10 December 2007

News Roundup

Sparks from the Telegraph

Dallas—Robert Scott, education commissioner, yesterday defended the controversial decision by the Texas Education Agency to remove Chris Comer from her office. "My understanding is that the e-mail she forwarded," he explained, "let me rephrase that. She wasn't advocating for evolution. But she may have given the impression that ... we were taking a position as an agency–not as an individual but as an agency–on a matter." He elaborated, "...you can be in favor of a science without bashing people's faith, too. I don't know all the facts, but I think that may be the real issue here. I can't speak to motivation but ... we have standards of conduct and expect those standards of conduct to be followed." Asked if Chris Comer had in fact been forced to resign over forwarding an email notification of a talk by Barbara Forrest on opposing anti-science, Scott replied, "That's an absolute falsehood. It's a personnel matter. The really frustrating part about this is, if I start talking about activities and things that happened, I get sued. So all I can say is that there are other factors...." What those factors might have been he declined to say. (Dallas News)

New Delhi—Faced with traffic signals that don't allow enough time to cross the street, dangerous drivers, and inadequate crosswalks, thought to be responsible for the death of more than nine hundred pedestrians a year, the Indian government did the only logical thing. Police in New Delhi began handing out tickets for jaywalking. Pedestrians appeared puzzled and angered by this response. "We have to run, the lights don't turn green long enough for us to cross," D.K. Bhargav explained. Constable Suresh Sharma does not buy this explanation, attributing pedestrian behavior to rural migrants. "How would a villager know about these lights?" he asked rhetorically. "There are no traffic lights in their villages." Police issued violators twenty-rupee fines and lectured them on the proper way to cross the streets. "Our aim is not to prosecute people, our aim is to educate them," police spokesman Rajan Bhagat said. The message is apparently being received: "Next time I'll be watchful," observed Vasant Pant, a young courier late making deliveries. "I'll look to see if there's a traffic policeman before crossing." (Reuters India}

Des Moines—Mike Huckabee, a southern Baptist preacher now running for President as a Republican, became defensive when asked about his eccentric views on science. "That's an irrelevant question to ask me—I'm happy to answer what I believe, but what I believe is not what's going to be taught in 50 different states," he said evasively. He did admit to believing that an invisible man built the earth and the sky. "I wasn't there when he did it, so how he did it, I don't know," he snapped. When asked about the propriety of putting such notions on a par with hard science in schools, he conceded, "I don't think schools ought to indoctrinate kids to believe one thing or another." (Yahoo News)

1 comment:

daveawayfromhome said...

Dallas: My wife's a teacher, and she says that Robert Scott is an idiot, and a rent-boy to Rent-Boy Rick Perry.

New Dehli: "Next time I'll be watchful," observed Vasant Pant, a young courier late making deliveries. "I'll look to see if there's a traffic policeman before crossing." Isnt this the lesson that is generally learned, about everything?

Des Moines: Funny thing, Huckabee actually frightens me less than Romney or Guilianni. A lot less, in fact.

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