How Not to Marry a Saudi National

A page warning women to think hard before marrying Saudi nationals was taken off the State Department Web site because Muslim lobbyists complained that it was discriminatory, writes blogger Anne Wilson.

In testimony before the House Government Reform Committee earlier this month, Middle East expert Daniel Pipes said the American Muslim Council issued a press release last year expressing satisfaction with changes made in the State Department's Islamic Family Law brochure.

The page, before the changes, urged women considering marriage to a Saudi national to "investigate the Kingdom and meet the Saudi in-laws before making a commitment to a culture antithetical to the one in which they were raised."

The State Department said it was monitoring at least 40 child custody cases and instances of extreme marital discord and abuse arising from such marriages.

The AMC called the statements "hurtful," "derogatory and biased against Muslims." 

But It's All Right for the Kids

An Iowa festival planning a bullfrog-jumping contest was forced to cancel the event after local animal rights activists complained that it was "inhumane and barbaric," reports the Cedar Rapids Gazette.

Nancy Hedges Wendler, director of the Freedom Festival in Cedar Rapids, had planned to buy six bullfrogs from an Idaho bullfrog farm, race them in wet grass then free them in private ponds in the area.

But Wendler pulled the plug on the event after local animal rights activist Audrey Rahn protested it at a City Council meeting.

The festival, on June 29, will instead use children in place of live frogs in the contest. 

PETA's Wrongs

A group of feminists are beseeching women everywhere to boycott PETA because the organization uses scantily clad women and "misogynist" themes in some of its campaigns against the use of fur.

Nikki Craft and the girls at No Status Quo say People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is "jacking up sexual stereotypes, male privilege and conservative politics" by treating women "like meat."

The group singles out PETA's "I'd rather go naked than wear fur" campaign, along with a recently produced ad in which a woman is beaten with a bat in the subway while her fur coat is stolen and a narrator asks, "What if you were killed for your coat?"

"It's long past time for true progressives — and I don't mean knee-jerk mouth pieces for the pornography industry — to boycott this organization and tell them in no uncertain terms that even when it's done under the umbrella of animal rights that it's not okay to treat women like meat," Craft writes.

The Whole Gamut, Indeed

A Berkeley, Calif., lawyer wants his fellow residents to savor only politically correct coffee by banning the brewing of all coffee not certified organic, shade-grown or Fair Trade, reports the Contra Costa Times.

If the measure is approved by voters, coffee shops and other places that fail to comply to the rules could face a misdemeanor penalty of six months in jail and a $100 fine, or both.

Young, who said he could find no other city with such a law on the books, collected about 3,000 signatures in support of his initiative. While gathering signatures, he said he got a taste of what folks thought of his idea.

"Some people shook my hand and said that it sounded like the greatest thing, while others told me that I was a [expletive] idiot who needed to get a life," he said. "It ran the whole gamut."

Selective Memory

The University of California, San Diego, has charged a student publication, The Koala, with "disruption" for taking photographs at a meeting of a radical Latino student group, the Movimiento Estudiantil de Chicanos de Aztlan (MEChA), reports the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

A satiric student publication that regularly criticizes and parodies public figures and events, The Koala is accused of disrupting a public MEChA meeting by sending two writers to it. The paper later published a critical parody of the organization.

"Administrators at this public institution, though bound by the Constitution, consider First Amendment rights to be nothing more than privileges granted at their own will and whim," said Alan Charles Kors, president of FIRE. "This is an unmistakable attempt to censor officially disfavored views."

In 1995, MEChA's own publication, Voz Fronteriza, published an editorial on the death of a Latino INS agent, calling him a traitor to his race who deserved to die and declaring that "all the migra pigs should be killed, every single one."

At the time, UCSD vigorously affirmed MEChA's right to express its opinions, however painful or offensive.

Just Past Our Lady of What's-Her-Name

Writing in the National Review, Jay Nordlinger reports that Seattle's Times and the Post-Intelligencer refuse, in their real-estate ads, to print the names of churches and religious schools because to do so might appear discriminatory.

Sentences such as, "Within walking distance of St. Jerome's Elementary," are verboten. Only generic names like 'the church' or 'the school' may be used. The rule applies only to organizations with a religious affiliation. It would be okay to refer to the 'Ginzu Sushi Palace,' but not the 'First Baptist Church' or 'St. John the Divine Middle School.'


Nancy C. writes:

I read your commentary about the Subaru rabbit release article. Apparently, your definition of being 'normal' is: "an insensitive person; one who promotes irresponsible, uncaring behavior." Therefore, I'm glad that I wouldn't be considered normal by someone like you.

Kim B. writes:

I'm not surprised that someone from Fox would have such a reaction to the noble action taken by Subaru. Fox, ironically named after an animal, consistently fails to cover animal rights topics and other related animal issues. Subaru realized that their ad simply continued to build the misconception that domestic animals are better off in the wild. Rather than endorse such irresponsible, careless and illegal activities, they pulled the ad.

Kelley S. writes:

I, too, was not pleased to see the Subaru commercial. While some may shrug it off and call us "bunny huggers" (I have two house rabbits), I wonder what their response would have been if the mother and daughter had released a puppy into the forest? Domestic rabbits have no more outdoor survival skills than do puppies.

MaryAnn B. writes:

I was actually quite disgusted by the Subaru commercial, but for different reasons than were complained about. Releasing non-indigenous wildlife or even wildlife that has been in captivity for a while is illegal in almost all states. You wouldn't show someone in a commercial shooting up drugs, so why glorify another illegal act and let people think it's acceptable, especially children?

Finally, Bunney L. writes:

You are a F---ING A--Hole.

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