Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Public Education: Trying Desparately to Hold Children Back

Cato makes a stunning catch when reviewing a Wired piece about Khan academy:

Even if Khan is truly liberating students to advance at their own pace, it’s not clear that the schools will be able to cope. The very concept of grade levels implies groups of students moving along together at an even pace. So what happens when, using Khan Academy, you wind up with a kid in fifth grade who has mastered high school trigonometry and physics—but is still functioning like a regular 10-year-old when it comes to writing, history, and social studies? Khan’s programmer, Ben Kamens, has heard from teachers who’ve seen Khan Academy presentations and loved the idea but wondered whether they could modify it “to stop students from becoming this advanced.”

Thats our public education system for you in a nutshell. Perhaps "No Child Left Behind" should be changed to "No Child Moves Ahead".

Sunday, July 3, 2011

How Speedy Is Speedy?

This being Independence Day weekend and all, it seems like the perfect time to talk about the sixth amendment to the constitution, including, among other things, your right to a speedy trial. The Mississippi Supreme Court recently came to the conclusion that being incarcerated for two years prior to the state allowing you to go to trial does not violate your right to a speedy trial.

It appears that, like the 4th amendment, the 6th amendment is just so much paper; a bothersome relic of the past with no real teeth in today's world. What makes a seizure "reasonable"? If the government says it is! What makes a trial "speedy"? If the government says it is!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Drinking in Indiana? Don't Use a Designated Driver!

The Indiana Supreme Court concludes that the passenger seat of a car is still a public place, and thus the very same police officer that just pulled your designated driver over for anything under the sun can also arrest you for public intoxication.

Way to go, Indiana! Your war on responsible drinkers will no doubt bear tremendous fruits!

Friday, July 1, 2011

We Live In Interesting Times

Inactivity is activity.
Equality is inequality.
Bombings are not hostilities

If you have the chance, make sure your children all attend law school. It's the only way to warp a person's brain enough to hold all the contradictory opinions they'll need to survive in this century.

Ohio Police Tase, Pepper Spray, and Beat Mentally Handicapped Kid

More heros:
Hooper "apparently took Jesse's speech impediment for disrespect ... [and] began yelling at Jesse after Jesse attempted to communicate with him[.] Jesse, being a minor and mentally challenged/handicapped, turned and rode his bike back to his home in an attempt to ask his mother, Ford, to help him communicate with defendant Cooper," according to the complaint in Montgomery County Court.

On the way, the mom says, "A neighbor attempted to communicate with Officer Hooper about Jesse's disabilities and was told to go back into his home, or he would be arrested."

As Ford opened her front door, she says, Hooper and co-defendant Officer John Howard, "fired their Tasers, striking Jesse in the back with both probes."

"Once inside the house, defendant Hooper and defendant Howard began to struggle with Jesse, who was standing against the back door with his hands up in front of his face, saying 'Please quit, please quit.'

"On numerous occasions, Ford and a family friend, Christopher Peyton, informed Officer Hooper that Jesse was mentally challenged/handicapped, and that Jesse did not understand what was happening," the complaint states.

But the mom says the cops continued their assault: "Officer Howard utilized his Cap-Stun pepper spray and sprayed Jesse ... [and] struck Jesse with a closed fist in the upper chest area.

"Officer Howard utilized his ASP and repeatedly struck Jesse in the upper left side of his left thigh.

"Back-up units were requested to Jesse's house, wherein upward of 20 police officers from different jurisdictions were present. "At no point, even after being advised of Jesse's mental challenge/handicap by Jesse's family and numerous bystanders, did defendant Hooper, defendant Howard, or any other police officer present, attempt to communicate with Jesse or explain in terms he could understand as to why Jesse was being chased.

"Jesse was handcuffed and hogtied before being placed in the back of a police cruiser. "Jesse was charged with assault on a peace officer, resisting arrest, and obstructing official business."

Good job Ohio; the founding fathers would be proud to know you are keeping America's streets safe from the peril of speech impediments.