Jb Knows

A Teen Writer’s Trip to the Top

Goals of 2009 January 11, 2009

I hope to get past some of my biggest fears and problems this year.   But to just SAY that is one thing, especially when what  I am saying is so vague.  Here are some of my goals for this year.

1. National Novel Writing Month- Reach 50,000 words in one month.  I know someone who has done this and they were quite proud of the accomplishment.  I have been saying I would do this for the last 2 years, but have yet to reach this goal.

2. April is Poetry Month- Write at least 2 poems a day in the month of April.  Last year I wrote 1 a day, while most days I wrote a lot more.  I hope to write 300 new poems this year, putting me that much closer to my goal of beating out Emily Dickinson by sheer volume.  If only I could get the prestige as well.

3. Be top debater in both the state AND the league.  These events are judged separately.  I managed to be the top debater in the league this year.  To my bitter disappointment, I barely even made it in to the final session at the state tournament.  I would also like a gavel for being a PO, since I have yet to receive one.  Not to mention a Best Bill Award.

4.  Get at least a 30 on the ACT, with a math subscore of at least 28.  I took a practice one and I got a 27, but I would like to do better.  Get a 4 on the U.S. Government AP exam.

5. Read 500 books.  I have a list of book, about 510 books long, that I would like to read.  I do not expect all of the ones I actually read this year to be from this list, but it would be nice.

6. Finish ‘Unsent Letters’, ‘Unconscious’ and ‘If you were me’ , the current books I am writing.

7. Be accepted to Eastern Michigan University.  I want to go there so bad it is ridiculous. Also be accepted to U of M, just so I can turn them down.

8. I have perfect attendance at school.  I haven’t missed a day of school in the last two years, and I would like to keep it that way.

9. Blog more.  I really need to get in more posts this year.  I’ll just make sure to write down my posts on scrap sheets of paper.

 

Selective Service System Shut Down January 6, 2009

The pointless registration of 18-year-old males needs to end. The Selective Service System exists, with a handsome Web site and a budget of more than twenty-five million dollars a year, waiting for something to do besides encourage males to obey the law by registering within thirty days of their eighteenth birthdays.

The Department of Defense, in response to recent calls to reinstate the draft, has confirmed that conscription serves no military need. This is only the most recent confirmation that the draft, and thus the Selective Service system, serves no military purpose. In 1999, then-Secretary of the Army Louis Caldera, in a speech before the National Press Club, admitted that “Today, with our smaller, post-Cold War armed forces, our stronger volunteer tradition and our need for longer terms of service to get a good return on the high, up-front training costs, it would be even harder to fashion a fair draft.” Obviously, if there is no military need for the draft, then there is no need for Selective Service registration.

Selective Service registration is an outdated and outmoded system, which has been made obsolete by technological advances. In fact, in 1993 the Department of Defense issued a report stating that registration could be stopped “with no effect on military mobilization and no measurable effect on the time it would take to mobilize, and no measurable effect on military recruitment.” Yet the American taxpayer has been forced to spend over $500 million dollars on an outdated system “with no measurable effect on military mobilization!”

Shutting down Selective Service will give taxpayers a break without adversely affecting military efforts. Shutting down Selective Service will also end a program that violates the very principals of individual liberty our nation was founded upon. Many Americans, both liberals and conservatives, feel a genuine commitment to individual liberty. The Selective Service system never seems to give up in its quest to punish men who don’t want to kill others. It tried to convince the state of California not to award high school diplomas to young men who hadn’t registered for the draft. Nineteen states deny drivers licences to men who have not registered for Selective Service. According the the Selective Service Systems government website, A man who fails to register may, if prosecuted and convicted, face a fine of up to $250,000 and/or a prison term of up to five years.

Many people are dubious about involuntary servitude to the government, whether actual or potential, especially when it involves the risk of death. (In fact, being a commercial fisherman or a taxi driver is more dangerous than being an American soldier, but no one is coerced into those occupations by law.)

I hope you all join me in working to shut down this un-American relic of a bygone era and help realize the financial savings and the gains to individual liberties that can be achieved by ending Selective Service registration.

 

Abstinence-only vs. comprehensive sex education December 31, 2008

Debate: Abstinence-only vs. comprehensive sex education – Debatepedia.

Abstinence-only education in our schools continue to gain momentum, despite increasing evidence that the programs are doing little to alleviate the extraordinarily high rates of teenage pregnancy in the United States.  The Bush Administration were vocal advocates of abstinence-only education.

Though studies show more than half of teenagers between the ages of 15-19 are sexually active (Moore, Driscoll and Lindberg, A Statistical Portrait of Adolescent Sex, Contraception and Childbearing, 1998), more than $100 million is spent by the federal government in programs that censor information about safe-sex practices.

These abstinence-only programs teach religious ideologies and stereotypes as scientific fact .Every reputable sexuality education organization and the American Medical Association have denounced abstinence-only education.

Abstinence-only is not effective at reducing teen sex rates. Abstinence-only does not help decrease STD infection rates. Abstinence-only wrongly bashes all non-marital sex.

The use of virginity pledges in these course often are useless, as the prevent nothing and are frequently broken.

Abstinence-only sex education is immoral, scientifically inaccurate, wasteful, and just plain wrong.

 

(Un)Intelligent Design December 30, 2008

Can Intelligent Design (ID) be a Testable, Scientific Theory?.

In my opinion, no it can not.  It is irresponsible for schools to teach their students this.  The truth is evolution.

Now, all the these religious people had to do was say “Yes, God has given us the power to change.”  But no, they had to fight over obvious facts.

Evolution is a scientific THEORY.  To be a theory, it has to be tried and tested by A LOT of scientists, who then except it as fact.

 

(Psycho)analysis December 21, 2008

How can you tell if you are crazy? You said that you know that you are crazy when I asked you. And if we are so much alike doesn’t that make me crazy too? I would assume that it does. Are you sure you are crazy, or were you just joking around?

If I’m crazy and you’re crazy..

I’m not the only one.

If you’re only crazy…

I will be soon.

If I’m only crazy…

What does that make you?You’re certainly not sane. Is there some sort of midway point that we both stand on? If we are normal, then normal is a pretty broad label. Or everyone is crazy.

If everyone was crazy, we are still crazier then most.

I think before I was just pretending to be crazy and now it has manifested into reality, but how can it do that, who is to blame? Can’t blame myself, the blame certainly does not fall on me because I couldn’t handle that, it must be the media, my environment, some chemical imbalance in my brain that I have absolutely no control over, so it can’t be my fault can it?

But of course! It’s all my fault! It’s always my fault, I am always to blame. That’s why we were late to Debate and why we lost the second game in Quiz Bowl and why you are always in a bad mood lately and you pray, you pray to no god because you have no proof that He is there. God is a disease. He infects the weak in every generation. I can’t be that weak if I’m agnostic, right?

Can’t have an emotional breakdown if you haven’t built your emotions back up yet. Can’t have an emotional breakdown if you have no emotions. Do I have emotions? Or do I just have thoughts? Thoughts that ramble, rambleramblerambleramble and have no point at all except to ask…

Am I crazy?

 

A Little Over Board November 16, 2008

Filed under: Politics as (un)usual — samke23 @ 10:53 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

It is about time.  For once (make that twice) , time has ruled in my favor.  And victory sure tastes sweet.

Victory number 1: Barack Obama.  Finally a Democrat is back in the office.  Someone to bring up the nation from the disparity of the Bush Administration.  In the beginning, and to a certain extent, now, I did not know that much about Barack Obama.

Victory number 2: I finally found my wallet, which contains, amongst other things, my library card.  I was not able to visit the library for weeks.  I was deprived of reading anything other than debate research.

So it struck me.  I needed to read, and I had someone I wanted to read about.  Without delay, I placed a hold on practically every book on Obama within my library network.  When I finally made my way to the library, the books sat snuggled on the holds shelf.

I stacked the books in my hand, barely able to balance them to the checkout counter.

The first night I let them sit at the foot of my bed, as I was preoccupied with piles of homework and chores.  The second night I cracked open the first book with Barack’s face on the cover.

I was delighted as I learned previously unknown information on our president elect. From Hawaii to Kenya to Chicago to Indonesia to Iraq.  I became frustrated, twice shouting at the book, for the overused reference to Barack Obama as ‘Barry’.

I still have a lot more to read, (including Audacity of Hope)and I am looking forward to it.