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Yellow Ribbons, Sexual Harassment, Harry Potter

A DJ at a public radio station in Ypsilanti, Mich., was fired for expressing on air his negative opinions about National Public Radio news and for supporting the war in Iraq, reports The Detroit News.

WEMU-FM host Terry Hughes, known on the air as "Thayrone," was fired from the Eastern Michigan University station for mixing personal opinion in with his weekly diet of vintage R&B and soul music.

On his show, among other things, Hughes said the station's fund-raiser had been postponed "because [Bush] has the [guts] to get up to do the right thing after 18 attempts to get everybody to help. ..."

He also complained to his listeners about NPR news. "We know if you want a current assessment of what's going on, you're sure not listening to us," he said on last week's show.

"You'll be over at Fox TV where they're not bending the news. ... It ain't happening on NPR."

Humorless in San Francisco

Talk show host Jay Leno is catching flak from transgender activists for a joke he made that they say objectifies and dehumanizes them, reports PlanetOut.com.

Leno noted in his monologue Tuesday night that a transsexual was recently honored as Woman of the Year in California. He said the California Assembly "awarded a man who had a sex change as its Woman of the Year. When 'he' accepted the award, 'he' said there was a part of 'him' that didn't want to accept it ... but that's gone now."

Vanessa Edwards Foster, director of the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition, said Leno's remarks "took an historic recognition for a transgender community leader and summarily diminished it with insensitive humor.

"In a country where no positive accomplishments of transgender people are ever reported it's curious that belittling humor of these same people is openly welcomed," she said.

Ribbon Ruckus

Retailers in Burlingame, Calif., who put yellow ribbons on lampposts through town to show support for the troops in Iraq are being told that the ribbons are offensive and should be taken down, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

The complaints come from Palo Alto, Calif., resident Seth Yatovitz, who says the war is illegal and the troops over there are criminals.

"I find the yellow ribbons on city property offensive to my senses, as they are posted in support of violators of international law. I do support our troops that are not involved in illegal activity," Yatovitz wrote to the Burlingame City Council in an e-mail.

Yatovitz said if they are not removed he will begin a "Boycott Burlingame" campaign and consider a lawsuit.

Flabbergasted city officials have not decided how to respond just yet.

Sexual Harassment 101

School officials in El Paso, Texas, suspended a 12-year-old boy for sticking his tongue out at a female classmate when she declined his invitation to be his girlfriend, reports the El Paso Times.

School officials said the gesture amounted to sexual harassment and are considering placing Sal Santana II, a student at old Magoffin Middle School, in an alternative school.

"The teacher said he stuck his tongue out and moved it back and forth and waved at her like you were patting someone on the back and that that constitutes sexual harassment," said the boy's father, Salvador Santana. "She said the girl was upset and scared."

Marketplace of Ideas

The dean of Texas A&M University's College of Education says Christians on her faculty who object to a policy statement requiring them to "celebrate and promote" all forms of diversity including homosexuality are being pompous and arrogant, reports the Battalion.

The dean, Jane Conoley, instituted a new policy stating that everyone in the department "celebrates and cherishes GLBT [gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered] people" and grants homosexuals on the faculty "special access to protection and support." She wanted professors in the department to approve a faculty resolution with similar language.

But several Christian professors balked, saying they should not have to "celebrate and promote" a lifestyle they believe is immoral. The dissenters made their objections known in a letter to the dean.

Some faculty on Conoley's side of the debate accused the signatories of the letter of bigotry and urged the dean to fire them. Conoley refused, but called the letter "rather pompous and arrogant."

Annoying Cops

The chief of police of -- where else? -- San Francisco has forbidden cops from wearing American flags when policing anti-war protesters because the colors make anti-war demonstrators uncomfortable, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

Acting Police Chief Alex Fagan issued the edict after seeing officers wearing American flag bandannas while watching over anti-war protesters.

Bonnie Weinstein, co-founder of Bay Area United Against War, said flag-wearing cops "might seem like kind of a threat, like they're saying 'You know what side I'm on.'"

"It's inflammatory, and it's obviously meant to annoy people," she added.

Harry Houha

Some church groups near New Haven, Conn., have asked the school board there to ban the Harry Potter novels from reading lists and school libraries because they promote witchcraft and wizardry, reports the New Haven Register.

Antonio Rivera, who claims to represent several "reformed Protestant" churches in the Fair Haven area, called the Potter books "satanical" and said they encourage children to dabble in potions and spells, counter to Christian teachings.

J.K. Rowling's books are not the first to spark controversy in the school system. In 1995, Superintendent of Schools Reginald Mayo pulled Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn from the eighth-grade curriculum at West Hills Middle School after African-American parents and students complained it promoted racism.

Can't wait until next Monday for more snippets of politically correct nonsense? Head over to the daily edition of Tongue Tied at the Tongue Tied Web site.

Mailbag:

Capt. Michelle Y. writes:

Hello, I've got a comment about the professor at Columbia University who is calling for a massacre of American troops in Iraq.

I am in the military and am currently deployed to the Middle East. The reason Professor De Genova is able to express his opinions publicly is because the military who has fought and died for him to have that right. He should see what would happen to an Iraqi if they said that they wished there would be a massacre of Iraqi troops -- his tongue would be cut out at a minimum.

Professor De Genova does not have to support the administration's views on the war (that's what's so great about being an American), but as a courtesy to the men and women who are risking their lives, he should not take advantage of his position as a professor to express such opinions and Columbia University should be embarrassed by his actions.

Andy W. writes:

While I'm rather conservative and pro-war, the excerpt labeled "Wishing for 'a Million Mogadishus'" is clearly an example of someone exercising their right to free speech in a place where the audience is prepared to draw their own conclusions. It is not clear to me why it was listed in the column.

Ashley T. in Charlottsville, Va., writes:

I'm all for free speech, but Mr. Nicholas De Genova at Columbia University took things a bit too far. To wish for (even applaud and encourage) American soldier's death is deplorable. You don't have to agree with our government, but at least make the best of the situation that we are in. The least number of lives lost (American, British AND Iraqi), the better.

Michael W. writes:

I want my tax money to stop going to these two-bit universities because what they do with it hurts my feelings.

James M. in Greenville, N.C., writes:

It is a shame and a disgrace that, as a college student in America, I am expected to take the views of the liberal mafia that runs academic institutions. The professor at Columbia would think quite differently if his son or daughter were in the military. And if the rest of the administration of Columbia agrees with this idiot maybe they should go to Iraq and fight with the Iraqis. If you don't like what the United States is trying to do for the World maybe you should move to Canada.

Colleen S. writes:

If Columbia University had a professor who was morally opposed to homosexuality, and he called for "one million Matthew Shepards," they'd fire him before the news hit the wires.

Tim S. in Haverhill, Mass., writes:

Why is not considered politically correct to display the American flag? I think the American flag represents the anti-war protesters just as much as it does the American soldiers and government. Even though I disagree with the anti-war protesters, I still support them. I don't support the protesters who break the law to express their opinions. Any unlawful coercion of public opinion is terrorism, not the exercise of free speech.

Geoff D. in Ireland writes:

Your news network is sh*t, your president is stupid, your empire will soon be no more. Victory to the Iraqi resistance.

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