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Posted by Jeff from ( on Wednesday, March 12, 2003 at 7:33PM :

Oddly Enough - Reuters
Principal Asks Student to Hide Anti-War Shirt
Wed Mar 12, 8:06 AM ET
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MARSHFIELD, Mass. (Reuters) - A Massachusetts student who wore an anti-war T-shirt to school was asked by his principal to cover it up while lawyers checked whether it was allowed under school rules, the pupil said on Tuesday.

Chris Little, 15, scrawled the words "Who would Jesus bomb?" in green ink on a white T-shirt and sported it at Marshfield High School on Monday.

Midway through the day, Little was hauled into the office of Principal Peter Deftos. The principal asked the student to cover up the T-shirt with a sweatshirt while he checked with school lawyers to see if it was permissible.

Deftos informed Little on Tuesday morning that he could wear the T-shirt -- defusing a potential free-speech controversy.

"He wanted to check that it was OK for me to wear something like that -- that it wasn't infringing on anyone's rights," Little told Reuters.

"He's letting me wear it now," he said. "It was never a question of him disciplining me -- he was just doing his job."

Neither Deftos nor Marshfield Public Schools Superintendent Thomas Kelley returned phone calls seeking comment.

The incident at Marshfield High School came a week after a lawyer was arrested at a public mall near Albany, New York after he refused to take off a "Give Peace a Chance" T-shirt he had just purchased at the mall. Charges against the man were eventually dropped.

U.S. and British preparations for a possible war in Iraq (news - web sites) have generated widespread international opposition, with millions of people around the world taking part in anti-war demonstrations over the past month

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Congress Nixes 'French Fries' in Fit of Pique
Wed Mar 12, 8:03 AM ET
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - France's refusal to back a possible U.S.-led attack of Iraq (news - web sites) triggered a verbal food fight on Tuesday in the restaurants of the U.S. House of Representatives as "French fries" and "French toast" were replaced on menus by "Freedom fries" and "Freedom toast."

"This action today is a small, but symbolic effort to show the strong displeasure of many on Capitol Hill with the actions of our so-called ally, France," said House Administration Committee Chairman Bob Ney, an Ohio Republican.

Ney's panel is in charge of the House's administrative needs. He took the action at the suggestion of Rep. Walter Jones, a North Carolina Republican.

"I am grateful to Mr. Ney for standing with me today as we publicly declare our support for our nation's troops and our sincere disappointment in our old friends, the French," Jones said.

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French fry ban targets wrong country
Wed Mar 12, 9:17 AM ET

PARIS (Reuters) - The U.S. Congress picked on the wrong country when it replaced "French fries" with "Freedom fries" on its menus to protest France's opposition to a possible U.S.-led war in Iraq (news - web sites), according to a Belgian fry expert.

Reuters Photo

Michel Mes, who runs the website, said that fried potatoes were invented in Belgium, not France, and were only referred to as French fries in the United States.

"Of course, in good food tradition, the French claim to be the inventors of our beloved fries," he writes on the website. "Anyway, we modest Belgians don't mind the French claim, because we know that fries are God's gift to our people."

Restaurants in the U.S. House of Representatives replaced the name "French fries" with "Freedom fries" on Tuesday in a small ceremony widely broadcast with bemused commentaries on French television.

The fast food staple -- known simply as chips in Britain -- is considered a national treasure in Belgium, where "pommes frites" are sold on many street corners in shacks known as "fritures" and are generally served with mayonnaise.

Historians are divided on its origin but agree it became a popular dish in both Belgium and France during the 19th century.

According to legend, American soldiers stationed in French-speaking Belgium or France during World War One brought back a taste for fries, which were subsequently associated with Gallic culture in the United States. Mes said this was a myth.

"In fact, the explanation is quite simple. In English, 'to french' means (or at least meant) 'to cut into lengthwise pieces'," he explained. "So logically, French fries is short for 'frenched and fried' potatoes."

Such distinctions may not matter much to members of the U.S. Congress, which has taken no such symbolic step against Belgium.

Belgium has stood up against the United States on several occasions during the crisis over Iraq, joining France and Germany last month in briefly blocking a request to NATO (news - web sites) to protect Turkey in the event of war in Iraq.

-- Jeff
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