The J-Word, Banning Superheroes, Welcoming Lice

The mayor of Crystal River, Fla., is under the gun for using the J-word during prayers that he says at the top and bottom of city council meetings, reports BayNews Nine.

Mayor Ron Kitchen ends his invocations with the phrase, "... in Jesus' name."

He says some folks in town and on the council are offended by his use of the name. The city attorney has warned Kitchen that he may be leaving the city vulnerable to a lawsuit if he persists.


Students in England will no longer "fail" national standardized tests under new guidelines issued by the government, reports the Lincolnshire Echo.

They will instead get an "N" grade for "nearly."

People who grade tests have also been instructed to stop marking math questions as right or wrong, but instead use the terms "creditworthy" or "not creditworthy."

The new guidelines come from the government's Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (search). They cover English, math and science exams taken by 7-, 11- and 14-year-olds in all state schools and some private schools.

Nick Seaton, the chairman of the Campaign for Real Education (search), described the changes as "political correctness gone stark raving bonkers."

They Just Wanted to Do Shots and Drink Corona

A "Viva Mexico" fraternity party at Duke University in North Carolina was demeaning to students of Mexican heritage and proof that intolerance against all minorities is pervasive on campus, reports the Durham Herald-Sun.

The party thrown by the Sigma Chi fraternity was promoted with fliers that look like green cards and featured a mock border patrol checkpoint at the front door. The fraternity said it was in no way intended to make a political or social statement about Mexico.

But student Sandra Sánchez said the party "disgusted and outraged" her. "Everything that I am -- my family, customs, culture and language -- was violated," she said.

The usual demands following such incidents were made of Duke -- diversity indoctrination for members of the fraternity, better recruitment and support of Latino students and a stronger Latino Studies program. The administration immediately acceded.

Wonder Woman Too?

A nursery school in Australia has raised howls of protest by forbidding kids from wearing superhero costumes because they encourage aggressive behavior, reports the Williamstown Advertiser in Victoria.

Children attending the Altoona Meadows Child Care Center in Hobsons Bay are no longer allowed to wear Superman, Batman or Spiderman costumes to school.

The local council also has adopted a war-free toy and clothing zone policy, instructing parents not to dress children in camouflage or other clothing depicting aggression or violence.

The Truth Must Be 'Edited'

The Sacramento Bee has muzzled its in-house blogger, Daniel Weintraub, following complaints about one of his missives from Latino political leaders in California, reports Bee Ombudsman Tony Marcano.

In a Sept. 1 item on his blog, Weintraub included some political truths that the Latino leaders feared was a bit too racially inflammatory.

Weintraub wrote that California Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante "certainly owed his elevation to the job of assembly speaker to his ethnic background and to the support he received from fellow Latinos. If his name had been Charles Bustmont rather than Cruz Bustamante, he would have finished his legislative career as an anonymous back-bencher."

He also wrote, "It's indisputably true that the Legislature's Latino Caucus advocates policies that are destructive to their own people and to greater California, in the name of ethnic unity."

The Latino Caucus in the state Legislature protested in a letter to Bee Publisher Janis Besler Heaphy, and henceforth Mr. Weintraub will be "edited" for racially insensitive commentary just like everyone else on the paper.

Let 'Em Be

School administrators in Scotland have been told to stop sending letters home warning of lice outbreaks because they may hurt the feelings of the kids who are infested, reports The Scotsman.

Raising an alarm about the insects stigmatizes infected children and could cause them long-term psychological damage, or so says the Scottish Department of Health and Community Care.

Teachers said the advice was absolute malarkey, and some said they would actually ignore it.

Clichés That Hurt

A couple of American Indian students at Mesa State College in Grand Junction, Colo., are peeved enough about a headline in the student paper there that they complained to school officials, reports The Associated Press.

Following the school's victory over the University of North Dakota's Fighting Sioux, the school paper at Mesa State ran a headline saying, "Mavs scalp Sioux 31-24."

Staff at the newspaper apologized for using the inflammatory term.

For a daily dose of politically correct shenanigans, head over to the Tongue Tied Web site.