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12/3/12 Tips for Teachers

December 3, 2012
Plain English Version

New Mexican President Calls on U.S. President

Traditionally, a new president will call on the president of a neighboring country.

Enrique Peña Nieto, newly elected Mexican President came to see President Obama. Sometimes these are called “courtesy” calls to establish a relationship between two people who may never have met one another.

Two important purposes are served: first, when there are real pressing issuing issues, such as there are between Mexico and the United States, the newly elected official must define his or her position – and find out if the agenda is close to what the U.S. wants.

Second, chemistry is established, do they like and trust one another? Finally, their staffs are also meeting their counterparts.

In this story President Peña Nieto told President Obama what his agenda was. What were some of the items on his agenda?

Did the U.S. President indicate his position or respond in any way?

Is there something wrong with this story when we do not know what President said?

Plan For Representing Undocumented Facing Deportation

This story shows one of the ways the United States works. States like Arizona, Alabama and Louisiana have state laws that are meant to bring immigration under control by subjecting the undocumented to police surveillance.

States like New York, California and Illinois want to provide a secure status for the undocumented (except criminals) and see that they get what they are entitled to.

Having a lawyer represent you at a judicial hearing is a right most of us enjoy. But this is not the case for undocumented residents.

A group in New York is trying to get funding for a program that will provide lawyers for people facing deportation.

What are two qualifications to be in the program? [Hint: low income and in detention].

Why do the New York lawyers think this program is important?

Contraception Urged for Younger Teen Girls

Is knowledge power or is it permission to act? If younger than 17-year-old girls can walk into a drug store and buy a pill that prevents pregnancy does it means girls will become more promiscuous or more aware of the importance how to behave responsibly.

Finally, is it the real intent of society to prevent pregnancy to protect the girls or to save society the cost of raising children who come from homes with little money and chance for success?

All these questions are raised in this story. Of course, the answers depend on your respect for the science and the evidence, and on your values as a young woman or parent.

In general we know that when we clamp down on certain behaviors we do not like we drive them underground. When we permit them, there is usually more activity of the kind we may not like, but at least we can see it, regulate it if necessary, and educate.

This story raises all these questions.


Best Time to Buy Holiday Gifts

Holiday shopping seems to get crazier every year. We all know about “Black Friday.”

This article presents tips on how to get the lowest price on the items you want to buy. It looks like aggressive behavior will outpace patience.

The story makes the point that not all holiday seasons are alike and that there are regional differences in what products are selling.

National advertising might make it seem like there is only sneaker that must be bought or one tablet that is essential. That is their job. As shoppers how do you go about choosing what you or a family member must have? Do you have a budget? Do you stay with it?

Good luck on your holiday shopping!

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