Wednesday, July 13, 2005
wednesday weirdness version 9.0
You have heard of the X-Men... how about the Hmong Men now? In fantasy reality, you might get lucky enough to sue the X-Men (whenever they get out of hand and injure you and three dozen more innocent bystanders while fighting their own kind - other mutants basically!). But in the real world, Hmong men will sue YOU - and a court of so-called justice (better go with the appellation of "court of law" indeed - as in human flawed law, of course...!) will force you to pay thousands of dollars in damages - to be applied to the Hmong men's very necessary and very own "traditional healing ceremonies" - which will be required to fully heal the embittered Hmong men who fear that they have sustained many injuries because of you... including losing a soul or two! Not just anyone is as tough and apt to battle as Wolverine is...
A Dutch town has banned blasphemy... about time someone did, I say! Although, of course, my sarcastic tone about the beliefs of Hmong men just now might be perceived - by them and likely only them - as blasphemy... Still, my luminous definition of blasphemy is whatever insults the Creator and the Sacred - not merely belief systems that, some, will slash throats for... Thus - banning blasphemy, as I define it, is something we can and should ALL agree on! I know a certain North American area that needs such legislation... URGENTLY! But then, some feeble-minded liberalists would call upon freedom of speech or such illusionary thing that does nothing but open the doors to anarchy really...
In other weirdness items: a... well... weird (again) theory about what causes bad driving... finally, sportsmen who act with definite unsportsman-like conduct will be getting theirs... shortly... hopefully (but I don't hold my breath really - for it is, again, nothing but flawed earthly legislation again!)... and, in California, where it is as common as weed, solicitation will make you famous... yep... as in your mug shot goes there, on that billboard, for all to see - especially your friends and family! That kind of famous, yes! Gives new meaning to 'wall of shame'... and it couldn't happen in a nicer town - or to nicer citizens! ;)
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A California man who injured three Hmong men in a fight must pay their medical bills including more than $6,000 for animals and herbal medicines used in traditional healing ceremonies, a court has ruled.
Chad Wilson Keichler pleaded no contest to civil rights violations for uttering racial slurs against the Asian men during the brawl in Butte, California, and was ordered by a trial court to reimburse them for their medical expenses.
In addition to submitting hospital and doctor bills, the men turned in receipts for herbal medicines and cows, pigs and chickens slaughtered in Hmong "spirit-calling ceremonies."
Keichler opposed making restitution for the nonmedical expenses, but a California appeals court on Wednesday ruled that he should pay because the ceremony is the equivalent of Western psychotherapy.
The Hmong are an ancient people with roots in China. They migrated into Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos in the 19th century. Many came to the United States as refugees after the Vietnam War.
In a letter to the court, victim Xiong Xeng Moua explained: "In my culture, one way of helping a person who has been traumatized ... is to hold a traditional spirit calling to call my spirit back to me."
An expert testified that the Hmong people believe that a person who is attacked may lose one of his many souls and become ill.
The expert said the souls of animals killed during the spirit-calling ceremony are called on to replace the victim's lost soul. The animals are then eaten by attendees as part of the ceremony.
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The name of the Lord may no longer be taken in vain in the Dutch village of Staphorst.
Staphorst, in the so-called Dutch "bible belt" of eastern towns where religion holds sway, approved a ban on swearing by 13-4 council votes.
But the caveat that swearing is not banned when it is an expression of the constitutional freedom of speech may make it difficult to punish offenders.
"A ban on swearing can be seen as a signal," the council's proposal said, adding a change in moral values was needed to address the underlying problem.
Past swearing bans in bible-belt villages were declared in violation of the right to free expression in 1986. One other town has such a ban -- Reimerswaal, in the southwestern province of Zeeland.
The Dutch association against swearing, which runs national billboard campaigns to admonish the bad-mouthed Dutch, says the Bible outlaws swearing.
"Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain," it quotes Exodus 20:7.
LONDON (Reuters) - Driving badly? then ditch the fast food and reach for the mints.
Different odors affect the way motorists drive, with fast food scents likely to increase road rage potential and other smells -- like peppermint -- deemed to improve concentration, the RAC Foundation motoring organization said Friday.
"More than any other sense, the sense of smell circumnavigates the logical part of the brain," the RAC Foundation's consultant psychologist, Conrad King, said.
"This is why the smell of perfume can turn men into gibbering idiots, the smell of baking bread can destroy the best intentions of a dieter and the smell of baby powder can make a child averse individual quite broody," he said in a statement.
The RAC Foundation said it has conducted research into the impact of smells on driving after the release of an odor study by Bryan Raudenbush of the Wheeling Jesuit University, West Virginia in the United States.
King said good odors to have in your vehicle, other than peppermint, include cinnamon, lemon and coffee. A blast of salty sea air can also encourage deep breathing and help relieve stress.
In contrast the smell of fast-food wrappers or fresh bread can cause driver irritability and a tendency to speed because they make drivers fell hungry and in a hurry to satiate their appetites.
Other "dangerous" odors are camomile, jasmine and lavender because they can cause drivers to overrelax or fall asleep. The plants are commonly used to treat insomnia.
For those motorists who might opt for a neutral smelling interior, be warned. Studies of astronauts found an odor-less environment created irritability and even olfactory hallucinations.
Cars of the future are likely to have in-built systems able to detect a driver's mood and react by altering the car's seating, lighting, temperature and even smell. In the meantime motorists are advised to keep a packet of mints handy.
LONDON (Reuters) - British prosecutors Friday considered whether professional sportsmen, especially soccer players, should face an increased risk of criminal prosecution for violent conduct committed during matches.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said it was hosting a conference to consider whether it was right that police rarely took action against sportsmen despite high-profile incidents such as players brawling in front of thousands of fans.
"We have no hesitation in prosecuting spectators who attack players but there is a feeling that we are too tolerant about violence among players themselves," said Nazir Afzal, a CPS director in London.
"For many, sport is a means of getting rid of their aggression and we would never think about 'Disneyfying' it, but there is now growing concern about where the boundaries lie between what's sporting and what's criminal activity."
Soccer and rugby players are among the greatest offenders, where opponents are often caught on camera trading punches.
Violence rarely leads to prosecutions although Everton and Scotland striker Duncan Ferguson was given a three-month jail term in 1995 for headbutting an opponent when he played for Rangers.
But usually police and the CPS have left it up to sporting authorities to deliver punishments for on-field incidents.
Former England rugby union player Neil Back was banned for four weeks last month after he lashed out at an opponent and split open his lip during the English Premiership final.
In 2002, a member of parliament wrote to police demanding they prosecute Manchester United's Roy Keane after he admitted in his autobiography he had deliberately set out to injure Manchester City player Alf Inge Haaland.
The police took no action but the English Football Association fined and banned him for five matches.
Calls for tougher action to be taken against soccer players have grown after some ugly scenes during live games last season.
Manchester United and England teenage striker Wayne Rooney provoked a storm for repeatedly swearing at a referee during one televised match, prompting one leading education figure to blame soccer players for children's bad behavior in schools.
The CPS said it now wanted to produce clear guidelines so police and prosecutors knew exactly when to act.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - People who solicit prostitutes in Oakland, California, could find their faces plastered on billboards under a new shaming program that one civil rights group calls bad public policy.
The city of 400,000 across the bay from San Francisco started putting up billboards on Wednesday showing men arrested for soliciting sex. Other signs invite prostitutes to quit by calling a help line.
"This idea came out of just thinking about new ideas, doing something to deal with this increasing problem, especially with the exploitation of underage women," said Oakland City Council President Ignacio De La Fuente, who champions the approach.
The photos on the billboards were partially blurred so the men are not easily identifiable. But in the future photos might be displayed unaltered, an aide to De La Fuente said.
Critics say the technique -- which De La Fuente said has been used in Texas -- recalls medieval public humiliations.
"It doesn't seem to us to be appropriate for Oakland to be using shaming as an additional and extrajudicial punishment to single out this group of offenders," said Alan Schlosser, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union for Northern California. "We don't think this is good public policy."
Some newspapers have long printed the names of those soliciting sex for money, and courts have backed punishments that include shaming. Last year a U.S. federal appeals court allowed a punishment in which a mail thief had to wear a signboard telling of his crime.
I don't remember ever hearing of a court going along with religious ceremonies for healing, instead of just the regluar doctor bills.
I guess there is a first time for everything.
It is about time taking the Lords name in vain was banned! Now if other places will just follow thier example.
I knew smells can cause someone to be sick, or the right smells like perfume can cause people to react to the opposite sex. I didn't know that it can also, cause irritation and cause road rage!
Fast Food Drive-ins then are a Hazard to your health other than the fatty, calorie gorged foods they sell! It's best to take your lunch to work instead of going out to pick something up on your lucnch break.
Well, It's about time the police started doing their jobs, instead of standing around eating donuts!
I think public shaming might work, at least to make men think twice before going to a prostitue. A lot of men don't think of the concequeses of going to a prostitute. Not until it is too late. They get caught, get AIDS, or STDs or both. Then they regret their decition, but by then it is too late.
Great topics for weirdness wednesday. You sure do have a nose for news. You pick some really great topics to post. Thanks.