Tongue Tied

After 25 years in the sociology department at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, Richard Zeller has retired in protest.

His beef? The department wouldn't let him teach a course on political correctness with a reading list including books like Two Steps Ahead of the Thought Police, A Nation of Victims and Civil Wrongs: What Went Wrong With Affirmative Action. Columnist Larry Elder reports that Zeller's colleagues in the department said, "nyet." And so did those in other departments. Kathleen Dixon, the director of the women's studies department, told a local newspaper "We forbid any course that says we restrict free speech." 

So Who Can You Trust? 

Treasurer Rita Cline of Shawnee County, Kan., shrank the word "God," but the American Civil Liberties Union is still not happy. When the treasurer put up an 11- by 14-inch sign in her office proclaiming, "In God We Trust," the ACLU sued in U.S. District Court. The message went beyond the national motto because the word "God" was printed in red letters bigger than the letters of the rest of the phrase, the ACLU said. The new sign is 16 by 20 inches, includes the bald eagle image from the $1 bill and uses uniform lettering similar to that on U.S. currency. Still no go. 

Sounds Half-Baked to Us 

Mr. Potato Head is not welcome in Rhode Island, at least not the version created by artist Kathy Szarko. Dozens of the six-foot, fiberglass spuds dotted the state until last week, part of a promotional campaign by the state's Economic Development Authority. The dark brown "Tourist Tater" was supposed to appear tanned and rested in a Hawaiian shirt, but was instead called racist. Szarko said she meant no harm. "He's a potato. That's why he's brown," she said.

No Stars and Bars for Confederate War Dead 

Patrick Griffin III wants to fly the Confederate flag over the graves of the 3,300 soldiers buried at Point Lookout Confederate Cemetery in Maryland. But the Department of Veterans Affairs, which owns the cemetery, has blocked the request. Griffin, a member of the Point Lookout Prisoner of War Descendants Association, sued, of course, saying the VA is violating his rights of free speech. "I find it highly offensive that I could be arrested, fined and incarcerated for displaying a Confederate flag in a Confederate cemetery," he told the The Daily Record

Help Wanted: One P.C. Mascot 

The student council at San Diego State University voted last week to retire the school's Aztec logo and mascot because, after 75 years of use, it's now offensive. The measure now goes to the University Senate, then on to President Stephen Weber, who has the final word. Some 91 percent of the 572 students who voted in an online poll by the school's student newspaper, The Daily Aztec, said they wanted to keep the mascot. But never mind. 

The Blind and the Beautiful 

A strip club in East Sussex, in England, wants to start letting blind customers touch the performers. The current policy, it says, discriminates against the blind. Kenneth McGrath, director of the Pussycats club, said it would give the patrons a better idea of what the dancers look like. A spokesman for the local council that issued the license told the Daily Telegraph that it would consider the application.