Peanut Butter & Jelly

Peanut Butter & Jelly: If only life were that simple

Thursday, July 13, 2006

You Needn't Fear Technology

If you asked anyone under 19 years of age, what would help them more in life, solving equations, or blogging, you could be surprised at what they'd say.

But for my generation, generation "m," or "X-Plus," technology could be the only advancement we have over previous generations. Yes, the generations that had all the wonders of libraries, know-it-all teachers and professors, and parents who could drive them in the right direction, could be the ones that face the most difficulties in the future. Because, as you'll see, where would Algebra and Geometry actually ever help a person in real-life situations that we face in our daily life? Well, they really wouldn't. But this is not to draw the conclusion that advanced mathematical skills are completely worthless, but to say that they're simply unneeded and unwanted at best, would be considerably accurate.

Because, you see, as technology progresses, so does our capabilities to comprehend it. And, especially, to teenagers and such other "Generation M"ers who employ it in their daily life. It was thought last year, that the popular social-networking site Myspace.com was the second most visited site. Google being sixth on the list. Teenagers and preteens alike, are the ones contributing to this. And what better way to express ourselves, than through the Internet? On the Internet, there is no wrong way to go about our daily life. If someone is bothering us, we simply block them, if we want to exchange our favorite songs with each other, or say, homework, we are free to do so.

But with all this technology comes a grave consequence. According to nearly every source in the country, you would believe that the amount of children lacking basic language skills is growing ever higher. And to any teacher you ask, the handwriting skills of each young individual in this country is declining at a quick and steady rate.

But, where, might I ask, would we ever need it? How many jobs in America still require neat penmanship? I mean, you might as well be requiring them to have skills on using a steamboat. Because, that is what our education is in this country: Teach them everything they'll never need, and nothing they'll ever use.

In this country, we are home to advanced technology, and what was once only a pipe dream to our ancestors, is now reality. In one hundred years, we've perfected a way of long-distance communication, imaginative storytelling through special effects, and an ever-quickening way of delivering news to people who want it. And yet, in our American public school systems, we still believe that teaching our young children something that may have helped their ancestors a hundred years is still teaching them. Well, I'm sorry, but that steamboat has sailed away, off into the distance, never to return again.

People, technology is nothing to fear, but it is something to embrace. It is something that we cannot stop, and should not. Technology is not something that has created more areas of concern for my generation, but rather it has created a new way of communication, storytelling, and education. And those who don't embrace it, will be left in the dust.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Natural Global Warming: I think not!

Some politicians point out that global warming is a natural occurrence, and I agree, the earth does go through different environmental changes over time. It cools down to an ice age and then heats back up again. There is all the scientific evidence in the world that would prove this theory correct, but—

I would also like to remind these politicians that the change is steady, and only raises one degree for every thousand or so years, at best. What we've seen is an incredible change in climate over the past fifty years. Some propose that the effect of the temperature being raised only a few degrees has little or no effect, and that it simply means, ignorantly stated, that animal and plant species could easily adapt to the environmental changes caused by carbon dioxide and other dioxins in the atmosphere.

I would like to ask everyone in America, now, to please do what you can to save energy. It doesn't mean buying a tiny little car, or spending a truckload on energy-saving appliances. It means turning off a light when you leave the room. It means unplugging things you don't need twenty-four hours a day. If you could simply do these things, we could save this world from ultimate self-destruction. After all, global warming is only reversible for another ten years and after that it is too late.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

A Letter to Mr. Michael Savage Regarding His Latest Broadcast

Dear Mr. Savage:

Shame on you. You are comparing homosexuals to criminals. Since when was homosexuality A CRIME? It's not a choice, Mr. Savage; think about it, WHO WOULD WANT TO BE? It's a miserable life! You're pushed around and denied rights. And it's been proven by nearly every scientist that has ever done studies on sexuality that it isn't a choice, but rather that it is something in genetics.

The only reason why gay people seem to be ALL about their sexuality is because no one else seems to care. If you were a member of a select group that was being denied common rights, wouldn't you fight for them? So, yes, it is a big deal to us. You would do the same if you were in our shoes.

In what way, would allowing children to learn about homosexuals and their contributions to society hurt them? We learn about other minorities' fight for freedom, haven't we? African-Americans? Native Americans? These are all good examples. Have they encouraged anything bad? No.

You also had a listener that brought up A.I.D.S. in your program. Do remember that H.I.V. can live in the body for years without showing any symptoms, so the carrier wouldn't know they have it, so, therefore, wouldn't know they're spreading the disease.

We're people too. I don't know why people like you think that it's okay to hurt people like us. We don't want to hurt America. You people treat us like were monsters and we're destroying everything. We're not. We are simply a minority that's trying to encourage people to treat us equally, like human beings. We're not hurting anyone. Can you not understand that? We are doing this for ourselves. It has nothing to do with you. So say something nice, or simply say nothing at all.

I wish you were more open-minded, and would think about others feelings. If you could do only that, you, and everyone around you, would have a better life.

Thank you for your time.

Friday, March 24, 2006

My Poor School

When I went to Pawnee Elementary School, I remember having these awful Spelling textbooks. It was probably fourth grade (1995-96?) when we had to use them. I remember, they were all ratty. They were orginally donated to our school in 1970. I just recently overheard that they still actually use them. I remember my copy, it had pink pen markings all over the sides and cover.

They also had those manual copying machines with the smelly purple ink. That stuff was weird, but I always thought it looked pretty. If you're somewhat colorblind, it was blue to you. It's so weird, almost everyone I know is colorblind to some degree.

I saw on 20/20 or Dateline or one of those general interest news shows that money doesn't help education, but I think if I could see through the gum and ink markings I'd probably be a bettter spelir today.

I think it's ridiculous that we have laptops at school. What's the point? The last time we used one was in Geography class my sophmore (I think) year. Most everyone around me was chatting online, searching for stuff not related to school, or sleeping, their drool forming a small puddle on the keyboard.

Our school gets new computers every two years or so. Why? Do the old ones die off? Well, maybe, since most people download things onto them, which brings viruses into the system, which then causes all the computers to crash, which causes me to fail an assignment because it was saved on the computers main network - and I, of course, cannot get to them because the network is down! Ahhhh!

Anyway, I have to get ready for school now, so have a nice day!

My Old Friend

My old friend, Amy, from the Internet, has changed her address. It is now http://crackedmyself.livejournal.com/ .

I have been reading her blog for a few years now. I like her opinions. You should too!

Monday, March 20, 2006

End the Occupation

I am a high school student in Omaha, Nebraska (we’re not all pig farmers and corn growers out here, ya know!). I am currently enrolled in a debate class where we had to come up with a debatable topic before a deadline. It would be between me and a partner (pro) and two other people (con). My speech and follow-up questions are as followed [with some revisions]:

I remember a quote by Ludwig von Mises that stated that "War is harmful, not only to the conquered but to the conqueror." I believe this is entirely true in explanation to the Iraq war.

There comes a time within this occupation in which we must ask ourselves a few questions: what is the main agenda?; when do we plan on leaving?; could any progress be made by staying in Iraq?; why, after all this time, money, and loss of life, and the overall opposition that reaches far beyond the Iraqi people and into the people of the United States, are we still there?

We started the war in Iraq on March 19, 2003, now three years ago. Since the war began, 2,298 U.S. troops have died in Iraq, and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have died. The human cost of this war is unacceptable, and the entire global community agrees with this.

President George W. Bush ordered our country to invade Iraq on March 19, 2003. At the time, the American public was convinced that the war would only last a few months or so. Well, three years have past, and little progress has been made. And Bush’s approval ratings have reflected this belief. [Most recently, Bush’s approval ratings dropped to an all-time low, standing at 33%; this is the lowest it has ever been since he was sworn in as our president in 2000. Many poll results indicate that this is a direct result of the way the war in Iraq has turned out.]

Governmental services have been cut left and right to help pay for Iraq, which is expected to cost the United States around 2.6 trillion dollars. Is it really necessary to spend this much money on a country that doesn’t want us there, and neither does the rest of the world, and the majority of Americans? It is obvious that the Iraqis do not want us in their country, because of the protests, suicide bombings, and continuous casualties that come out of Iraq daily.

The war in Iraq cannot be won, that is a definite fact. Many have compared it to Vietnam. The first similarity is that the administration led the country to believe the war was justified when it wasn’t; second, the administration lied to the public on several occasions to "stay the course" in both situations; third, both wars cost us millions [and billions] of dollars. When it comes to size, Vietnam was much larger than Iraq. In the nine-year period that we were in Vietnam, 58,000 people died. And only 2,000 people died in the three years we’ve been in Iraq. Six years into Vietnam, 58,000 people died. And only 2,000 people have died in the three years we’ve had military occupation stationed in Iraq. Six years into Vietnam, more than 53% of America believed that the war was a major mistake. These two wars are completely different when it comes to time, but the similarities are endless. War protests have occurred in both wars. Songs have been written for the sole purpose of waging war against war.

There are two general outcomes in the war in Iraq: One, we leave, leaving the Iraqi people what they want; Two, we stay in Iraq for 10+ years, and, finally, turn Iraq into a democracy; but, within a few years, it turns back into the country it was before the war.

What we’re looking at is decades in this country with almost nothing to show for it. We’re also seeing 40-50 people coming home from Iraq in body bags. Do we really want to spend billions of dollars, cost this country thousands [or more] lives, and still not know whether or not it was worth it all along, just because the administration wants to "stay the course?" Of course not!

After 2,000 deaths, billions of dollars spent, the fact that we didn’t find weapons of mass destruction, and opposition to the war at an all-time high in the United States and the rest of the world, when do we come to a point when we must accept the fact that we are not winning this war and should pull out as soon as we can? When should we leave?

I think the time has come when we need to force the administration into making an exit strategy. It must be done for the betterment of this country, if nothing else. Please consider my opinion, and thank you for your time.

Me on Same-Sex Marriage

Why do people fear the term ‘marriage,’ when it refers to people of the same sex? What is there to fear? Two people in love; is that scary? You’re damn right it’s not! In this discussion, I think we’re not talking about marriage; we’re talking about human rights. All that’s being asked is this, the same basic rights given to all people in this country. And isn’t that what our country was founded on? The freedom to practice whatever they feel and have the right to do what they want? Millions of our ancestors escaped from their home countries because of persecution, because the law said that they could not practice the rights that another person of a different status could [and their beliefs].

But isn’t the law that is banning same-sex marriage going against everything our country stands for? We’re taking away rights from people because of irrational fear. But what is there to fear, I ask you? It doesn’t affect anyone but the gay people themselves. It actually happens in nature to prevent overpopulation. It’s a proven fact.

The main purpose of the bill to ban same-sex marriage is fear, and discrimination. And you’d think that in the 21st century, we’ve had learn something about people, and that it is not right to discriminate against people just because we don’t understand them.

I will do follow-ups on this story later on. Stay tuned… or logged on in this case!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Education is uneducated

Standards in the educational system are lower and lower every year. This is why the educational system is doing "better and better." I rest my case. Thank you very much.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

First Snow

Well, we had our first snow (finally) of the year. We deserved it. Really. I am so tired of global warming or whatever is causing this. I just want a white Christmas.

It's very icy.

Someone threw a piece of paper at my third period teacher's head. It was funny, but was strung to some dangerous disasterous consequences. We had to do twice as much homework as was orginally assigned. I only did the original assignment. I will not tolerate corpal punishment. They can talk to me if they decide to give me a lower grade for this.

Some kid threatened to bring a gun to school and shoot everyone up at some school in LaVista. It wasn't in the national news, surprisingly. This makes me wonder if this isn't something that happens all the time and we don't hear about it. Anyway, it was circulated around through e-mail and instant messenging. Also, in an unrelated incident, some kid brought a pop bottle full of explosive liquids (assume it is gasoline) to school and threatened to blow it up. Same school. Same kid/psycho?