A game of cow bingo at Florida Southern College is under fire from animals rights activists because the animal in question might get stressed out by all the people laughing at it, reports the Lakeland Ledger.

In a letter to the president of the college, a PETA cruelty caseworker said it can be emotionally devastating for an animal to be exposed to ridicule. She also objected to the animal being used for entertainment purposes.

"I am told there were a hundred people laughing at [the cow], some children," said PETA's Amy Rhodes. "You don't teach children to ridicule animals or degrade them because they may do the same to people. It's a dangerous message to send to children."

The school swears that no laxatives were used in the production of the game, and that the cow was cautiously cared for.

The animal was used in a carnival to raise money for women's sports. In the game, squares are marked off on a field and purchased by participants. The winner is the person whose square on which the cow chooses to bestow its manure.

Taking Back the Date

A newspaper ad urging college women to celebrate Valentine's Day with romance instead of feminist politics was initially refused by Penn State's campus newspaper, The Daily Collegian, because it might be "inflammatory" and "too controversial."

The ad, developed and funded by SheThinks.org — the campus project of the Independent Women's Forum — features a drawing of Cupid walking past a showing of The Vagina Monologues. "Feminist groups are turning Valentine's Day into 'V-Day' — a time to promote female victimology and tedious performances of The Vagina Monologues," it reads.

Ten other campus newspapers accepted the ad, but the Collegian at first said it wouldn't run it because, as business manager Amy Hibbard told the IWF, "We don't like to print things that might be controversial." This is the same paper that last year wrote about an on-campus Sex Faire featuring a "Tent of Consent" and a "C**tfest" featuring naked lesbian performance artists.

Collegian representatives changed their mind and agreed to run that ad after SheThinks issued a press release about the issue and a reporter from Fox News called to confirm the incident.

Humorless in Michigan

A group of Michigan State University students are calling discriminatory an ad for the movie Kung Pow: Enter the Fist featuring a makeshift Chinese restaurant menu with specials such as "sweet and sour poodle" and combination plates that include dog meat, reports the State News.

Students from the Asian Pacific American Student Organization are boycotting the film, which they say depicts negative stereotypes about Asian Americans, as a result.

Tom Nishi, coordinator for Asian American and Pacific Islander Student Affairs in the Office of Racial Ethnic Student Affairs, notified campus police about the presence of the fliers and they were summarily removed from a dormitory front desk.

"I thought it was really sad," Nishi said. "It shows that on this campus, there is a great need for education in regard to racism."

The campus police encouraged anyone who felt threatened by the flier to file a police report. Anyone guilty of ethnic intimidation is subject to felony charges, one officer said.

Brave New World

Colleges and universities across the nation are being encouraged to install "gender-neutral" restrooms on campuses so transgender students won't feel uncomfortable or be subjected to harassment, reports The Washington Times.

The United States Student Association, a Washington, D.C.-based confederacy of college-level student bodies, encouraged the single-stall lavatories so people whose sexual identity doesn't match what society expects will not be assaulted for trying to use the "wrong" restroom.

USSA spokeswoman Kristy Ringor said transgender people "have a problem with bathrooms" that are for men or women only. "They face a risk of being assaulted if another person in there doesn't think they belong. If a person is not safe [in a restroom on a college campus], that person won't necessarily be able to go to college."

And unisex bathrooms that are increasingly common on campuses don't count, says the USSA.

Mixing Religion and Politics

Justice Department officials went into overdrive to defuse what The Washington Post refers to as "an escalating public relations problem" traced to comments attributed to Attorney General John Ashcroft in a November column by syndicated columnist Cal Thomas.

Ashcroft is reported have said that: "Islam is a religion in which God requires you to send your son to die for him. Christianity is a faith in which God sends his son to die for you."

Muslim groups said the comments were offensive and represented a distorted view of Islam. Arab American Institute President James Zogby demanded that President Bush fire Ashcroft if he did not retract the comments.

Justice Department officials said Ashcroft really meant that terrorists who distorted Islamic beliefs, and wrote in a letter to Muslim groups that the remarks "do not accurately reflect the attorney general's views."

Irresponsible Repertoires

The Naples, N.Y., School Board voted to continue allowing kids' choruses to sing Christian songs at concerts despite protests from a local Wiccan about the practice, reports the Democrat and Chronicle.

High school principal Ken Foster said that the songs Martha Churley, a self-described witch with four children in the district, complained about were educational renditions of spiritual classics. School officials agreed to review future music programs in accordance with the guidelines of the Music Educators National Conference, which call for "caution and good judgment in selecting sacred music for study and programming for public performances."

Churley was particularly irritated by a song in the upcoming spring concert, "Deep River," which "is a Negro spiritual ... that came about as a result of these people being converted to Christianity," she says.

Telemarketers Have Feelings, Too

A new group dubbed People for the Ethical Treatment of Salespeople promises to drive awareness about and protect the human rights of what it describes as the most maligned profession in the world.

PETS President and founder Alan Buhler says, "Salespeople are often much-maligned, joked about, even lied to and hidden from, yet professional salespeople make up 22 percent of the American workforce, and a large portion of the economy." It should be, he says, a proud profession.

PETS wants the first Tuesday in September to be declared National Hug-A-Salesperson Day. Individuals interested in becoming members can register at www.HugASalesperson.com.

From the Central Servers:

Russell B. in Arlington, Texas, writes:

I hate political correctness as much as the next guy (make that person). Nevertheless, I applaud Minnesota's attempt to set the record straight about the Spanish-American War.

As a historian, I abhor revisionism for merely political purposes. But sometimes, a story has been allowed to stand on the books or has been ignored simply because it makes the U.S. look better. We should tell the truth about history, insofar as it is possible, even when that truth hurts. In this case, pointing out that the war with Spain was almost over and that the U.S. took advantage of the Filipinos is not PC mumbo jumbo. It's the truth about a period of our history marked by the same unfortunate expansionist attitudes of "manifest destiny" that prompted James K. Polk to rip off half of Mexico.

Telling the truth about this doesn't diminish the great accomplishments of our nation. But it does provide a clear example of what not to do in the future.

Abby G. in Champlain, N.Y., writes:

Regarding the article about the woman who was not allowed to wear her cross necklace while working as a public librarian: I have to wonder just how insecure, petty and narrow-minded one must be in order to be offended by such a benign display of love for one's religion. I myself am Jewish, and it is the idea that people can be ordered to hide their religious affiliation while in public that offends me, not the display of a cross. So much for "diversity" and "tolerance."

Ken F. in Snohomish, Wash., writes:

As much as many people would agree that the library management went to far, rules - and exceptions - have to apply in all cases. If a cross necklace were to be allowed, one would also have to allow such symbols for other religions, including a pentagram. Could someone wear a cross with a circle/slash? Some would like to proclaim their disagreement with Christianity, just as the librarian is proclaiming her agreement.

We may be free to choose our religion in this country, but Christianity is often given special treatment, due to their majority. Not everyone is Christian in this country. Sometimes people seem to forget that.

Spencer B. writes:

I'm all for equality, but quotas in job hiring or school admissions to maintain diversity is not equality, it's discrimination. It merely lowers the standards and insults those who actually put in the effort to be the best they can be no matter what their race or sex. You want equality? Take every reference to race, sex or creed off all application forms and let yourself be judged on your merits.

Tucker N. in Yokosuka, Japan, writes:

What do we tell people about the attack on Pearl Harbor: "On the morning of December 7th, numerous unexplained explosions were seen and heard at Pearl Harbor and Hickam Field?"

History is History, we can't change the fact that the Japanese military devised and carried out a sneak attack on the U.S. Navy to destroy it. The Japanese wanted to destroy our fleet, especially our carriers, so they would have no opposition to their advances in the Pacific.

Glen M. writes:

I was born in the Philippines and came to the US when I was nine. I also became a naturalized U.S. citizen and am proud of it. Soon after high school, I joined the U.S. military and worked my way through college.

When I read about this Philippine Study Group of Minnesota, expressing their PC rhetoric, it just made me sick to my stomach. When we Filipinos weren't fighting the Americans, the Spaniards, or the Japanese, we were busy fighting ourselves. Have these trust fund babies forgotten that if it weren't for the U.S., the Philippines would still be under Japanese control?