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All-new Boomer Q&A

My pledge: no cankerworm questions!

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Welcome to another session of our ongoing journalistic group therapy, otherwise known as "Ask BWA." It's been awhile since our last session, so let me recap how this works. "Ask BWA" means "Ask Boomer With Attitude." "Ask BWA" is a semi-serious spoof of newspaper Q&A columns. Q&A, of course, means "question and answer." That's about as far as I'll dumb down the column. Who do you think I am, Sarah Aarthun? And another thing -- I've just explained the idea behind the column, so please don't e-mail to ask it's all about. I don't need the headaches. Yes, BWA is a little cranky today. Deal with it. Thank you, dear readers.

Dear BWA: Hey, why won't you answer any cankerworm questions? -- Tree Hugger

Dear Hugger: Because I'm sick of hearing about them. And damn you for making me break my pledge!

Dear BWA: Should UNC Charlotte have a football team? -- First and Ten

Dear First: It doesn't make much sense for UNCC, which has been steadily building a fine academic rep, to suddenly veer off course to find the truckloads of money necessary to start a football team. Supporters say a football program will give the school a stronger identity and more connection to the city of Charlotte. Someone should have thought about that before planting the school in a location that practically guaranteed it would never be perceived as a central player in the city. Here's one way, however, to use a football program to build a stronger identity and connect with Charlotte: use Bank of America Stadium for the 49ers' games. Work out an arrangement with the Panthers, and save tens of millions that would otherwise finance a new stadium on campus. Bring the games into the heart of the city and you'll see a markedly richer connection with Charlotte -- and a stronger local identity.

Dear BWA: Shouldn't U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry be censured by Congress for revealing sensitive military information? -- Peacenik

Dear Peacenik: McHenry, the Cherryville Republican whose ambition often outweighs his brain, recently went to Iraq where he succeeded in pissing off everybody. First, he called a Baghdad Green Zone sentry who wouldn't let him use the gym a "two-bit security guard." Then, he acted like a macho tough guy while endangering American troops. McHenry posted a homemade video on his Web site in which he bragged about being bombarded by rockets in the Green Zone, revealing that the rocket attacks had been effective. The Pentagon told him to shut up, emphasizing that, "We do not as a matter of policy discuss attacks in a way that would provide the enemy any better understanding of the effectiveness of their attacks." The interesting part of McHenry's moronic bragging is that last year, he called for an investigation into a government "release of sensitive information." Since McHenry is so clueless, I doubt that a Congressional censure would do any good. Instead, I like the proposal from political blogger Brandon Friedman who suggested, "If Patrick McHenry wants to tell war stories ... he should resign his Congressional seat and go enlist. He's only 32. That way, he could get some training, so next time he's in a combat zone trying to be a tough guy, he won't be such a bumbling, self-promotional fool about it."

Dear BWA: What's with the guy in Pineville who says English is America's official language? -- Weed Whacker

Dear Whacker: Pineville Town Councilman Les Gladden got upset because no one on a crew of workers on his property could speak English. In support of his proposal that at least one member of utility crews in Pineville should be fluent in English, he said, "English is the official language of this country, so I don't see why we can't do that." Of course, America doesn't have an official language, which seems appropriate for a nation made up of descendents of immigrants from around the world. What's going on is that some people can't handle the area's influx of Hispanic immigrants and want to "get back" at the newcomers in some way. Cabarrus County, for instance, where many lifelong citizens speak a fascinating mix of Southernisms and TV jargon, declared English the county's official language. Gladden's proposal is far milder than Cabarrus', but the impetus for it is basically the same: irritation over our increasing Hispanic population.

Dear BWA: Your CL blog about [Charlotte-Mecklenburg School board member] Kaye McGarry was a bit harsh. The way you describe her, you'd think she was a homophobic bigot. -- I'm Just Saying

Dear Saying: I'm sorry, I should have been clearer. It's pretty obvious McGarry -- who wants to excuse poor little sensitive fundamentalist Christian students from being exposed to the idea of treating gays and lesbians as human beings -- is a homophobic bigot.

We welcome your love offerings and questions. If you would like to use a nickname, please tell us.


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