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Lady Lawyers Sue, More Bad Ads

A group of female lawyers in Italy is suing a beer maker there for an advertisement that suggests women are incapable of properly parking vehicles, according to the Telegraph.

In the Peroni beer ad, the first scene shows a young woman struggling to park her horse and carriage while two beer-swilling men look on and laugh. The second scene is set in the present and shows men laughing as a woman struggles to park her car.

"Fortunately some things don't change," says the voice-over.

A group of female lawyers has sued Peroni, saying the ad is sexist and discriminatory.

"Although Peroni may see this advert as light and ironic, we most certainly do not see it as such … We would like to point out to Peroni that women these days safely drive and park not only cars, but planes, taxis, coaches, ships and trains," the complaint reads.

Millions Marginalized

Athiests in Tennessee are complaining that a campaign ad filmed in a Baptist church sends a "divisive" message to society and alienates thousands of non-believers, free-thinkers and secular humanists, reports the Chattanoogan.

American Atheists says the ad for Democratic candidate Harold Ford, Jr. marginalizes millions of people and leads to serious questions as to whether the candidate would maintain the separation between church and state.

"To our knowledge, this is the first time a partisan political ad has been produced using the backdrop of a church," said Ellen Johnson, president of the group. "It's part of a larger and disturbing trend where candidates are invoking religion in order to woo constituencies and win elections."

Islamophobia

An ad for a local transportation agency in Perth, Australia that featured a gorilla wearing a fez was removed from public display following complaints that it was culturally insensitive, according to the Australian.

Transperth said the campaign, which was launched in July, was intended to highlight the advantages of getting regular updates to last-minute changes in the public transport system. The gorilla was supposed to be an escaped circus animal holding up traffic.

But because the fez is sometimes considered a type of headgear worn in Islamic countries, three people complained that the image was racist.

Activist Ramdas Sankaran said it was not the type of image that should be used in a multicultural society.

"Given the current Islamaphobia around the place, it's rather unfortunate that thoughtless ads like this are floating around," he said.

Incensed

A campaign worker for a Republican congressional candidate in Minnesota was forced to apologize for using a racial slur to refer to vehicles showing up at a rally for his Democratic challenger, reports the St. Paul Pioneer-Press.

Former state Rep. Mike Osskopp, who works for U.S. Rep. John Kline, was videotaped remarking about the number of "Jap" cars showing up at a rally for opponent Coleen Rowley.

St. Paul resident Paul Bartlett was so incensed by the slur that he fired off a letter of complaint to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission and the Japanese American Citizens League.

Racist Revving

A driver in Scotland was arrested and spent two days in jail after being accused of revving his engine in a racist manner in front of a Libyan couple, according to the Sunday Mail.

Prosecutors eventually dropped the racism charges, but charged Mechanic Ronnie Hutton, 49, with breach of peace.

An off-duty police officer complained that Hutton was trying to intimidate a couple that was walking down the sidewalk. In court, one of the victims testified that Hutton was "trying to annoy us by revving his engine very, very loudly."

Channeling Richard Pryor

Texas Gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman is being pilloried again this week, reports the Associated Press, this time for using the N-word in a 1980 nightclub standup performance.

Friedman admits to using the word, but says he was making fun of bigots in his comedy routine.

"Texans who know anything about Kinky know that he's not a racist, and they're going to see through all of this political correctness very soon," said a spokeswoman for his campaign.

Also this week, a year-old television interview surfaced in which Friedman was asked what to do about sexual predators. "Throw them in prison and throw away the key and make them listen to a Negro talking to himself," he said.

Black leaders in the state said Friedman "needs to change his tune or get out of the race."

For more doses of politically correct nuttiness, head over to the Tongue Tied daily edition.

Mailbag:

Edward R. writes:

I am an atheist but could really care less about whether religious icons or references are in public places or government settings; I accept them as unoffensive (or even positive) parts of our mainly Christian oriented heritage and see nothing wrong or upsetting in them.

Religious symbols, like images of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or the tooth fairy, are merely iconic representations with meaning limited to believers. Whether we believe or not believe in a God, Judeo-Christian or otherwise, is a matter of education, upbringing, emotional needs, and/or intellectual choice.

And even though I see most religions as irrational belief systems founded in ignorance and superstition, they do serve as a supra-legal means of governing the baser aspects of human behavior, and provide a sense of purpose and meaning to otherwise insignificant lives (in the grander scheme of things).

Jim R. in N.C. writes:

I think Pastor K.C. McKay's sign offering conversion for Muslims to Christianity was funny. It illustrates the absurdity of the calls from Muslims for Christians to convert to Islam. That CAIR didn't like it and called it offensive and a hate incident is just silly.

They have no credibility. I don't remember them denouncing the gunpoint conversions to Islam of two kidnapped reporters. They've been pretty silent on the kidnappings and beheadings that befell those who would not convert to Islam. I prefer the soft approach that Pastor McKay took as opposed to the coercive practices of the Islamo-nutjobs.

Joe K. in Dallas writes:

The only way you can be hurt by a sign is if someone takes it off the wall it's hanging on and beats you with it. The only way a flag can hurt you is if someone beats you with the pole it's on or pokes you with that pointy thing on the end of the pole. I suppose they could also strangle you with the flag if you were really patient and didn't fight too much.

If a flag or sign causes you "severe emotional distress," then you should be incarcerated and given intensive psychiatric help, as you are way to sensitive and are either on the verge of a nervous breakdown or of trying to kill everyone in sight. We should all pray that people so afflicted get not only a life, but a brain as well.

Kathy V. in Wisconsin writes:

In response to those who immediately haul out the race card any time they think an "offensive" word was used to describe someone "of race" (did you know, by the way, that "Caucasian" is a race as well?), I would suggest they actually pull out their dictionaries and see what the varied definitions of the word are.

While "slavish" can mean "pertaining to or characteristic of a slave," or "of the institution of slavery," I suspect that, since slavery was abolished about 140 years ago, they are probably using it to mean "blindly dependent on."

Helen H. writes:

Why does the news media give credence to every disgruntled person out there? The media stirs up controversy just so they can have something to right about. And this thing with giving these radicals so much publicity in their reaction to the Pope's remarks, the reaction would go away if you guys weren't continually fueling it. I say to you, get a life.

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