Category Archives: culture wars

Boycotting the ‘Muslim stamp’

The custom-made stamp from Zazzle.com

So every once in a while I’ll get one of those stupid email forwards people blithely pass around without checking to see if any of it’s true. Most of the time I just roll my eyes and delete them. But this time, it was so obvious the Islamophobic message wasn’t true, it made me question how manage to survive when they so obviously aren’t using what little brain capacity they have.

The text of the message is as follows (sparing the eye-blinding colors and extremely large font):

Don’t buy it!

Apparently they think that putting hearts and butterflies on the new stamp will make most people not realize that the rest is Arabic and probably not something we want to support.

USPS New 44-Cent Stamp Celebrates a Muslim holiday. If there is only ONE thing you forward today… Let it be this!

President Obama has directed the United States Postal Service to REMEMBER and HONOR the EID MUSLIM holiday season with a new commemorative 44-Cent First Class Holiday Postage Stamp.

REMEMBER to adamantly & vocally BOYCOTT this stamp, when you are purchasing your stamps at the post office.

All you have to say is “No thank you, I do not want that Muslim Stamp on my letters!”

To use this stamp would be a slap in the face to all those AMERICANS who died at the hands of those whom this stamp honors.

REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of Pan Am Flight 103!
REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993!
REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the Marine Barracks in Lebanon !
REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the Military Barracks in Saudi Arabia !
REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the American Embassies in Africa !
REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the USS COLE!
REMEMBER the MUSLIM attack on 9/11/2001 !
REMEMBER all the AMERICAN lives that were lost in those vicious MUSLIM attacks!

Pass this along to every Patriotic American that you know and get the word out!

Honor the United States of America ! Don’t buy it!

At first glance of the supposed “stamp,” you can see the “zazzle.com” website address at the top. Even if you don’t know what Zazzle.com is (a place where you can order custom-designed stamps), if you have any common sense whatsoever, you should know that it’s not an official United States Postal Service stamp. An official USPS stamp would never have another business’ website address on it. Also, a simple Internet search will bring up a multitude of sites disproving the bogus claims in the email.

The official USPS Eid stamp

Even though the stamp being sent around with the email is not issued by the post office, it may come as a shock to people who believe it that there is an official USPS-issued stamp commemorating the holidays of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. President Obama did not order this stamp into being. It was issued, ironically, on Sept. 1, 2001, 10 days before the Sept. 11 attacks and seven years before Obama would be elected president. It has been reissued every time postage has gone up. According to the press release regarding the issuing of the stamp:

The Eid stamp commemorates the two most important festivals—or eids—in the Islamic calendar: Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. On these days, Muslims wish each other “Eid mubarak,” the phrase featured in Islamic calligraphy on the stamp. “Eid mubarak” translates literally as “blessed festival,” and can be paraphrased as “May your religious holiday be blessed.” This phrase can be applied to both Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.

The stamp is part of the USPS’ holiday series, along with stamps for Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.

I could go on a spiel about how, if we should boycott the “Muslim stamp” because of all the people who were killed by “Muslims,” we ought to do the same thing to any stamp connected to a history of violence and bloodshed… but that would make this blog entry entirely too long.

Regardless, I will do one thing the email forward says. I will honor the United States of America next time I need stamps by requesting the Eid stamp, if available. Because I believe in the First Amendment and believe that every person in this country has the right to worship (or not) how he or she pleases, without fear of persecution.

I feel it says a lot about a person’s so-called faith if they can feel so threatened by something as innocuous as a stamp.

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Speak Amuriken!

Tennessee has problems. The state ranks fourth worst in the nation for adult hypertension and adolescent obesity. Nashville is still trying to recover from the devastating floods that caused over $1 billion in damage and killed more than 30 people. And to top it off, we were recently ranked as the No. 1 most corrupt state in the union.

But what are our lawmakers worried about? Not our health. Not rebuilding our capital city. Certainly not our schools.

Grammatically correct English not necessary.

Nope, our lawmakers are busy making “important” laws, such as bills SB2753/HB2685, which would let companies require that their employees speak English.

Typical right-wing politics, pandering to the loud vocal majority instead of concentrating on issues that could make a difference.

This is a nonsensical, unneeded law. If you want your employees to speak English, then why are you hiring people who don’t speak English? And if you didn’t do the hiring and find out one of your employees can’t speak English, then let that employee go. Not the ethical thing to do, to be sure, but if you’re that concerned about the language barrier and employee safety, fire them. Tennessee is a right-to-work state. You don’t need a reason to fire them.

Just what is this law supposed to accomplish? Once passed, do employers magically expect their non-English-speaking employees to suddenly speak “American”? I’ve said it before, but some people apparently have a hard time realizing that learning a new language is not instant potatoes. A non-English speaker may have the desire to learn English, but it takes time.

But that doesn’t really matter. Again I ask, why are you hiring non-English speakers if you want your employees to speak English?

So while the legislature tackles such hard issues as language in the workplace, guns in bars and banning sex toys, Tennesseans are still trying to find jobs, educate their kids, clean up flood damage and hope they don’t get sick along the way.

Stay classy, Tennessee.

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Culture Wars: Hardee’s vs. the grilled cheese sandwich

Actual conversation between the assistant editor and myself, 'CSI: Miami' style.

Culture wars can get ugly. I try, for the most part, to stay out of them. But I don’t always succeed. Sometimes, one of these hot-button issues will irritate me so much that I just have to speak out and stand up for the underdog.

Just what does Hardee’s have against guys who like grilled cheese sandwiches anyway?

Perhaps you have seen the fast food chain’s recent attack ads against ordinary guys who just want to eat a simple grilled cheese sandwich. In it, four friends sit around a table in a restaurant. Three of them order what I assume to be “manly” meals of giant burgers and fries while their friend has to order off the kids’ menu in order to satisfy his craving for gooey cheese on toasted bread. The waitress in the commercial doesn’t help this poor guy’s reputation when she offers him crayons and a coloring book to go with his sandwich. He gets heckled by his friends and given looks of contempt from the hot girls in the booth next to them.

Hardee’s solution for “guys who like grilled cheese but hate ordering off the kids’ menu” is the Grilled Cheese Bacon Thickburger.

Now, stop me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t adding bacon and huge slab of grilled beef to a grilled cheese sandwich make it no longer a grilled cheese sandwich? Doesn’t it then make the grilled cheese sandwich a bacon cheeseburger? If I wanted a bacon cheeseburger, I’d order a bacon cheeseburger. But when I want grilled cheese, there had better be nothing to that sandwich besides two pieces of bread and hot, gooey, melted cheese.

But, to be fair, I’m not a guy. Ordering a grilled cheese sandwich — or anything off the kids’ menu for that matter — does not make me feel less of a woman than ordering a big honkin’ thickburger. Perhaps guys do need that extra ego boost. Perhaps they do suffer from a secret, forbidden longing for grilled cheese, but because they don’t want to be mocked like the poor fellow from the Hardee’s commercial, they’ll order any kind of meat on their cheesy sandwich. I cannot know from experience. So I asked my co-worker, Gary Nelson, if he felt at all emasculated by the grilled cheese sandwich.

“No. Absolutely not,” was his emphatic reply. Sometimes, a grilled cheese sandwich is just what he wants — one without a big, fat burger and bacon on it. And ordering from the kids’ menu? It’s something he does all the time at Cracker Barrel, a restaurant that boasts a kids’ menu for “kids of all ages.”

Of course, asking one guy his opinion on the grilled cheese doesn’t make for a scientific poll, but I do know for a fact that my brother and my nephew love grilled cheese sandwiches. Granted, my nephew is only 2 years old, and grilled sandwiches are practically the only thing he eats, but even at 2, he knows the difference between “grilled cheese” and “burger cheese,” as he calls them.

Still, if there are any guys out there who love grilled cheese sandwiches, but don’t feel they are a masculine enough food choice (and for some reason can’t be bothered to order a bacon cheeseburger), I recommend a restaurant in Atlanta called Vortex. Order the “Double Bypass Burger.” You’ll get a half-pound sirloin patty topped with two fried eggs, six slices of cheese and eight slices of bacon, all sandwiched between two grilled cheese sandwiches in place of a bun. You’ll be able to have your grilled cheese and feel like a manly man — right before you keel over from a heart attack.

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