Several countries have recently lowered their voting age to 16, including Brazil and Austria. On the other-hand Iran has recently raised theirs up to 18, bringing them to bar with America. Why, in a country where kids receive free education, do we feel that kids aren’t informed enough to vote? Children in america are now expected to do more and more, with college level classes available at young ages, kids as a majority are more and more educated at younger and younger ages, so why can’t they vote at a younger age? A large argument is that most of the 16-17 year olds won’t vote anyways, but few young people vote to begin with, so why not give the power to more kids and then more kids will be showing up to vote, just because all of the kids won’t come out to vote doesn’t mean that the few who would should be denied the privilege. In addition isn’t the whole point of democracy that the people decide? So does someone become a person when they turn 18? Is it not true that laws affect today’s youth as well as the today’s adults?
Does the government really care about kids? Or only “people” that can vote? Maybe today’s youth would be better off if they were voting for what they wanted, instead of waiting until they are too old to remember what they wanted and they only know what the government wants.

Inspired by: Sixteen Candles, but Few Blazing a Trail to the Ballot Box


condoms. yay.

Students all across the world are suffering with misinformation from terrible abstinence-only sexual education programs. These programs sometimes bring in conservative religious beliefs that prevent students from learning about what they can do to prevent different sexually transmitted diseases besides abstain or even about some forms of contraception.

The REAL (Responsible Education About Life) act is about educating teens with age-appropriate and medically accurate information that they will benefit from. The act will allow teen’s questions to be answered in the classroom without shame or fear. The act is entirely important because teens in America get about 4 million STDs altogether on average a year, 2 teens in the US are infected with HIV every hour of every day, and the racial differences regarding HIV are frighteningly disproportionate.

I think that people, in general, are inquisitive by nature and want to know about lots of things. Our schools need to stop making talking about sex so taboo. Comprehensive sex education is by far the best way for people to stay away from sexual harm.

And personally, I think that the idea of trying to teach kids that “sex is bad and unsafe” is truly just scare tactics enforced by people afraid and too uptight themselves to talk about it. Chase, a fellow member of Team Gaia, said that in his health class the teacher refused to speak about it, and that they just skipped the chapter altogether. What kind of “health” class was that teacher teaching? Because I think any “health instructor” that would ignore such a huge part of mental and physical health is an absolute travesty.

I think institutions everywhere need to step up and start really teaching sexual education, and the REAL act would be a great way to go– instead of the government pouring it’s money into ineffective abstinence-only education.

Information on the REAL act
Article on the REAL act

Sean Connery As James Bond
On July 17 of 2007, George W. Bush issued an executive order “Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq”. Under this order any persons who threaten the peace and stability of Iraq or the Iraqi Government. All of this seems fine and dandy, people who try to mess up Iraq get their Assets frozen, but thats not all that it does, it also applies to people who are “undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people”.

So now, anti war protest can result in the blocking of your property, but is Bush just falling in line with other presidents during times of war? The Sedition Act of 1918 made it illegal to speak any protest about a war at all, lest you be thrown in jail for up to 20 years. Eugene V. Debs was thrown in jail for 10 years for making a speech that undermined military recruitment.

How far with this Executive order carry? Will T-Shirts, bumper-stickers, and Anti-War keychains become punishable by the blocking of your property?

Executive Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq

On July 7th, 2007 people all over the globe celebrated at Live Earth ‘Parties for the Planet’, a reaching-out to all kinds of people around the world to raise awareness and actually do something to stop global warming. People everywhere were encouraged to throw parties of their own, not just to watch the ones on TV, because you don’t need a concert hall to tell people how to save the earth. We, Team Gaia, an Atlantic Beach based teen environmental organization, decided to do just that. We decided to throw a big Live Earth party in our very own studio office in Mayport. We posted our party on MoveOn.org, an environmental and political website that acted as a HQ for people who wanted to go to a Live Earth party. People all over typed in their zip code, and if they were near us, our party showed up on their screens. We also got together and invited a bunch of our friends to join in! We got around 70 people, and their ages were very diverse. We had about 50 adults, some of them seniors, some middle age, and some of them even in their twenties. But at the same time we had about 20 teenagers from different schools in the area. Aside from the mere diversity, a lot of the people who came were very progressive. Members of local organizations like the Sierra Club and JaxTaxpayers.com came, along with lots of other concerned members of the community like UNF professors and school board members. All of us at Team Gaia were really excited to meet all these amazing people!

At the party we had a huge potluck where everyone brought in vegetarian and organic dishes, and we even organized getting some biodegradable silverware. The food that was there was absolutely delicious! People ate, mingled, and we showed the concerts from all over the globe on a projection screen in our studio. We kicked things off with an introductory piece from the Live Earth campaign by Al Gore, and then showed a 30-minute town meeting with different people running for government talking about the environment. We (Team Gaia) also showed our own pieces we ourselves produced about Global Warming. At Team Gaia we produce all kinds of videos spanning from global warming, to getting teens to vote, to organic food and healthy eating. We got some awesome feedback from all kinds of people, and it was really rewarding. The whole experience was simply exhilarating, and it was great to say that we took action, that we will continue to take action, and that we’ve encouraged others to take action.

Most importantly, you can take action against the climate crisis even as a simple reader of this blog! You don’t need to be a member of Team Gaia or Sierra Club or anything like that to make a change. You can change the light bulbs in your home to compound florescent, you can turn the AC up a couple degrees when it’s hot and down a couple when it’s cold, you can do what you can to use less hot water like take shorter showers, and on top of all that, you can drive less! Together, all of us can do our best to prevent global warming– that’s what ‘Party for the Planet’ and Live Earth was all about!

All throughout the world, an enormous party is being held with the planet in mind.

A party with 7 continents participating!

7/7/07: Al Gore’s Live Earth Concerts are being held all over. They are being held to raise awareness of the rising climate. The concerts sold out within the first two days .. so what are the rest of us supposed to do? Party anyway! Party for the Planet is an event anyone can celebrate anywhere. People are holding block parties.

Team Gaia asks you: What are you doing to spread the word about global warming?

Team Gaia’s doing it’s part. We’ve made a whole segment made about global warming– we truly want to make change. We’re holding a Live Earth house party, and you should too!

Party for the planet .. before it’s too late!

Berkshares, a currency accepted in Great Barrington (Massachusetts) and some neighboring communities, keeps the profit being circulated inside the community. Great Barrington is a unique community that features many organic farms, yoga studios and other such cafes and new age shops. Berkshares have been a hit with the community’s economy, and locals use the bills as almost a form of local pride. The bills allow small businesses to stay alive and compete with large chains that are sprouting up everywhere.

I am delighted to hear that this bill experiment was brought about in such a green-inclined community, and I hope that this currency will encourage other communities to do the same and create their own currencies. I would love to see the organic farms grow because of a change in economy. This seems like a great tool to combat fast food and other restaurant chains with great alternatives to their terrible food.

S O U R C E S:
Reuters’ Article.

Many parts of Northern Texas were hit with around 2 to 3 inches of rain in a single hour sunday evening, June 17th 2007. Several families were forced up on rooftops as nearby bodies of water filled with the rain simply pouring out of the sky. Several areas in Texas have received up to 8 inches of rain over that night. The rainfall bombarded the town of Gainesville, which has appeared to have received the brunt of the storm. Recent footage shows families lost on the rooftops of their homes. Power was lost to approximately 300,000 homes in the area. Luckily, there have only been two casualties, although all of us wish there wouldn’t have been any…

Texas flooding diagram.

As people continue to ignore global warming, what do they expect to come from mother nature? I think that in this day and age we truly shouldn’t be losing children to random weather accidents. But as the terrible weather becomes more intense, perhaps people will wake up to the world around them. I do not blame global warming for every rainy day, but I do think there is a very real connection between the earth’s increasing climate and the magnitude of different natural happenings. If anyone can think back to Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, they will truly understand what I’m talking about. As the line between global warming and the weather isn’t being drawn in popular media as they’re covering these horrifying tragedies, people aren’t seeing that we can aid the problem.

The Tsunami of 2004

S O U R C E S:
Disaster News’ article on the Texas flash flooding.
Reuters’ article on the flooding.
Reuters’ video of the flood.
The United Press’ Article

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