September 2006

spyThis afternoon I had an interesting conversation with some friends about the wiretapping that the Bush administration does. It seems that a lot of people in my generation expect that nothing is private any more and a lot of Americans who are 20+ years older than we are horrified at the idea that the government or corporations can see what is on their computer.

Because we are minors, our parents or guardians have always been able to look at our posessions, and our school administrators have the right to search our backpacks and lockers. So we have never really felt the kind of right that the constitution guarantees us in the Bill of Rights.

Here is what it says:

Amendment IV The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

computer spySo adult citizens, at least as long as they have been adults, have expected that the government will not search any of their things or papers unless a judge says that there is probable cause for a warrant. The problem is that the Bush administration is saying that if THEY decide that you are the enemy, then they can cancel your constitutional rights. Now we teenagers haven’t expected that our stuff is REALLY private at school or in our family’s houses, but we all expected that it WOULD be after we get our own homes. And that is wrong. It won’t help them catch terrorists but it will erase part of the America we were promised.






Did you know that there are still books that are banned in the United States? Not just books that we’re not old enough to understand, but books that some group or committee decided that NO ONE should read.

Check this out: ALA banned books

This is the 25th anniversary of Banned Books Week, when the librarians remind us ” not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted.”

Most Challenged Books of 21st Century (2000-2005)In anticipation of the 25th anniversary of Banned Books Week (September 23-30, 2006), the American Library Association (ALA) compiled the top 10 most challenged books from 2000-2005, with the Harry Potter series of books leading the pack. The 10 most challenged books of the 21st Century (2000-2005) are:

1. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

2. “The Chocolate War” by Robert Cormier

3. Alice series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

4. “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck

5. “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou

6. “Fallen Angels” by Walter Dean Myers

7. “It’s Perfectly Normal” by Robie Harris

8. Scary Stories series by Alvin Schwartz

9. Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey

10. “Forever” by Judy Blume

Vote for your favorite banned book here: VOTE

I go to a really great school where we are encouraged to read a book that is banned somewhere in the United States this week. I am half way through Catcher in the Rye. What will you read this week from the list? What have you already read? What will you do to make sure that books like these will always be available where you live?


It seems that no matter what question you ask Agnes Kincaid, her answer involves the word family. I called to interview her about the radio program she produces with her husband: Head-On with Bob Kincaid on weekdays from 7-10pm ET. But I learned more about her four kids, her pets (including new kittens), and her father-in-law than I did about her job in radio. Some may say that might be because Agnes has only been in the radio business for about a year, but the truth is she brings her love of family into everything she does. Her kids are all involved with the show, and it’s a good thing because their radio studio is inside their house and Agnes works on the show about 17 hours a day. She is the producer and spends a lot of time on technical and computer stuff, schedules interviews, plans and plays all the music, and takes phone calls during the show. Agnes is also a private duty nurse, but her only patients today are her kittens and Bob’s father who became very sick in July.


Agnes has been working since she became emancepated from her parents at age 16. She grew up in Huntington, WV but she and Bob moved to a rural area to raise their kids in a small town. She then worked as a nurse in a jail and as an administrative assistant. They now live in the middle of the bible belt in an area that is very republican and conservative. They even have had Christians come to their house to convert them.

Bob and Agnes are both partners in Head On radio yet they don’t get paychecks for the show. Neither do the other hosts or the computer people. Bob and Agnes don’t even take donations, but some people do if they need to buy new radio or computer equipment. Bob and Agnes want the network and the shows to be centered on the listeners. She can often be found in the Head On Radio chat room where she reminds all that family is who you choose, and not necessarily the one you are born into.

Agnes Kincaid: Producer, Head On Radio Network

The program is: Head-on with Bob Kincaid

to listen

1-877-443-2366 to listen to old programs

When I was in 5th grade, I used to get in trouble a lot at school for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, for being a smartass and for not letting other kids have a turn to answer. Some of the stuff I said was pretty funny, but the teacher didn’t think so. Anyway, she gave me a little notebook to keep at my desk and write down the funny things that I wanted to say but shouldn’t, and also to write down the answers that seemed obvious to me and less obvious to some of my classmates.

I suspect my teacher would have given Ann Richards a notebook of her own, and I am so glad that no one ever did.

I never knew Ann Richards and I don’t really remember much about her being our governor, but I am still very sad that she died last week. (It is very strange that I call so many adults Mr or Mrs, but everyone seems to refer to our former governor as Ann.) I love everything I’ve heard about her and she seems like the kind of woman I wish I had met. I am glad for what she did to make women almost equal here in Texas. I love that she spoke her mind, that she cared about real people and real issues and that she talked about her alcoholism.

I go to Alateen every week because my mom is an addict. My mom is in prison and she hasn’t yet found the recovery and sobriety that Ann did 26 years ago. But … there are 12-step meetings in all Texas prisons and so I have some hope that my mom might get clean and sober in a meeting that exists because Ann Richards thought it was important to help Texas felons get sober.

We are driving down to the capitol tomorrow to say good-bye and to say thank you.


lip gloss

texas map flag              little girl putting on make-up

I am a Texas teen, and I wear make-up. Lip gloss or lipliner almost every day, and I often wear eyeshadow, eyeliner & blush. So do most of the girls in my school, and many of them started in 6th grade.

An adult who only knows me on the internet and has never seen my photo is worried that I will become one of those Texas women who buys make-up and hair gel in 50 gallon drums. Not a chance! But how much is too much? How little is too little?

And then again the liberal / conservative question. Do repubs wear more make-up? If so, why?

Click on the title to post your own comment about this.



heart.jpg    hearttunel.gif    emoti_101.gif

Have you ever fallen in love? How old were you? What do you remember most?

Love can make you feel hopeful about the future even with an evil group running the government and the rest of the world hating out country.


Love is like the sun coming out of the clouds
and warming your soul. – Author Unknown –


Some people gamble on the internet.  Othe people watch porn.  Lots of people send emails or surf the net.  I spend a lot of time doing IM and writing a political blog for teenagers.  So I have heard that you can get anything on the internet.  I do not know if that is true, but I can tell you I did get something surprising and unheard of on the internet this week —- two grandmas!

I was in a political chat room and people were talking about grandmas and grandchildren.  I typed in that I never had a grandma, and instantly had two offers!  Now, when I probed a little further about whether they would keep my photo in their wallets or send me birthday cards, I got a yes, so I signed on!  Now a good friend of mine is concerned that maybe these are creepy men who just want pictures of teenage girls, but I know it is for real.

So, click the word ANYTHING in the title and tell us the strangest thing you have ever learned, done, received or acquired on the internet.  Disclaimer: I won’t post the ones that are illegal or too sexy.


comment #1: 

I found this girl online who just so happened to be the daughter of my dad’s college girlfriend. Now I go to visit her every year.

That was WEIRD.