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(Wall Street Journal)   And if you look to your right, you'll see the Liberty Bell. Betsy Ross rang this bell after George Washington defeated the Confederate Army   (online.wsj.com) divider line 107
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14267 clicks; posted to Main » on 30 Mar 2009 at 9:53 AM (5 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2009-03-30 08:22:57 AM
And, upon hearing the bell, Benedict Arnold woke up in his bed, snarled "nuts," and rode his horse from Boston to Washington, where the first of the Nazi Tyrannosaurs was just beginning to loom over the closest hill. They were in for a long fight.
 
2009-03-30 08:30:37 AM
OK, maybe the city are being douchebags for making tour guides
get licenses, but given Philly's image problems, the last thing
they need is some fundie group trying to play the "The USA was
founded on biblical principles" tune for some unsuspecting tourists.
 
2009-03-30 08:34:29 AM
This is perfect, actually. You're taking your grade school kids on a field trip. Tell them they need to take notes on whatever the guides say. Five points for each mistake they find, provided they can give the correction.

Kids love to prove adults wrong. It'd be a fun assignment, and teach both history and independent thinking.
 
2009-03-30 08:36:46 AM
namegoeshere: This is perfect, actually. You're taking your grade school kids on a field trip. Tell them they need to take notes on whatever the guides say. Five points for each mistake they find, provided they can give the correction.

Kids love to prove adults wrong. It'd be a fun assignment, and teach both history and independent thinking.


And they get bonus points if they correct the guide in a mocking, sing-song fashion.
 
2009-03-30 08:44:48 AM
A year ago, they made it illegal to talk about history for money in the city center without a license...A guide who wanted a license would have to know the answers to 65% of 150 questions about the city's historic sites.

In high school American History class, 65% is a D- grade. Basically an F. For Failure. Perhaps tour guides should indeed have a teaching license, of some sort.
 
2009-03-30 08:46:03 AM
Pocket Ninja: And they get bonus points if they correct the guide in a mocking, sing-song fashion.

Hell, I'd join in.
 
2009-03-30 09:00:08 AM
ninjakirby: Pocket Ninja: And they get bonus points if they correct the guide in a mocking, sing-song fashion.

Hell, I'd join in.


If they preface their correction with the Nelson "Ha Ha!" they get an immediate diploma.
 
2009-03-30 09:24:24 AM
This is the dumbest thing ever. Having to take a history test to be a tour guide is now a violation of free speech? What?
 
2009-03-30 09:39:54 AM
For those that didn't RTFA or having reading comprehension disabilities:

The proposal is not a limit on their speech, it's a limit on their right to give "history tours".

They can study, take the test, pass it and then spout whatever nonsense they want afterward.

Why are so many people in America so eager and proud to show off their stupidity and ignorance?
 
2009-03-30 09:43:37 AM
luxdsg: Why are so many people in America so eager and proud to show off their stupidity and ignorance?

No, *YOU'RE* a towel!
 
2009-03-30 09:45:13 AM
Wow, a whopping 65% of getting facts right is a violation of free speech. You know, I'm beginning to think we don't even deserve the Constitution anymore.

RON PAUL!
 
2009-03-30 09:57:02 AM
Tours suck anyways. You have to sit there and listen to them as if you didn't know 95% of what they were saying already. Just let me walk around damnit.
 
2009-03-30 09:58:32 AM
Pocket Ninja: And, upon hearing the bell, Benedict Arnold woke up in his bed, snarled "nuts," and rode his horse from Boston to Washington, where the first of the Nazi Tyrannosaurs was just beginning to loom over the closest hill. They were in for a long fight.

Luckily, Mansu Munsa showed on the "Mary Celeste" with gold for everyone, but then Chamberlain decided to declare 'Peace in Our Time', which left Ahknaten a little peeved, what with the moving the capital and all.
 
2009-03-30 09:58:35 AM
Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!
 
2009-03-30 09:58:41 AM
Getting this out of the way

pbfcomics.com
 
2009-03-30 09:58:58 AM
luxdsg: For those that didn't RTFA or having reading comprehension disabilities:

The proposal is not a limit on their speech, it's a limit on their right to give "history tours".

They can study, take the test, pass it and then spout whatever nonsense they want afterward.

Why are so many people in America so eager and proud to show off their stupidity and ignorance?


Intelligence leads to responsibility. Responsibility is work. Work leads to the dark side.
 
2009-03-30 10:01:05 AM
willdo.philadelphiaweekly.com

This is s statue of Benjamin Franklin, our 4th President
 
2009-03-30 10:01:05 AM
As someone that lives in an area heavily populated by horse and carriage tours in Philadelphia, I cannot tell you how many wildly different versions of the same stories I have heard.

In all fairness however, I would never expect these tour guides to be "experts" on history. They really are more like cabbies with horses.
 
2009-03-30 10:01:27 AM
GoSurfing: Tours suck anyways. You have to sit there and listen to them as if you didn't know 95% of what they were saying already. Just let me walk around damnit.

Are you really mad at the tours? Aren't you really mad at Mommy and Daddy for not realizing that you're, like, totally an adult and stuff, and should, ya know, be able to do whatever you want?
 
2009-03-30 10:01:33 AM
Pocket Ninja: And, upon hearing the bell, Benedict Arnold woke up in his bed, snarled "nuts," and rode his horse from Boston to Washington, where the first of the Nazi Tyrannosaurs was just beginning to loom over the closest hill. They were in for a long fight.

Ummm - I thought that Jeebus was on the Tyrannosaurs and that the Nazis rode invisible horses while the Hitler youth clacked coconuts behind them?

At least, that's what MY history teacher taught.
 
2009-03-30 10:02:31 AM
How come I don't hear any of the cretards in here saying:

blog.news-record.com
www.zenarchery.com
z.about.com
img.printfection.com
z.about.com
i732.photobucket.com

????
 
2009-03-30 10:03:01 AM
Museum educator in Philadelphia. Getting a kick. So on, so forth.

I understand the concerns about standardizing history to a specific narrative and how that can be manipulated to fit a certain hegemony and that, but you really should hear some of the things people come in saying. "Our tour guide told us!" Really, that John Hancock wrote the Constitution, and also that he was black? I see.
 
2009-03-30 10:03:13 AM
And to your left you'll see the spot where General Jesus Custer fought off the heathen, godless Indian savages on Society Hill before they converted to Christianity and found peace on poverty-stricken reservations.
 
2009-03-30 10:04:15 AM
Cheron: Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!

Germans?
 
2009-03-30 10:04:49 AM
foo monkey: Cheron: Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!

Germans?


Forget it, he's on a roll.
 
2009-03-30 10:05:30 AM
foo monkey: Cheron: Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!

Germans?


Just let him go - he's on a roll.
 
2009-03-30 10:05:44 AM
If the government keeps interfering with regulations on Small Business, these tour guides will take away their services, and then WHO will lead the tourists?
 
2009-03-30 10:07:34 AM
foo monkey: Germans?

What's the German word for "whoosh"?
 
2009-03-30 10:07:52 AM
eddyatwork: Wow, a whopping 65% of getting facts right is a violation of free speech. You know, I'm beginning to think we don't even deserve the Constitution anymore.

Actually, the government-imposed licensure requirements on someone talking about history is the claimed violation of free speech.
 
2009-03-30 10:09:36 AM
I think we need a Politicians' licensing system. Something where you have to take a test on basic Constitutional duties before you can become a federal representative.

Weed out the chaff who perpetuate falsehoods like the mistaken belief that "promote the general welfare" means the gov't does everything that could possibly be done.
 
2009-03-30 10:10:31 AM
Britney Spear's Speculum: How come I don't hear any of the cretards in here saying:

Probably because this has nothing to do with creationism.
 
2009-03-30 10:10:54 AM
luxdsg: For those that didn't RTFA or having reading comprehension disabilities:

The proposal is not a limit on their speech, it's a limit on their right to give "history tours".

They can study, take the test, pass it and then spout whatever nonsense they want afterward.

Why are so many people in America so eager and proud to show off their stupidity and ignorance?


Yep. I can't imagine how any lawsuit based on the idea that this limits "free speech" could possibly succeed. They aren't saying the tour guides can't say whatever the hell they want. They're just saying that they should at least demonstrate minimal knowledge before selling their knowledge to the public. I think that's perfectly reasonable under the justifications the city gave. It's just an economic, anti-swindler regulation.

For reference, here is info on a similar licensing requirement in Charleston SC. There you have to pass a 200 question written test with an 80% or above, and also pass an oral exam.
 
2009-03-30 10:11:57 AM
Maybe some of the more senior law-talking people around here have a better idea, but how would this not be similar to "commercial speech?" The only difference is that this is speech as a product (and about events that already happened in the past, not about current events), instead of as an advertisement for a product. If it's commercial speech, the government can regulate it to make sure it's not misleading. As long as the city allows anyone to take the test and doesn't use it as a way to put a quota on the number of tour guides allowed, I don't see how this could be a prelude to establishing a monopoly or oligopoly over tour guides.

And contra the Institute for Justice lawyer quoted in the case - and this is probably the first time I've ever disagreed with IJ on anything - people do rely on the information that tour guides tell them, and it forms part of their education just as much as what they learn in school. Doesn't the government have an interest in making sure citizens learn what pieces of history are known to be true, what pieces are based on rumor and legend, and what are complete B.S.?
 
2009-03-30 10:12:09 AM
Mrbogey: I think we need a Politicians' licensing system. Something where you have to take a test on basic Constitutional duties before you can become a federal representative.

I think that's actually on the agenda, right after a national Parental Licensing System.
 
2009-03-30 10:12:32 AM
static.tvguide.com

...and that's how the Liberty Bell was cracked.
 
2009-03-30 10:13:32 AM
This problem has a pretty simple solution:
Don't REQUIRE the certification for all tour guides, but instead require it for a city endorsement. Those are the "official" Philadelphia tour guides. They get the endorsement of the city and an official seal to wear on their shirt or to plaster on their trolleys or whatever.
 
2009-03-30 10:14:15 AM
As a History major, i'm getting a kick out of these replys.
 
2009-03-30 10:15:47 AM
Ooh, first amendment thread. Fun.

Ok, not really. I'm kind of pissed they only need to get a D on this test to pass.
 
2009-03-30 10:15:48 AM
hachijuhachi: This problem has a pretty simple solution:
Don't REQUIRE the certification for all tour guides, but instead require it for a city endorsement. Those are the "official" Philadelphia tour guides. They get the endorsement of the city and an official seal to wear on their shirt or to plaster on their trolleys or whatever.


I'd go further. Don't require certification, but make them display their test scores on their name tag.
 
2009-03-30 10:16:18 AM
rjs983: As a History major, i'm getting a kick out of these replys.

As a grammar nazi, I am getting a kick out of your English.
 
2009-03-30 10:16:39 AM
MasterThief: Maybe some of the more senior law-talking people around here have a better idea, but how would this not be similar to "commercial speech?" The only difference is that this is speech as a product (and about events that already happened in the past, not about current events), instead of as an advertisement for a product. If it's commercial speech, the government can regulate it to make sure it's not misleading. As long as the city allows anyone to take the test and doesn't use it as a way to put a quota on the number of tour guides allowed, I don't see how this could be a prelude to establishing a monopoly or oligopoly over tour guides.

And as mentioned above, it's not regulating their speech at all, unless there is more to the law than I can tell from the article. It's just regulating their activities to require a certain knowledge before they can sell their speech.
 
2009-03-30 10:17:56 AM
Mnemia: And as mentioned above, it's not regulating their speech at all, unless there is more to the law than I can tell from the article. It's just regulating their activities to require a certain knowledge before they can sell their speech.

How would this be any different than requiring the same "certification" of an author seeking to sell a history book?
 
2009-03-30 10:21:05 AM
alaric3: luxdsg: For those that didn't RTFA or having reading comprehension disabilities:

The proposal is not a limit on their speech, it's a limit on their right to give "history tours".

They can study, take the test, pass it and then spout whatever nonsense they want afterward.

Why are so many people in America so eager and proud to show off their stupidity and ignorance?

Intelligence leads to responsibility. Responsibility is work. Work leads to the dark side.


Knowledge is power; power corrupts -- study hard, be evil.
 
2009-03-30 10:21:40 AM
This is not an intentional troll, though some may take it that way. I've honestly never gotten the Liberty Bell. What does it stand for, exactly? Yeah I know its basic history and mythology. But really, it was a defective bell. It couldn't do what it was designed to do. It was a piece of junk. Yet, Revolutionary Army troops went to great effort to protect this thing when the Brits took Philly. The Brits probably would have melted it down into bullets. Why the hell didn't we do that? It would have made a hell of lot of bullets or perhaps a really nice cannon. You know, something useful. Instead we kept this crappy old bell and today it even has its own special glass house. Aargh.

Sorry, carry on.
 
2009-03-30 10:22:13 AM
kronicfeld: How would this be any different than requiring the same "certification" of an author seeking to sell a history book?

A history book is not exactly the same thing, in my opinion. A book is not inherently a piece of commercial speech, nor is it limited to the city. Someone giving guided tours for money is an economic activity that is within the city's regulatory scope. Since according to the article, the city was already licensing tour guides (which I think they have every right to do), they have an interest in not giving people the impression that the city endorses false versions of history or endorses ignorant swindlers selling tours.
 
2009-03-30 10:22:30 AM
img525.imageshack.us
 
2009-03-30 10:23:40 AM
Mnemia: A history book is not exactly the same thing, in my opinion. A book is not inherently a piece of commercial speech, nor is it limited to the city. Someone giving guided tours for money is an economic activity that is within the city's regulatory scope. Since according to the article, the city was already licensing tour guides (which I think they have every right to do), they have an interest in not giving people the impression that the city endorses false versions of history or endorses ignorant swindlers selling tours.

Selling a book is not "inherently...commercial"?
 
2009-03-30 10:26:30 AM
DjangoStonereaver: but given Philly's image problems, the last thing
they need is...


Is that really the last thing they need?

Really though, set up a licensing system for certification. Give them grades like they do for food inspection. Or get the biggest tour companies to create a standards council for stamped certification like the BBB.
 
2009-03-30 10:26:55 AM
Hello fellow American. This you should vote me. I leave power good. Thank you. Thank you. If you vote me I'm hot. What? Taxes they'll be lower son. The democratic vote for me is right thing to do Philadelphia. So do
 
2009-03-30 10:27:12 AM
kronicfeld: eddyatwork: Wow, a whopping 65% of getting facts right is a violation of free speech. You know, I'm beginning to think we don't even deserve the Constitution anymore.

Actually, the government-imposed licensure requirements on someone talking about history is the claimed violation of free speech.


Psychologists need to be licensed to speak in their profession. Does that analogy work? Probably not. But dammit, when I take a tour, I expect the guide to know what they are talking about!

I've taken a few tours in Boston -- they were great.
 
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