Patterico's Pontifications

9/1/2007

Newspaper Awards according to Me

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 9:55 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

If the print and online news industry doesn’t already have the Overblown Rhetoric Awards, they should have … and I nominate this article in the following categories:

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No Hablo Ingles

Filed under: General,Immigration — DRJ @ 5:17 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

There’s been ample discussion in the media on the pilot program allowing Mexican truckers to drive on US roads, including the Teamsters/Sierra Club lawsuit seeking to stop that program and the Ninth Circuit decision authorizing it to proceed.

Most of the coverage has focused on the environmental and economic effects of the pilot program, with some coverage of the safety issues such as requirements that truckers complete criminal background and drug and alcohol tests and that trucks must pass vehicle safety and emissions inspections.

There is also a pre-existing requirement that truckers in the US speak English:

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The Big Shrimp

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 2:44 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

This Houston Chronicle article is not what you usually read here but you don’t see stories like this every day:

“Along the waterfront tiny Brian Edward Mawhorr is known as ‘the big shrimp,’ and there’s little wonder why. He was born on the shrimp boat Raindear almost 30 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico early Wednesday.

‘He’s our little miracle baby,’ his mother, Cindy Preisel, said as she showed off the piece of green shrimp net twine that boat captain Edward Kiesel used to tie off Brian’s umbilical cord after he delivered the breech baby.”

Obstetricians have problems delivering breech babies and this shrimp boat captain did it without instructions. I have profound respect for these shrimpers’ obstetrical abilities and ingenuity:

“The baby’s first bottle was an emptied and boiled soy sauce bottle with a nipple made from the finger of a rubber shrimper’s glove. He was swaddled in paper and cloth towels.”

I wonder if the birth certificate will list his “Place of Birth” as “Raindear, USA.”

Happy Birthday, Big Shrimp.

My Pet Peeve (High School edition)

Filed under: Civil Liberties,Constitutional Law,Education,General — DRJ @ 12:30 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

This Fox News article concerns important Constitutional issues, including free speech in educational settings and the church/state divide:

“A student who said she was told she wouldn’t get her diploma unless she apologized for a commencement speech in which she mentioned Jesus has filed a lawsuit alleging her free speech rights were violated. The school district contends its actions were “constitutionally appropriate.”

Erica Corder was one of 15 valedictorians at Lewis-Palmer High School in 2006. All were invited to speak for 30 seconds at the graduation ceremony. When it was Corder’s turn, she encouraged the audience to get to know Jesus Christ. Corder had not included those remarks during rehearsals.”

I suspect the last sentence above will end up having an impact on the outcome because the school has an interest in maintaining order. By spontaneously altering her remarks without notice to the school, this student presumably violated rules requiring pre-approval of valedictorian speeches. But I’m no Constitutional law scholar, so what do I know?

However, I know this: There’s no valid reason to have 15 valedictorians at one high school. This is just another example of how we’re dumbing down our schools amid feel-good educational policies that promote feelings over competition and achievement.

Don’t even get me started on banning tag.


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