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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016


Unholy Row

With the rockets' red glare and bombs bursting in air all over the war-torn Balkans, those hankering for peace naturally turned their thoughts tothe Holy Land, where thousands gathered last weekend to celebrate Christ's rising from the dead.

Unfortunately, things are a bit Balkanish even in the Prince of Peace's old hometown, as Easter festivities in Nazareth were marred by violence between warring mobs of Christians and Moslems, Reuters reports. Israeli police finally had to intervene to keep their religious cousinage from killing each other.

And what sparked the rioting on this (final??) Easter of the 20th century? Why, the 12th-century Crusades, of course!

Seems the children of Abraham who follow the teachings of gentle Jesus took umbrage at the children of Abraham who adhere to the Prophet Mohammed for planning to build a mosque near the grave of the nephew of Saladin, the Saracen leader who kicked the Crusaders out of the Holy Land 700 years ago.

The proposed mosque is too close to a Christian holy site, apparently. So the fists of the faithful went flying when the two groups met at the site last Sunday.

Meanwhile, the children of Abraham who follow the law of Moses have their own plans for the disputed tract: Israeli officials want to build a public square on the site to accommodate the horde of Christians expected to descend upon the town next year to celebrate the 2,000th birthday of Jesus (who was actually born 2,004 years ago, but what the hell). Neither Christian nor Moslem took a shine to this idea, however, and the sainted city remained an armed and bristling camp throughout the week, with riots, protests and firebombings among the brethren.

Reports that the Hare Krishnas have been called in to mediate the situation could not be confirmed at press time.

Hormonal Imbalance

While America's lusty warriors were out there pounding Serbian positions in Belgrade and Kosovo this week, back on the home front the brass were taking a somewhat different approach to developing red-blooded fighting men: They kicked a top recruit out of the Naval Academy for having sex with some icky old girl.

Birk Billingsley, 22, was booted from the Navy's elite academy six weeks shy of graduation after one of his comrades-in-arms ratted him out for canoodling with young Kristina Shiroma - who also happened to be one of Birk's comrades-in-arms (and legs and what have you) at the academy, The Baltimore Sun reports.

It seems Birk fell afoul of the academy's highly realistic and common-sense policy of housing young college-age males and females together in the same dorm - then forbidding them to "fraternize" with each other. (No doubt this insightful plan was devised by the same military genius who drew up NATO's war strategy in the Balkans.) Birk tried to follow the manful example of his commander-in-chief, claiming that he and Kristina had had sex, but not sexual relations, if you catch his drift. But this cut no ice with the brass (doubtless Republicans to a man), and Birk was shown the gate - and a bill for $93,000, to cover the costs of his short-circuited education.

Interestingly enough, Birk's classmate, Chris McCoy - the star quarterback of the academy's football team - was charged with having sex with three saucy sailorettes last year. One of the gals was forced to walk the plank for these crimes of passion; McCoy, needless to say, kept on chugging toward the goal line of graduation.

Guess its OK to make a pass as long as you can throw one, too.

School for Scandal

A pair of prickly parents have wreaked havoc on the Miami-Dade County school system, forcing the firing of one teacher and the suspension of another for teaching "filth" and "racism" to the young 'uns.

The objectionable material was that well-known smut trawl, the novel "Forrest Gump," and Steven Spielberg's cinematic depiction of a slave rebellion, "Armistad," the Miami Herald reports.

Paul and Jodi Hoffman, who two years ago won a lawsuit forcing county schools to take an "abstinence-first" policy in all mentions of human sexuality, have now decimated the faculty of BayPoint School with their latest salvo. "Gump," the story of an over-amiable dimwit who wanders Myshkin-like through American history, was particularly horrendous, Jodi said.

"I almost had a heart attack when I read that book," she declared. "It's foul, disgusting."

Its assignment to her 15-year-old son and his classmates raised "the issue of sexually harassing children," she added. The teacher who assigned the book was summarily canned.

Spielberg's "Amistad" was "racist," the Hoffmans said, because it showed black slaves being tortured and tormented during their passage from Africa aboard a 19th-century Spanish slave ship. Now, you might think it would have been more racist to have shown, say, nice white folk serving their African guests tea and crumpets on a cruise liner, but for the zealous Hoffmans and their ilk, historical accuracy, however tragic, must always take second place to soothing, distorted pap. There was one bit of good news on the education front, however: A judge in Arizona actually rejected an outraged mother's attempt to sue her daughter's school district for assigning that Satanic brew of gay-love commie race perversion, "Huckleberry Finn."

Mum's the Word

But no doubt the Hoffmans will take heart from another development in the offing for Arizona education: The state legislature is mulling a plan to put warning labels on college courses to keep tender minds from being offended.

The bill was sparked by the ire of yet another mother, who found out her daughter's "Women in Literature" class mentioned lesbians, which was "contrary to her moral and religious upbringing," Salon Magazine reports. Up popped David Petersen, a (brace yourself) Republican state senator, who has introduced a bill requiring all state universities to issue warnings about anything in their courses that might make students feel wiggly in any way.

And God knows, the last thing we want is college students learning anything new or unfamiliar, right? They might start questioning their elders or something.