Friday, March 14, 2008

You're Kidding Right? You Can't Be That Dumb Can You?!?!?!

Having lived over 50 years, I shouldn't be surprised by some of the stupid and down right moronic action of our Gov't. But his one really does surprise me:

Mexican truck drivers are required to be able to speak rudimentary English if they are to be qualified to drive in the US. But our Gov't gives them an English and passes them if they speak Spanish!
Mexican truck drivers allowed to travel throughout the U.S. under a Bush administration demonstration project may not be proficient in English, despite Department of Transportation assurances to the contrary.

A brochure on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's website instructs Mexican truck drivers, "Did you know … You MUST be able to read and speak English to drive trucks in the United States."

Still, at the Senate Commerce Committee oversight hearing Tuesday, Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters and DOT Inspector General Calvin L. Scovel III reluctantly admitted under intense questioning from Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., that Mexican drivers were being designated at the border as "proficient in English" even though they could explain U.S. traffic signs only in Spanish.


"Does the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration test for English proficiency at the border include questions about U.S. highway signs?" Dorgan asked.

"Yes," Scovel replied. "The FMCSA English proficiency test at the border did not originally include U.S. highway signs, but now it does."

"Do you show a driver an octagonal 'STOP' sign at the border and qualify him if he explains the sign means 'ALTO'?" an incredulous Dorgan pressed.

"Alto" is the Spanish word for "Stop."

"Yes," Scovel answered reluctantly. "If the stop sign is identified as 'alto,' the driver is considered English proficient."

Dorgan drew the obvious conclusion, "In other words the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is allowing Mexican drivers in the demonstration project to prove their proficiency in English by responding to the examiner's questions in Spanish"

Peters responded, "U.S. highway signs comply with international standards. I drive frequently in Mexico and I always recognize the octagonal 'ALTO' signs as 'STOP' signs."

Dorgan interrupted.

"Excuse me, Madame Secretary," he interjected. "The question is not whether you understand Mexican highway signs when driving in Mexico but whether Mexican drivers entering the U.S. in your demonstration project can pass an English proficiency test by answering questions totally in Spanish."

What can I say? Other than I hope the exams for federal jobs aren't this bad.

Mr Minority

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