A Canadian economist whose reference to sheiks and mullahs in an analysis of oil prices offended a Muslim group in Canada has been sentenced to sensitivity indoctrination in the wake of the scandal, reports Toronto's Globe and Mail.

Jeff Rubin of CIBC World Markets predicted in April that oil demand will continue to rise faster than supply because "this time around there won't be any tap that some appeased mullah or sheik can suddenly turn back on."

The Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations said the language promoted stereotypes of Muslims and Arabs, and demanded an apology from the bank which it promptly received along with promises that Rubin would be more sensitive going forward.

Boo-Hoo

A male nurse in Maine is suing a hospital where he used to work for sexual harassment because female staffers told him to shut up and made comments like "men are jerks," reports the Bangor News.

Daniel Lufkin claims the Eastern Main Medical Center violated the state's Human Rights Act by allowing the female nurses to treat him meanly. He is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

Lufkin worked as a registered nurse in the intensive care unit at the hospital from 1998 through 2004, and claims he was forced to endure insults along the lines of "men are idiots" and threatened with acts of physical humiliation and aggressiveness by co-workers.

'Postmodern Wanking'

An education official in Australia is wondering why kids as young as six are being indoctrinated into the postmodern political agenda via English literature lessons in state schools, according to the Australian.

The new education minister of Queensland, Rod Welford, vowed to rid the state English syllabus of its postmodern "mumbo jumbo."

The promise came after he was shown works along the lines of one student's, who received high marks for a feminist critique of the Rapunzel fairy tale.

"Even the title Rapunzel is not left without the gender assumption. For example, the story title Rapunzel is in fact the name of a vegetable, therefore reinforcing the gender roles of women as a vegetable, can be linked with cooking chores deemed to be a woman's profession," the student wrote.

Welford said he had no objection to senior students analyzing the agendas behind literature, but he said teachers should not "give undue emphasis to marginal theories" better left to universities.

A student cited by the Australian shared Welford's contempt for the current direction of educational standards.

"The English curriculum could do with a few more facts and a little less literary analytical postmodern wanking," the student said.

"Please disregard this if you think the syllabus is of any value to anyone."

Cum Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

London's Guardian assumes that because ethnic minority and union teachers do not do as well on performance tests administered by local school heads that it must be because of discrimination and racism.

Citing documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, the Guardian says head teachers failed about one in 20 teachers in 2004, a figure that rose to one in 10 among staff who were union officials.

Teachers from the Bangladeshi, black African communities and "Asian other" communities had the lowest success rate of any ethnic group in 2004 at around 80 percent, the paper says. This, compared with 90 percent among the Pakistani and Caribbean communities and 95.5 percent among "white British" teachers.

Greg Robbins, a secretary for the National Association of Schoolmasters and Women Teachers, said the numbers are proof that the performance tests are being used to bully and victimize certain groups.

"I would go as far as to say that some schools in some areas are racist and clearly discriminate against union activists," Robbins said.

The BBC's Britain vs. The Real Britain

The BBC is under fire for stacking the studio audience of a show about security in the aftermath of the London bombings with a disproportionate numbers of Muslims and people critical of the security services.

Dozens of viewers complained that the audience for "Questions of Security: A BBC News Special," did not reflect UK society as a whole.

"Why were the views and concerns of the victims of the bombings, as well as the wider public, commuters, etc., so downplayed?" one viewer wondered.

In response, BBC Head of Political Programmes Sue Inglish said it wanted to hear from "a variety of people from a range of communities."

She said the studio audience was made up of about 15 percent Muslims (compared to 2.7 percent in the country) and the rest Christian, Hindu, Sikh, African Caribbean, English, Irish, Kashmiri and Turkish.

Slow News Day in Pa.

Pennsylvania's Patriot News is sounding alarm bells about a carnival game called Freedom Bunker at state fairs this year that allows players to shoot paintballs at likenesses of Usama Bin Laden and generic terrorists.

"Is this good, clean, patriotic fun or a crude caricature that encourages violence against Muslims?" the paper asks.

The game's creators say the image of a man dressed in typical Middle Eastern garb is not intended to demean any ethnic group, but the Council on American Islamic Relations feels otherwise.

"When they see a figure that's very generic, that's sending a dangerous message that anyone of this skin type or that dress or that religion is a terrorist," says CAIR's Rabiah Ahmed.

No One Has a Sense of Humor Anymore

An Illinois restaurateur who kicked up a firestorm a few years back for referring to mixed-race people as "mutts" when he was on the local school board is now drawing complaints for using similar language to describe items on his menu, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Hecky Powell, owner of a BBQ restaurant, offended a bunch of parents when he used the term while asking an administrator to clarify how the district categorizes its mixed-race students.

Now that he has left the school board (he is "free at last," he says, further angering local activists, who say such language is reserved exclusively for those who struggled through the civil rights era), Powell has revived the mutts combo plate and added "mutt muffins," a corn muffin with collard and mustard greens in the batter, to his menu. Powell says he believes we are "basically all mutts."

Members of the Evanston Human Relations Commission say they have received a few complaints about the menu, but lament that there is little they can do to force him to change it.

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

Mailbox:

Dan B. in Boise writes:

To any of the far-lefties who think illegal immigration is the greatest thing since tortilla chips, let's look at the situation in an allegorical microcosm: Someone illegally breaks into your home because you have it better than they do and they want what you have. Never mind that you work at least 40 hours a week and pay your fair share of taxes. It's perfectly acceptable for this person to break into your home and expect you to feed them, clothe them, board them, and educate them — at your expense. How long would you put up with it? How many extra people sleeping in your bedroom and eating the fruit of your labor are enough? Is there a limit to how much illegality you'd put up with? What most "immigrants-right" folks forget is the word "illegal" ... as in, "ILLEGAL Immigrants." Think about it (and let the cognitive dissonance roll).

Paul B. writes:

I'm frequently amazed by people who feel threatened by a simple statement of fact. Lesbianism is a perversion by definition (a deviation from the norm). Apparently the administration of William Patterson University prefers to ignore the truth. Oh wait, I forgot an important concept. Lesbianism being a perversion may not be Ms. Scala's truth. This brings us to the real crux of the problem: there are absolute truths, but the liberals squatting in the halls of academia refuse to admit that they exist. Their silly little post-modernist minds are too busy being intolerant of intolerance. Their "reasoning" flies in the face of the very logic upon which higher education was originally founded. No wonder "higher" education finds itself in such dire straights!

Mathew W. writes:

The programmer in New Jersey that was offended by an email clearly just failed to use the correct PC buzzwords. What he should have done was to go to the HR department and tell them the e-mail has created an "uncomfortable work environment." Instead of asking the originator not to send him anymore e-mail like that he could have had them reprimanded by HR by taking the e-mail as "sexual harassment" and "religious intolerance." If he happens to be anything other than a White Christian it might even work.

Sarcasm aside, it's this kind of situation that shows the hypocrisy of the PC movement. If the programmer in question happened to be in a minority religious or ethnic group and was of a mind to whine to the higher-ups instead of to attempt to resolve the issue with the other party this story could be entirely reversed. It was probably in bad taste to put anything in his response that could be interpreted as "preachy," but he shouldn't be reprimanded for it any more than the sender of the original e-mail should be reprimanded for its content.

Matthew M. in Kansas writes:

Someone needs to tell the Muslims that come to this country that we have something call [sic] "Freedom of Speech" here. If a journalist wants to use the term jihad in any context, he has every right to do so, and there's not a damn thing they, or any politician, can do to stop it.

Maybe in their country they were bullied or tortured for using certain language, but here in America, we have that right. If they don't like it, they can always go back to where they came from.

Monte B. writes:

While the Washington Post left out vital information in their description of the individuals the police were seeking, supposedly to prevent profiling and the harassment of innocent black men, they apparently had no concern that their very vague description could cause many innocent individuals of other races to be targeted by the public. Lots of people in their late teens or early twenties likely drive newer-model tan or light-colored sedans. Apparently, only certain races are worthy of this type of politically correct protection.

Ted M. in Phoenix writes:

I had hoped that you would actually show some balance in your reporting of supposed "political correctness" gone awry, as FOX News claims to be "Fair and Balanced." I am guessing though, that you are not bound, as Brit Hume is not bound, to actually live up to this infamous trademark. It comes as no surprise then, that you could not show balance in your "news" gathering by neglecting to include the fact that numerous newspapers chose not to run several editions of Gary Trudeau's "Doonesbury" due to his use of President Bush's "affectionate" term for Karl Rove, "Turd Blossom." In fact, several newspapers ran the political comic strip, but chose to censor out the term. Maybe you can explain to this reader and all of your other readers as to why you chose to show such bias against reporting this case of "political correctness" gone awry.

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