Monday, September 14, 2009

Is what "Green Man" did free speech?

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise therof; or abridging the freedom os speech..

Is Green man's antics a form of speech protected by the first amendment?

Why or why not?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Did King George III Really Urinate Purple?

We've been learning about King George III, the British king whom our founding fathers called a tyrant in documents such as Common Sense and The Declaration of Independence.

I mentioned in class that some researchers have theorized that the bad decisions of King George III which led to him lose the American Colonies when they became independent may have been because he reportedly had bouts of insanity. I also mentioned that these periods have insanity may have been a genetic disease which at times caused King George III's urine to take on a bright blue or purplish color.

Some of you may not have believed me, but it is true! George III's periodic crazy spells as well as his oddly coloured urine, were documented by his physicians Hundreds of volumes of medical notes and many more diaries, comments and letters written by people who knew King George III all describe the same thing.

Ida Macalpine and Richard Hunter published a series of papers in the mid-1960's that theorized that George III suffered from a genetic disease called porphyra.

The issue was popularized by Alan Bennett and made into a play and a movie called The Madness of King George.

More recent research has suggested an alternative theory- that King George III, the enemy of the American Revolution was bi-polar.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Obama speech to students causes controversy

President Obama is scheduled to speak to the nation's student on Tuesday about the need to work hard and stay in school.

The school-time speech has sparked controversy with some conservatives urging schools and parents to boycott the speech. For a full story of the controversy you can click this link: are not going to be showing the speech in class on Tuesday, but I'd like to hear your opinion.

1. Do you think President Obama is using the opportunity to promote a political agenda? If so, what evidence do you have of this?

2. In the U.S., individual states are in charge of education. The federal government only has limited involvement. Do you think the speech oversteps the boundries of federal involvement in schools?

3. The policy at CCISD is that if a teacher decides to show the speech (we are not showing it here on Tuesday), then parents can have their children removed from the classroom during the speech if they tell the school this is what they want. What do you think about this?

4. On September 19, 1796 in his farewell address when leaving the presidency, George Washington warned the nation that political parties will be a threat and danger to to the stability of the country. What role do you think politics and political parties play in your education? What role do you think it should play?