The ruckus over the beauty pageant in Nigeria reminds me of when the Miss World pageant was held in Bangalore (I’m not making this up) India in 1996. A protest group named Mahila Jagran Samiti, which apparently translates to “Forum for the Awakening of Women,” threatened to commit mass suicide by immolation to protest the pageant. “Wearing miniskirts is not part of our traditional culture,” their spokesperson told reporters. (They don’t like Kentucky Fried Chicken either, it turns out. No word on what they think of turducken, but I can guess.) The spokesperson also said that the group had abandoned plans to have one member per day set herself on fire. Instead, they wanted to preserve their entire 15-person suicide squad for a mass immolation during the crowning ceremony, which was held in an outdoor stadium. The local constabulary talked them out of it, thus depriving Miss World of unprecedented ratings.
And Peter, all you really need to know about ERISA is that it really stands for: "Every Ridiculous Idea Since Adam." Just like most statutes from Washington.