure how one could determine that), under what rationale is handing out condoms the best decision?

The government should not be the forum for imposing personal values, but aren’t there some lines we don’t want to cross?

Malcolm Friedberg is the author of Why We’ll Win, a set of books that explain the law behind hot-button social issues to laypeople.

Disclaimer: I am a kid. A teenager. Nearly 16. That said,

ADULTS SHOULD NOT LIE TO KIDS!!!!!

They told us at school that we were going to have PSAT tests today, that they were very important for college, and that our ability to get a scholarship could be improved by doing very well on these tests. We got “how-to” guides and practice questions and even an afternoon extra class if we wanted.

angry-face.jpgAND IT WAS ALL A LIE!!!!!

Only 11th grade’s test counted. NOT 9th and NOT 10th, but we all took it.

And now they’re gonna wonder why nobody studies for the next “really important”test or believes them the next time they tell us something. AAAAAACCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!

I am nearly 16 years old. (November 1st is the big day!) School wants me to not have sex, my family wants me to not have sex. But how old were my parents when they started having sex? Seems like it matters, at least in England!

The Beat Goes On: Kids Start Sex at Same Age as Parents, Grandparents

Next time your parents tell you that you should wait to have sex, just show them this survey. According to a new report entitled Sexual Health in Canada, is that adolescent sexual practices have remained largely unchanged for decades. Linda Capperauld, executive director of the Canadian Federation for Sexual Health said that the survey shows that “Young people aren’t having sex any younger than their parents or grandparents.”

HEALTH: SEXUAL BEHAVIOUR

Youth start sex at same age as their parents, grandparents did

Practices unchanged in decades, report says

PUBLIC HEALTH REPORTER

The common media image of today’s youth is that they have, under a steady barrage of sexually charged images, become increasingly precocious – engaging in intercourse at a younger and younger age and with a dizzying array of partners.

But the reality, according to a new report entitled Sexual Health in Canada, is that adolescent sexual practices have remained largely unchanged for decades. “Young people aren’t having sex any younger than their parents or grandparents,” Linda Capperauld, executive director of the Canadian Federation for Sexual Health, said in an interview.

Nor – despite suggestive music videos, ready access to Internet porn and creeping hemlines – are more teens having sex.

Nationwide, only 28 per cent of adolescents age 15 to 17 report having had sex, a figure that rises to 65 per cent by age 18 to 19.

All told, the mean age for sexual intercourse is 16.5 years, about where it’s been since the sexual revolution that was launched by today’s baby boomers.

Despite the closing gender gap – equal numbers of boys and girls now say they have had sex – the primary reason for not having done so remains remarkably unchanged from previous generations: Most girls said they were not ready, while most boys reported a lack of opportunity. The No. 2 reason for both sexes is the same: “I haven’t met the right person.”

But when they do, teens are remarkably faithful. The number with a single sexual partner is on the rise.

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I have heard a lot of liberal and progressive adults say that is is indecent and wrong to criticize 12-year-old boys. I disagree. There are a lot of reasons why you might criticize 12 year-old boys. Some of them don’t shower often enough and they have terrible table manners and their sense of humor can be really gross. In fact, GROSS is one of the nicest things you can say about them. But they are not cowards and nobody should criticize them for needing health care, for not being poor enough for medicaid, or for not saying their own opinions. Adults should not bully children.

Graeme Frost is a kid with a lot of courage and I hope he shows the Fox Noise creeps that he is not a tool for the democrats. (Graeme, brush your teeth, take a shower WITH soap, don’t eat spaghetti tomorrow, and you will be fine.) Watch Graeme on MSNBC Monday night.

Swiftboating 12 year old Graeme Frost; Frost on Countdown Monday

Graeme Frost two weeks ago gave the Democrat’s response to the President’s radio address. You will remember that his family is middle class, and he had public health insurance that saved his family from financial ruin after he and his sister were grievously injured in a car wreck, both needing physical therapy. But, the Neo-con attack dogs immediately and shamelessly Swiftboated him. I cannot say it better than Paul Krugman did in Sliming Graeme Frost in the NY Times. Countdown has video here.

On Monday evening, Master Frost will be on Countdown.

More… Yesterday, I had a flashback to the film (yes, before video) of the Army-McCarthy hearings with the now legendary Joseph Welch, the Army’s private counsel from Boston, taking on the bombastic Sen. Joseph McCarthy. I pondered that analogy over night. I don’t have to see the film again, because it is burned into my memory.

We have all seen that piece, as quoted on Wikipedia:

“Until this moment, Senator, I think I never gauged your cruelty or your recklessness[...]” When McCarthy resumed his attack, Welch interrupted him: “Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?” He then left the room to loud applause from the spectators, and a recess was called.

The full transcript is on History Matters.

American Neo-cons are so invested in perpetuating frauds on the American people in the name of Republican-politics-as-usual that they cannot admit that one person with a contrary view might have a point. To quote one legendary Neo-con:

As soon as by one’s own propaganda even a glimpse of right on the other side is admitted, the cause for doubting one’s own right is laid.

(Hint: It is not Ronald Reagan.)

Now, they have stooped so low as to attack a 12 year old boy, too, and that is as utterly and gutterly low as they can get.

For those who would attack a 12 year old boy, “At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

Ah, but that’s the rub: For a Neo-con to have a “sense of decency” is an absolute contradiction.

Watch this 12 year old boy call out the Neo-cons tomorrow night on Countdown.

Daisy, in the post below, seems surprised at how religiously biased and anti-scientific sex education has become. I live in Texas and I am still in HS, so it doesn’t surprise me at all. “Say no until you are married” is about half of what they tell us in school. But —– neither school nor the ad Daisy linked to mention religion as the reason.

My family tells me to wait, and I think it is important to wait —- not because God says it is wrong, but because the adults I trust tell me that I should learn to have a good relationship for a while before complicating things with sex.

Where the ad is wrong is in NOT telling kids (or parents) what we really need to know. Teach us the difference between love and pressure. Teach us how to protect our bodies if we do have sex. Teach us about diseases and how to prevent them. Teach us why we shouldn’t have 22 year old boyfriends when we’re 14. Teach us why we are not ready to have a baby at 15 or 16. Because there’s a chance, a pretty good chance that just telling us to wait won’t work for all that long.

If you have sex outside of a heterosexual Christian marriage, you will ruin your chances at education, family, and happiness.

 


Video from Feministing. Made for you by the federal government.

You know what this world needs more of, folks?

More disconnect between people and their bodies. We need more people alienated from their sexualities.

What do your kids need to hear?

Not, “Your body belongs to you.” Not, “Do what you want to do when you’re ready, safely.”

Oh no.

They need to hear what you want for them. What you want for their sex lives.

Because who is sex about? Is sex about you and your parter?

Christ no! Sex is about what the authorities dictate! Hello!

…Seriously, what the fuck kind of message is that? I am all for families communicating about sex; I am not for anyone trying to control what anyone else (minors included) does (consensually) with their own sex organs. It is psychic rape. And it doesn’t work. And it’s bullshit.

Isn’t it bad enough that the republicans wanted to start a war in Iraq when Iraq was not threatening us?  And then they mismanaged the whole war and still can’t get the electricity turned on?  And they tortured prisoners.  And they let the contractors run around killing everybody.  But that’s not all.  NOW there’s a new problem with Iraq: cholera, a painful and deadly disease.

 

IRAQ: Fear among refugees as cholera crosses border

BAGHDAD, 7 October 2007 (IRIN) – Despite the efforts of the Iraqi government and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to contain a recent cholera outbreak, the disease has already spread to half of the country and has also crossed the border into Iran, according to WHO and Iranian authorities.

Photo: Many children living in displacement camps are suffering from acute diarrhoea. This child, who lives in a camp near the Syrian border, is suspected to have cholera

Photo: Afif Sarhan/IRIN

Refugee camps on Iraq’s borders and inside Iran, Syria and Jordan have been warned of the outbreak by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

 

The Bushies talk a good game about valuing every life, but we can see from their actions that they are talking about UNBORN children and not sick, Iraqi children that already exist.  They don’t care, but we can.  Red Crescent and Red Cross are collecting money to fight cholera in Iraq and the countries that it borders.

I am getting my driver’s license soon, but I won’t have access to a car very often.  I take the bus or walk most places, and I know my way around here pretty well.  But how cool will it be to google your bus route or your train route in bigger cities!  Maybe this will help more people to use mass transit and spend less time in their cars burning up fuel and the planet.

Google Public Transit Officially Launches

via EcoGeek.org by Billy Shih on 10/7/07

We’ve reported on Google Transit in the past but now it is official. Transit works like Google Maps, but instead of driving directions, it lets you know how you can get where you’re going without a car. Type in your start and end points plus date and time and it gives you where to walk, what bus to take and when. It even is integrated into Google Maps, meaning if you search for directions using Maps, just click “Take Public Transit” and it will switch to Transit mode, showing you the next 3 upcoming bus departures. I typed in my daily busing commute and it found the same exact route.

Currently it works for various areas in 9 states and even in China and Japan. Wish I had this when I was in China! This is great for current bus riders and getting new people to take the bus. Although my hometown of Seattle already has something like this, this will only help spread the word that transit can be just as easy (and a heck of a lot cheaper) than driving.

Google Transit

Via TechCrunch

 

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