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Protesting Piglet, Giving God the Hook

Turkey's public television network has barred Winnie the Pooh cartoons from its airwaves lest local Muslims be offended by the site of one of Pooh's friends, Piglet, according to a report from Reuters.

The TRT network, controlled by Turkey's Islamist-rooted government, also banned several other cartoons because they feature images of dirty piggies.

The station initially tried to edit out the pink menace, but he was said to have appeared in too many scenes.

The G-Word

A Nevada high schooler who tried to use the G-word during her valedictorian speech had her microphone cut by school officials worried about what they said was possible proselytizing during a school sponsored event, reports the Associated Press.

Officials from the Clark County school district cut off Foothill High School valedictorian Brittany McComb as soon as she began deviating from a pre-approved speech and reading from a version that mentioned God and made references to the Bible.

The local branch of the ACLU said the school did the right thing, but some of the 400 people attending the event disagreed and jeered when the ceremony went silent. McComb herself said it was a free speech issue.

"I went through four years of school at Foothill and they taught me logic and they taught me freedom of speech," she said. "God's the biggest part of my life. Just like other valedictorians thank their parents, I wanted to thank my Lord and savior."

Cow-a-Bunga!

A local zoning board member in South Florida is being asked to resign her position because she faxed a cartoon depicting a local American Indian leader as "a drum-beating, half-naked barbarian" to a friend, reports the Sun-Sentinel.

Karen Stenzel-Nowicki of the Davie, Fla. Planning and Zoning Board faxed the cartoon from her own machine on her own time, but some of her colleagues on the board say that, as a public figure, she shouldn't be allowed to do such things.

Stenzel-Nowicki has been active for several months in a campaign against noise from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The cartoon in question depicts the local Seminole leader, Max Osceola, in a canoe with a local councilwoman and supporter of his. It reads: "Cow-a-bunga, Judy!!! Looks like the green buffer is gone. Can ya hear the 'bass drum,' Karen?"

The image was described as racist.

Monkey Business

The mother of a primary school student in the United Kingdom is calling her local school culturally insensitive because it cast the boy, who is of African descent, in the role of a monkey for a school play, reports the Press Association.

Lorraine Rees say the Ashley Down Infant School in Bristol acted in a racist manner by asking her son Myles to perform the role in a production of The Enchanted Island. Myles had wanted to play a hunter in the production.

"I think what the school have done is definitely racist and should never have been allowed to happen in the first place," she said. "It is just not acceptable. There is no way that black pupils should even be asked to play monkeys in any type of play."

Three other students, all of them white, are set to play monkeys in the play.

Can't Win for Trying

French President Jacques Chirac's proudest legacy to his nation, a museum of "non-Western art," is being ridiculed as a patronizing collection that perpetuates colonialist stereotypes, according to a report in the UK's Guardian.

The Musée du Quai Branly was to be called a museum of primitive art when the project was launched 11 years ago, but critics said the term was demeaning to artists from Africa, Asia, Oceania and Latin America. Even with the name change, however, the facility is coming under fire for its jungle theme and for "ghettoising" non-European art.

Chirac has promised that the museum would inspire peace and tolerance around the world.

For more doses of politically correct nuttiness, head over to the Tongue Tied Daily Edition.

Mailbag:

Donna K. in Guam writes:

If "Facing the Giants" deserves a PG rating, the MPAA better do some backtracking and start rerating all the controversial old movies that have religious themes. Movies like "It's a Wonderful Life" with Jimmy Stewart featuring an angel and a praying man of all things. Better get a Parental Discretion Advised notice displayed on the television when that one shows at Winter Holiday time.

Lou in San Diego writes:

It never ceases to amaze me how some people are so deeply committed to stupidity! The PG rating for a movie that does not curse or show nudity but does have a positive message seems to confuse those Hollywood clowns! At this rate in 10 years, the country will be at a complete standstill for fear of offending someone!

What utter nonsense! Soon, all religious symbols will be forced off places of worship because some nitwit will find it or them offensive and the ACLU will come galloping to the rescue! The true revenge for the producers of "Facing the Giants" will be an overwhelming success at the box office in the same fashion as Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ."

Carmen R. in Coral Gables writes:

Regarding "Vamos a Cuba": This book has not been removed from Dade County schools because "Cubans (in Miami) don't like it," as you quote The Miami Herald, but because the information it contains is not accurate and is seriously misleading.

Luis in Miami writes:

(Vamos a Cuba) was removed from elementary schools in Miami-Dade county by majority vote of the School Board which included persons who are not Cuban Americans. It's not that these people did not like the way it portrayed Cuba, it had inaccuracies and falsehoods which tried to imply that life for children under the longest military, communist dictatorship in the world is about the same as for American kids.

Libraries of elementary schools should not have political opinions or political messages, just facts and proven knowledge. Most school boards have committees to review the books they buy, just like Miami-Dade.

This one fell through the cracks in the initial review. This was the correction of a mistake.

Therefore, the way you portray this news item is inaccurate.

Claire M. in Miami writes:

Again, the portrayal of Cuban-Americans in your story is "unsavory." Instead of respecting the best educated and most successful group of immigrants (circa 1960's) to this country, we are still being portrayed as "loud-mouthed, anything anti-Castro, hot-heads."

The fact is that should the book portray the "truth" about Cuba, it would not be opposed. However, we know that the writer is not being honest about the standard of life in today's Cuba, what is now my poor, miserable country, as compared to the standard of life in 1958-59 Cuba. It does not state why the Cuban people have been fleeing the island for 47 years, nor the lack of basic freedom and human dignity.

Furthermore, we are very aware of the leftist turn education is taking in this country, of the leftist agenda of a lot of educators, and this book is reeking of this agenda. At home, we tell our children the truth about why we came from Cuba and in school they are telling them the opposite. This is quite confusing for the children, who's telling the truth?

This is an insult to tax-paying, law abiding Cuban-Americans. Because we know who we are, why we are here and our laws and rights, we protest this left wing agenda. It's time we got a little more respect and consideration from the press.

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