Below the Fold for Nov. 23

Talk About Touchy...

The government of North Korea (search) has lashed out at Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld (search), accusing the Pentagon chief of having, "put Hitler into the shade in man-killing and war hysteria."  It adds, "We can never pardon him for malignantly slandering our dignified and inviolable political system, whether he is a political dwarf, human scum or hysteric." 

The official press agency added that North Korea may have no choice but to engage in a life-or-death military struggle with the U.S.  Rumsfeld set off the diatribe by pointing out that North Korea spends about a third of its domestic product on military equipment, even though as many as a third of its citizens are malnourished or starving.

No Pilgrims and No Indians, Please

Here at home on the educational front, first-graders in Skokie, Illinois, were stunned this week by a decision by School Superintendent Pete Davis (search).  He has banned the wearing of Pilgrim and Indian costumes during the annual Thanksgiving celebration.  He declared both costumes culturally offensive after being informed by Indian activist groups that the costumes were culturally offensive.

Very New Math

Meanwhile, parents of eighth-graders at I.S. 192 (search) in the Throggs Neck section of the Bronx have just learned that their kids haven't had a math teacher all year.  As a result, the pupils have sharpened their minds by doing such things as watching Batman movies.  Says regional superintendent Laura Rodriguez (ph), "It's important to know that there's a math teacher shortage across the city.  As a matter of fact, it's a challenge across the nation."

An Apology

Finally, a couple of weeks ago we chided Senator John McCain (search) for sponsoring a military construction project that violated the so-called McCain rules against pork-barrel spending.  Well, the story, just flat false.  Our source for the story has disowned it, and so will we.  And I apologize to Senator McCain for the slight.