Watercooler Stories – September 9, 2011 – UPI.com

Group wants pledge out of schools

BROOKLINE, Mass., Sept. 9 (UPI) — A Massachusetts group is drawing criticism for its quest to take the Pledge of Allegiance out of schools, saying it is “reminiscent of McCarthyism.”

Brookline Political Action for Peace said it wants voters at November’s Town Meeting to urge the School Committee to stop requiring principals to have the pledge recited weekly during morning announcements, the Boston Herald reported Thursday.

The group said the pledge does not have any educational value and it is “literally and psychologically a loyalty oath, reminiscent of McCarthyism or some horrific totalitarian regimes.”

“I’ve spent 40 years in civic involvement. I yield to nobody in patriotism,” said attorney Marty Rosenthal, co-chairman of the group. “The pledge is at odds with America’s most important traditions.”

Some are criticizing the group’s efforts.

Christie Coombs of Abington, whose husband, Jeff, was on American Airlines Flight 11 when it crashed into the World Trade Center Sept. 11, 2001, said the group’s plan “makes me sick to my stomach.”

“America has been through a lot with the bad economy and soldiers dying in Afghanistan on a weekly basis, but we’ve pulled back together. A majority of Americans are proud to pay tribute to the flag,” she said. “I hope the town of Brookline looks at this and says it’s nonsense and can’t be done.”

Man gets ticket to challenge ‘Real ID’ law

PALM HARBOR, Fla., Sept. 9 (UPI) — The Libertarian Party of Florida chairman said he obtained a citation for driving without a license on purpose so he would challenge the federal “Real ID” law.

Adrian Wyllie, 41, of Palm Harbor, said he allowed his driver’s license to expire and called police on himself while driving multiple times during the summer until he was ticketed for driving without a license, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times reported Thursday.

Wyllie said he orchestrated the citation so he could mount a court challenge against the “Real ID” law, which passed in 2005 and requires several forms of identification, including birth certificates and Social Security cards, to obtain driver’s licenses.

Wyllie said he believes the law violates the Fourth Amendment protections against “unreasonable searches and seizures” of citizens.

“The biggest problem is that you not only have to present the documentation, but it’s scanned into a national database,” Wyllie said. “Can you imagine what an identity theft target this would be?”

Wyllie’s hearing was rescheduled Wednesday by Traffic Magistrate Julee Milham.

“This is huge. This is a big deal. You want it to be fully and fairly vetted,” Wyllie quoted Milham as telling him.

Foreclosed home ‘full of rats’

GREENACRES, Fla., Sept. 9 (UPI) — A Florida woman said she put up a “house full of rats” banner at a foreclosed home adjoining her own in an attempt to get the bank to clean it up.

Lynn McGee, 62, of Greenacres, said the adjoining house has been in foreclosure since September 2009 but the sale has been met with numerous delays and rats have taken control of the property, The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post reported Thursday.

McGee said she affixed a banner to the window of the home in the hopes of shaming the Bank of New York Mellon into cleaning up the property.

“House full of rats & bank don’t care,” the banner reads.

“I don’t know where to turn next,” McGee said.


‘Win a wife’ radio promo draws anger

EDMONTON, Alberta, Sept. 9 (UPI) — A Canadian radio station’s promotional contest where male listeners can “win” a Russian bride is drawing political criticism.

The Bear 100.3 rock FM station in Edmonton, Alberta, launched the “Win a Wife” campaign this week in conjunction with a company named Volga Girl, which has offices in Russia, Canada and the United States.

The online entry form on the station’s Web site tells contestants if they are “interested in potential holy matrimony with a hot foreign chick, fill it (the entry form) out to the best of your abilities,” the Edmonton Sun said.

The station said the winner will receive roundtrip airfare to an undisclosed Russian city to meet a potential bride, 13 nights of accommodations and $500 cash.

The provincial minster of employment and immigration, Thomas Lukaszuk, issued a harsh rebuke to the station offering the contest.

“As a father of two daughters, the whole idea of winning a wife doesn’t bode with me well at all,” he said. The Conservative minister said he had also pulled his party’s advertising from the station.

“The implied comparison of a wife being a prize that can be won like any other object just doesn’t sound good and it doesn’t feel right,” Lukaszuk told the Toronto Star’s western bureau.

The station’s brand director, Rob Vavrek, told the Sun the promotion was in line with TV reality matchmaking shows such as “The Bachelor” and “Bachelorette.”

Watercooler Stories – September 9, 2011 – UPI.com.

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