Some parents in Oregon are trying to prevent officials from flying the American flag at a school district-funded learning center because they say the flag doesn’t represent freedom anymore, reports The Associated Press.

A 13-year-old student who attempted to get officials at the Willow Wind Community Learning Center in Ashland, Ore., to fly the flag was told it wasn’t going to happen because some students might be offended. The center is funded by the local school district and supports home-schooled students in the area.

One of those who would be offended is Tracy Bungay, who said, “I want to raise my children to be citizens of the world, and the flag does not represent ideals I want to instill … It represents dominance, greed, corporate power and not freedom."

Willow Wind officials may not have a choice, though. State law requires that the flag be flown at all schools.

Great Moments in Jurisprudence

Lawyers for a man convicted of possessing a machine gun claim his trial was unfair because the judge and jurors recited the Pledge of Allegiance in court, reports the Denver Post.

In an appeal, the public defender for Frank Wonschik said the jurors' recitation of the pledge only five months after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, constituted a violation of his right to a fair trial by an impartial jury.

The lawyer said it was wrong for jurors to have pledged themselves to one of the parties in the trial -- the U.S. government.

Taking Heat

The manager of the Chicago Cubs is taking heat for saying that black and Latino players are better suited to play in the heat of summer than their white counterparts, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Speaking to reporters who were talking about the heat, Dusty Baker was reported to have said, “That's why my ancestors were brought over here, for this heat.”

Some observers labeled the comments racist, but Baker said he stands by them.

"It sounds to me like a lot of people don't know history,” he said. “If they take it as reverse racism ... they can take it however they want. I stand by what I said."

For the Kids' Sake

Residents in Marin County, Calif., are pressing the school district there to rename an elementary school with the word “Dixie” in its name because it has nasty connotations, reports the Marin Independent Journal.

The superintendent of the local district was recently presented with a petition signed by 23 residents who want Dixie School District renamed Miller Creek Elementary School District.

The word, its opponents claim, is too evocative of a “dark period” in American history. It also conjures up images of slavery and memorializes the battle cry of the Confederacy during the Civil War.

Skirt Trouble

A member of an Illinois school board was forced to apologize after commenting during a meeting on the length of women’s skirts -- a comment said to constitute sexual harassment, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Timothy Knudsen was accused of telling speakers during a meeting of the Niles Township school board’s Finance Committee, "to keep your comments like a woman's skirt: long enough to cover the subject, but brief enough to keep me interested."

Fellow board member Lynda Gault Smith called the comments “humiliating."

“They were degrading. And they could, in my mind, constitute a hostile work environment, and, most definitely, sexual harassment," she said.

Living High on the Hog?

Some residents of Long Island, N.Y., are apparently angry that an annual pig racing event there will go on as planned, reports News 12.

The residents of Northport say they are offended by the races because people are making money off the animals and the piggies are forced to endure an “unnatural setting” for the duration.

In defense of the event, part of the annual Northport Fireman’s Fair, the fire commissioner says the pigs are bathed three times a day, eat regularly and visited often by a veterinarian.

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:

Alan H. in Reno, Nev., writes:

I happen to be a fan of the Charlie Chan movies. I was looking forward to spending a lot of time viewing Charlie at work once again. But based on Fox Movie Channel's decision, I think I would like to point out similarly biased movies -- like all the Westerns that used 'white' men as Indians. Most of the costuming was wrong for the period, wrong for the tribe being portrayed, or flat out made up.

Also, being Native American myself, I would like to see all movies that portray the Native American as a violent savage also banned. They were patriots fighting an implacable foe. This would include Dances with Wolves, Last of the Mohicans , and many, many other classic movies.

Don't forget to ban all those westerns with 'Indians' in them.

John in Tampa, Fla., writes:

I like Tongue-Tied, but I don't understand why so many write-in readers consider PC a strictly leftist or liberal character trait.

My views are left of center, and I constantly see conservatives scrapping any mention or open debate of sex, drugs, art, or the pursuit of risks often deemed "immoral" by the religious right.

Liberals more often than not support the moderated pursuit of such risky things as an open and honest debate about things; after all, the human race has been experimenting with them for thousands of years. Conservatives seem to think such things are dangerous to our society's stability.

Being PC, though a bit over the top right now as you guys continuously show us, has its roots in the quest for equality and sympathy for those races and people who are not as well-off as your average white male. The suppression of man's desire to be more than a tax check to the government by stopping the pursuit of potentially dangerous and wondrous aspects of life, or simply because these pursuits don't provide immediate financial profit, is much more dangerous. I'll take an offended Asian American over a repeat of Kent State or the NEA losing funding any day.

R. Howard in Tacoma, Wash., writes:

How bizarre that schools in Michigan won't allow images of space aliens "because they might imply the possibility of evolution."

It's been my experience that scientists dismiss reports of space aliens because the concept that someone could live on the other side of the galaxy but still develop the two-arms-two-legs-and-a-head humanoid model flies in the face of evolution and natural selection. Such a similarity of life forms developing with a gulf of a million light-years between them points to intelligent design not random accident.

Ty W. in Warroad, Minn., writes:

I find it intriguing that so many people have so much time to sit around and criticize everybody else’s opinions. When you have nothing better to do than sit around and complain that “I didn’t get as big a tax break as he did” or “Lucy Liu’s dad in the new movie is too white” or “You can’t show a cow’s udder, that’s too sexual” you have too much time on your hands or you need to be drug tested.

Let’s face it, if you really think a cow’s udder is too sexual, you have some deep underlying sexual problems of your own and need to take some time and address them.

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