For the third year in a row, I served as an essay reader/evaluator for John Stossel's (the investigative reporter) contest. And for the 2012-13 school year, students, ages 13-18, were asked to write a 500-1000 word essay on the following topic:
In John Stossel's TV special and book of the same name, "No They Can't," Stossel makes the case that free people and free markets do a better job of solving problems than government. Do you think he's right? Why or why not?
First place went to Noelle Rutland, 17, who attends a public school in St. Petersburg, FL.
Second place was awarded to Chelsea Martinez, 16, who attends a private, Christian school in San Lorenzo, California.
Third place went to Madeline Peltzer, 14, a homeschooler from Arizona. Her essay on 'education monopolies' is quite the read!*
Congratulations to the winners, finalists, honorable mentions, and teachers. Update: Stossel in the Classroom offers a free DVD - Good Intentions Gone Wrong - to educators. *My way of complimenting the writer's intelligence.
Last week Tom Rice, a former American history public school teacher, gave an interesting talk on the United Nations and Agenda 21 at the Emmet County fairgrounds bldg. in Petoskey, MI.
He explained that Agenda 21 is not a treaty, a law, or even an executive order. But that A-21, a byproduct of the radical environmental movement, is 'soft law.' That sounds appropriately European ... and anti-American.
But this 'sustainablility' movement - a witches brew of draconian zoning laws, international building codes, and perpetual conservation easements - has gained momentum due to a push by local public officials.
What I also found interesting was the high level of interest on the topic - about 100 (very attentive) people turned out to hear him on a weekday night for a nuts-and-bolts, two-hour presentation.
Before the talk, folks perused the New American magazines that Tom, et. al., brought. Nice to see people - at a public venue - not glued to a smart phone! Nice to also see them so concerned about property rights.
it amounted to a subversive pleasure to attend a community-wide, bracket-style dodgeball tournament.
(Click on article, if you want to read the story I wrote.)
Below are the photos I snapped of the silliness of (mostly) guys flinging and dodging pastel-colored rubber balls. Some of the participants donned fun, goofy get-ups. There was even a 'toilet bowl' championship game for the, uh, less gifted players. Proceeds from the tournament went toward a good cause - Central American orphans.
Oh, the violence, the violence ...
Two members of the Hospitality Specialist team.
A trio who were Rockin4theMan ... Man = God.
Winners of the Gold Toilet Bowl Cover - Psalms 91. (Yeah, that really is the team's name.)
Easy there, laddie. You wouldn't want to annoy the dodgeball police.
Ah, the classy Mrs. Thatcher. Perhaps the best and bravest female political leader the modern world has known.
Back in 1998, I heard her speak in Springfield, MA and wrote an opinion piece about how her visit attracted a throng of left-wing protestors. Jolly good fun!
Since I was 'pro-Thatcherite' (although, honestly, I did find her talk a little boilerplate), the letters of dissent came came fast and furious.
But this wasn't the first time I saw her in action.
My mom and I visited London (back in my salad days). We happened to walk by 10 Downing Street, as the prime minister - impeccably dressed - came out the door. I even managed to snap a photo, like a paparazzi.
I should go dig the pix out of the basement and scan it and post it, shouldn't I? In the meantime, a video where the Iron Lady brilliantly rails against wealth redistribution, the European central bank, and the liberalism of the MPs in her midst.