Louisville nutjobs make the NY Times

JISHOU, HUNAN — I lived in Louisville a long time. I love the River City, but there are way too many religious crazies there tarnishing Louisville’s national image. Take Ken Pagano, for example, whose invitation to his parishioners to bring their guns to a special event at church tomorrow has made national headlines. Pastor Pagano, shown in The New York Times with a handgun in a holster and a submachine gun in his left hand, wants his church to celebrate their right to carry firearms. “God and guns were part of the foundation of this country,” Mr. Pagano, 49, said Wednesday in the small brick Assembly of God church, where a large wooden cross hung over the altar and two American flags jutted from side walls. “I don’t see any contradiction in this. Not every Christian denomination is pacifist.” The Times article notes that, in the interests of safety, Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies (who I am sure have better things to do) will check visible weapons to make sure they are unloaded. They will not ask the parishioners of New Bethel Church in Valley Station for any concealed weapons, however. “That’s the whole point of concealed,” Mr. Pagano said, adding ...

Teachers: Get off Facebook, and make sure the safety’s on 1

The news had a couple of teaching-related items this past week worth commenting on. Two Mississippi school districts have banned teachers from texting their students — to avoid any hanky-panky with the kids. Meanwhile, a small school district in Texas has decided to allow its teachers to pack heat while on the job — for protection from wacko students. Sad, sad commentaries on the American educational system … According to Associated Press and ABC News reports, the two Mississippi districts (Lamar County, southeast of Jackson, and Lauderdale County, east of Jackson) imposed the new restrictions on teachers following the convictions on sexual misconduct charges of two teachers from elsewhere in that fair state. School district attorneys made the recommendations, apparently. While maybe well intentioned, it’s a stupid restriction. Texting, like dancing, does not necessarily lead to sex. Cracking down on teachers and students texting each other will not eliminate teacher-student liaisons. After all, that kind of “extra-curricular” activity happened long before Web 2.0 — or for that matter, the Bell telephone system — became a reality. Some teachers — myself included — use instant messaging for far more boring reasons, like communicating with students about homework — hardly ideal foreplay. ...
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