An Ottawa police detective who gives sexual harassment sensitivity training to taxi drivers was accused of being insensitive herself for suggesting that some cultures don't treat women with the respect they warrant, according to the Ottawa Citizen.

Det. Theresa Kelm is charged with explaining to drivers what constitutes acceptable behavior toward women in Canada (search) and what types of actions or remarks cross the line into harassment or assault.

"Some of this behavior may be acceptable in the countries they are from," Det. Kelm told an interviewer. "Our message to them is that it's not acceptable here, and it won't be tolerated."

The comment was made in a story about a cab driver who was convicted of sexually assaulting a female passenger, the third case of its kind in the Ottawa area in the past year.

Yousef Al Mezel (search), president of the union that represents Ottawa taxi drivers, called the comment racist because it implied that Canadian culture was superior to that of other countries in terms of its attitude toward women.

A police spokeswoman said the idea that in some countries disrespect of women is acceptable "does not reflect the views of the Ottawa Police Service."

Culturally Insensitive Warriors

The California National Guard (search) is catching all kinds of hell for a couple of fliers hanging in some office worker's cubicle that Islamic leaders and "peace groups" say are culturally insensitive and offensive, according to The Associated Press.

Of particular concern was a note about World War I Gen. John J. Pershing's talk about dipping bullets in pig's blood to deny Muslims entry to heaven. "Maybe it is time for this segment of history to repeat itself, maybe in Iraq?" the flier stated.

The flier and two others — one showing the wings and tail of a bomber forming a peace sign with the slogan, "Peace the old fashioned way" and another with a Red Crescent ambulance stuffed with weapons and a caricature of Yasser Arafat unloading the weapons — was hanging outside a cubicle in the Guard's Civil Support Division in Sacramento.

The peace groups touring the complex were so flabbergasted they filmed the fliers and then took the evidence to the San Jose Mercury News.

"Muslims are not our enemies,'' said Ruth Robertson, a member of Raging Grannies who saw the flyer. "It's troubling to see a governmental organization dedicated to the security of our country promoting culturally and religiously insensitive ideas," said William Youmans, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Santa Clara.

Still?

A New York City mayoral candidate has apologized for using the term "paddy wagon" during a television interview, according to NY1.

Democratic candidate C. Virginia Fields used the term to describe police vans that rounded up people during a civil rights march in 1963. She later released a statement saying: "Obviously she did not mean to offend anyone. If she did, she is very sorry."

Apparently, there are still some people out there who consider the term offensive.

Parade Problems

A man who marched in a Fourth of July parade dressed to look like Usama bin Laden in a turban and tan robe and with his hands tethered together with a dog leash prompted screeches of racism from some in the crowd, according to the Post-Tribune.

The character was part of the Supporters of the Military's float at the parade in Chesterton, Ind., last week. Since the character was not labeled, opponents of the display said they feared it could have been interpreted as an unfair stereotype of an Arab man.

"Maybe they didn't mean anything racist, but if I saw that coming down the street, I would have been offended," said one onlooker.

Sometimes It's Just Not Amusing

A British schoolmaster who publicly challenged the multi-culti's moral and cultural relativism 20 years ago found himself hounded out of office by people who accused him of being a racist, London's Daily Telegraph reminds us — a week after some 54 people were slaughtered in London.

Ray Honeyford, a headmaster in the area from which the four bombers emerged, was "one of the first and most significant critics to challenge publicly multiculturalism's central tenet that all cultures in Britain are equally valid and no single tradition should be dominant."

Writing in the right-wing Salisbury Review in the early 1980s, Honeyford criticized the local council's policy of educating ethnic minority children according to their own culture, predicting that the move would create divisions between white and Asian communities.

For his prescience, Honeyford was forced out of his job in the mid-1980s after being told his attitudes were racist and that his insistence on integrating Asian children into the broader British culture was "dangerous and damaging."

For more doses of politically correct nuttiness, head on over to the TongueTied daily edition.

Mailbag:

Todd writes:

Even if the person commenting on the woman's dress and expressing concern was interested in that lady romantically, is such a tasteful approach now to be considered harassment? Courtesy and mild compliments are now taboo. Thank God I'm not single. I guess the only place one will be able to politely ask some one to dinner or compliment them is in bars/clubs, where I, personally, don't care to frequent.

Michael W. writes:

Don't tell the activists from PETA that in county and state fairs throughout the Midwest, one can buy freshly grilled burgers and ribs right outside the cattle show. In fact, its not unheard of for people to be sitting in the stands eating said food while watching the event.

Kevin F. writes:

Let me see....A student ignores the specifics of an English assignment—not once, but 41 times. The student receives a failing grade for that assignment, and this is a PC issue? Do you mean to suggest that any student who invokes "God" in a paper — no matter the parameters of the assignment — should receive an automatic pass? If so, that should make college a lot easier. If you can't answer a math question, just write "God" below the problem. Having trouble with science? Demand your own version of events be accepted. And of course, if things don't go your way, claim "anti-Christian," bias.

Tom P. writes:

I'd just like to say to PETA that there is nothing wrong with serving fish at an aquarium. If you're going to get an education about the science of this animal, what the heck, you should get a education with how it tastes, too. Also, if the fish were that smart they would not have ended up on that plate in the first place.

Carson S. writes:

I don't know about the relative intelligence of fish and dogs, but I could be easily convinced that the cognitive abilities of fish and dogs surpass those of PETA activists. When PETA is able to prevent animals from eating other animals, I will stop eating animals.

Jim K. writes:

It would appear that if these new comers to Scottish society are offended then they should be reminded that the manner of transportation they arrived on also goes in the other direction. Why should they expect the native (Scottish) culture to change to accomodate them? It should be the other way around.

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