Monday, May 30, 2005


From my GET A LIFE FILES... (since when are we guaranteed the right to "not be offended by anyone or anything at any time?")

-Sheesh, God of Incredulity

Hindu god, beer label don't mix, lawsuit says

by Bruce Gerstman- CONTRA COSTA TIMES
BRENTWOOD - A Brentwood man who says a microbrew beer label depicting a Hindu god holding a beer has offended him and Hindus worldwide is suing the brewery.
The Humboldt County-based Lost Coast Brewery intimidates Hindus from practicing their religion, he claims.
"How can you show a god in such a way?" asked Brij Dhir, a Golden Gate University law student and attorney licensed in India. "There are lots of ways of having fun. This is not fun."
Lost Coast owners are considering changing the label of their Indica India Pale Ale. It depicts elephant-headed Ganesh, god of wisdom and remover of obstacles, holding a beer in one of his four hands, and another in his trunk.
"I don't want to offend any Hindu people," said co-owner Barbara Groom.
The company will take the product off the shelves, the brewery's general manger states in an April 26 e-mail to Dhir.
Groom said her Hindu friends don't mind the label.
"They think it's really cool."
Dhir seeks at least $25,000 and his lawsuit mentions that $1 billion would be appropriate to compensate Hindus around the world. He alleges that the brewery has defamed Hindus and caused emotional distress.
Also named as defendants are Safeway, which carries the product, the state Department of Fair Employment and Housing and the state Attorney General's Office. Dhir alleges it has failed to respond to his requests for action against the brewery.
"It's a hate crime," Dhir said, while drinking tea in his Brentwood home. Incense lingered in the air.
Depicting Jesus Christ, Buddha, Muhammad or other religious figures would also offend him, Dhir said. Even though Lost Coast is willing to change the label, Dhir said he wants a jury to rule that the owners should pay damages for the two years of using the image.
The U.S. Constitution protects the label, an expert said.
Individuals or companies have the right to produce artwork that offends somebody's religious beliefs, said David Greene, executive director of the Oakland-based First Amendment Project.
If the brewers wanted to keep a beer-quaffing Ganesh on the label, they would have a strong chance of doing it, Greene said.
Dhir's suit alleges that commercial products don't have free speech rights.
Commercial speech does have less protection than artistic speech, Greene said. Still, courts usually protect product labeling unless it tells a lie that - like falsifying ingredients or claiming that "the beer will make you a holier person."
Groom said Lost Coast removed the label from its Web site when the owners learned about the suit last week.
Bruce Gerstman

Check out Michelle Malkin's spin on this story: as well as the folks at CRANIAL CAVITY:

I sure hope someone submits this to the DARWIN AWARDS..

Man, 66, killed accidentally by sledgehammer wielded against bat
(Associated Press)

MEADVILLE, Pa. - A man was accidentally killed by a sledgehammer his son-in-law was swinging at a bat that had flown into the home they shared, police said.
Francis V. Mercier, 66, of East Mead Township, was hit in the head Friday by the three-pound hammer as his son-in-law, D. J. Delancey, was trying to kill the animal with it.
Delancey and his wife had moved into Mercier's home a few years ago, neighbors said.
Delancey accidentally struck Mercier, who was standing behind him, about 1 a.m. Friday, police said.
Results of an autopsy performed Saturday were not immediately available. But police and Crawford County Coroner Patrick McHenry said the death appeared

"Aren't you glad to see me?"

Ex-Officer Goes To Jail For Flashing Toy Banana

STAMFORD, Conn. -- A former police officer is going to jail for flashing a toy banana.
Arthur Bertana has been sentenced to 20 days in jail for lewd conduct involving the toy. Police in Stamford busted Bertana in March.
Authorities charged that the former Stamford officer put the banana in his pants and flashed women on a main shopping street.
One officer said the banana in question was a yellow, plush child's toy, with a smiley face on it.


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