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“No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.” – H. L. Mencken

The Fickle Finger of Fate

Employee Advocate – – May 7, 2005

The Employee Advocate used enormous restraint in not initially commenting on the news of a finger being found in a bowl of Wendy's chili. Not wanting to leave out any vital information, the news reports pointed out that the severed finger was “well-manicured.” That bit of information did provide some consolation. Who would want to bite down on an unkempt finger in their chili?

The story “got legs” and became impossible to ignore. No employee of Wendy's was missing a digit. Wendy's then offered a $50,000 reward for information about the finger’s origin. The reward was later raised to $100,000. Do you think that someone had information on the finger, but would not reveal it for a mere $50,000? Do you think that they were holding out for $100,000 before “spilling the beans” and “fingering” the suspect? The Employee Advocate was not going to be lured into the finger fight.

Comedians were having a field day. David Letterman said "She went back there for lunch today — she's trying to collect all five."

Then the lady who reported finding the finger was arrested on charges of grand theft and attempted grand theft. She is suspected of having planted the finger in the Chili. The Employee Advocate was determined to remain above the finger fray.

But then another “finger food” incident cropped up. In Wilmington, North Carolina, Clarence Stowers reported biting down on a human finger embedded in Kohl's Frozen Custard! The difference is that this case appeared legitimate; an employee had lost a finger in a frozen custard machine. Even after these developments, the Employee Advocate was not going to bite on the story.

Stowers, who found the finger at home, told Wilmington television station WWAY "I thought it was candy because they put candy in your ice cream ... to make it a treat. So I said, 'OK, well, I'll just put it in my mouth and get the ice cream off of it and see what it is.' "

Stowers spit the finger out, but did not know what it was. When he rinsed it off with water and identified it he "just started screaming."

Still, the Employee Advocate was going to let the story pass.

But then the Associated Press reported that Mr. Stowers had refused to return the finger, so that it could be reattached to the rightful owner. That was the last straw. This story has become much too bizarre to ignore any longer.

Doctors could have possibly saved the finger if it had been returned promptly. Why would anyone want to keep the finger? The case could be made that Mr. Stowers was the legal owner of the finger, since he it was in the custard that he purchased. But the custard buyer did not know the finger was in the container and the finger owner did not know that his finger was in the custard.

Was Mr. Stowers keeping the finger for evidence? Will he sue Kohl's Frozen Custard for selling him the finger? Will the employee sue Mr. Stowers for depriving him of his finger? Will Mr. Stowers develop health problems and sue the employee?

There’s more. In July 2004, another employee lost a finger in the same frozen custard machine! You know how these things generally work. The North Carolina Labor Department claimed the first employee was negligent and cleared the company of wrongdoing. For those who do not know, it would be grievous understatement to merely call North Carolina a “Corporation Friendly State.” The North Carolina Senate is now trying to weaken the already weak Workers Compensation Law.

Maybe a warning label on the frozen custard machine is in order: “The North Carolina Labor Department Has Determined That If You Cut Off Your Finger in This Machine – It’s Your Fault.”

Here are two completely different lost finger cases: one allegedly fraudulent and one apparently legitimate. But it was the employees who lost in both incidents. Some employees of Wendy's have had their hours reduced and some have been laid off, due to lost business over the finger incident. The last employee to lose a finger at Kohl's Frozen Custard was denied the chance to have it reattached. The first employee to lose a finger at Kohl's Frozen Custard was told that it was his fault.

If you have been in a quandary over what to send the North Carolina Labor Department officials for Christmas, the problem is solved. Send them frozen custard machines!

Destroying Workers Compensation Insurance

Drop the Burrito and Nobody Gets Hurt

Employee Advocate – – May 3, 2005

In Clovis, N. M., someone called 911 to report a possible weapon at Marshall Junior High School. A student was seen carrying something long and wrapped up. Police sprang into action closing streets, locking down the school, and putting snipers on the rooftops.

The Associated Press reported that two hours later the loaded “weapon” was turned in. It was a 30-inch burrito, loaded with steak, guacamole, lettuce, salsa and jalapenos.

The big burrito turned out to be part of an extra-credit assignment.

One shutters to think how police would have responded to oversized doughnut at the school.

Robber Hits Twice

Employee Advocate – – April 29, 2005

In Oklahoma, a thief returned to the scene of the crime for a second break-in, according to the Associated Press. The burglar took a television, stereo and VCR in the first break-in.

The criminal broke in a second time – to return all the belongings. All the wiring was reconnected and the broken door was fixed in the second forced entry.

One thing is certain. This was not the work of a corporate executive – they never return anything taken. They may return to the scene, but only to take anything missed the first time!

‘New Con Men’?

Employee Advocate – – April 21, 2005

Ruth Shaw, CEO and president of Duke Power, has reportedly won the “New Con Men Award.” The outrageous implication is clearly that Ms. Shaw is:

  1. male,

  2. a corporate newbie, and

  3. is a con artist.
The Employee Advocate strenuously objects to this insinuation on two points:

  1. Ms. Shaw is not male.

  2. She does have a new CEO title, but she is not a newcomer to the corporate world.

Someone must have made a mistake. Wait! It seems that she won the “Newcomen Award,” not the “New Con Men Award.” This is very different; never mind.

By the way, what in the sam hill is a Newcomen Award?

According to a Newcomen Society press release, it is an award given by a tax-exempt foundation that exists to, well, give out corporate awards. So, we know what the Newcomen Society does and does not do. It does give out awards to corporations and CEO’s. It does not pay tax.

At least the society provides a function vital to all Americans. Just imagine if the Newcomen Society should, heaven forbid, cease to exist. Without the Newcomen Society, corporations and CEO’s would get one less award! That would be a tragedy too unthinkable to comprehend.

Leighton A. Wildrick, President and CEO of The Newcomen Society, said "Duke Power epitomizes the types of organizations that the Newcomen Society is proud to acknowledge by presentation of the Newcomen Award."

Evidently the Newcomen Society is on the lookout for corporations that:

  • are inspired by and seek to emulate Enron,

  • chisel away the employees’ health benefits,

  • take away the retirees’ health benefits,

  • raid the pension fund,

  • throw millions of dollars at the executives, and

  • underreport regulated earnings.

Ms. Shaw said "We add the 100-year course of Duke Power to the Newcomen Society's vast archives in the hope that our experience might enlighten or inspire others."

Most corporations do not need further enlightenment or inspiration on ways to clean out employees’ pensions and other benefits. They already play follow-the-leader, with consulting firms selling them new and more devious ways to profit at the expense of workers.

School Principal is Smoking Hot

Employee Advocate – – March 29, 2005

There is a law in Road Island that prohibits smoking within 25 feet of a school building. Evidently principal Elaine Almagno felt that she was exempt from the law, according to the Associated Press. Maybe she just though she would never be caught.

Sophomore Eliazar Velasquez witnessed the principal violating the no-smoking law.

But who would believe a sophomore over the school principal?

So, the student took pictures of the smoking incident.

Now that he had the goods on the principal, how could he get the most play out of the situation?

The student posted the pictures on the Internet.

The principal retaliated by suspending the student. The cover story was that posting the pictures on the Internet “disrupted the learning environment” at the school.

The facts have been known to disrupt the playhouses of individuals with varying amounts of relative authority. That is why so much effort is often spent in trying to keep the facts hidden, even in the highest office in the land.

But learning was unquestionably enhanced. The students learned that the principal’s position did not exempt her from the law. They also learned that her authority was not unlimited.

Steven Brown of the American Civil Liberties Union had a few words with the school official on behalf of the student.

School district officials reversed the suspension and said that Elaine Almagno was wrong to break the law.

Superintendent Melody Johnson said "The school had no authority to punish him for the information he had up (on the Web site) or to require him to take down the site."

Principal Almagno reinstated the student and apologized for the incident over the school's public address system.

If principal’s pay attention, they may learn a few things from the students. It is also possible for corporate executives to learn from employees – if they pay attention.

The Case of the Stolen Car Keys

Employee Advocate – – March 15, 2005

In Denmark, two men, 18 and 20, called police to report their car keys had been stolen, according to the Associated Press. Police arrived and were able to set things right in no time. It happened that the missing keys were to their getaway car.

The men had burglarized a summer cabin on Wednesday. A passer-by witnessed the crime and confronted the pair. He insisted that the stolen property be returned. The witness took the buglers car keys to prevent them from escaping.

It looks like the pair had a chance to come clean. If they had returned the stolen property, the witness may have returned their car keys. The buglers weighed their options. If they left their car at the crime scene, the police would have no trouble tracking them down. The pair decided that the only reasonable solution was to call police to help them recover their car keys.

Chief Superintendent Asger Larsen said "The two young men then called us and said they needed our help getting their keys back. It's a pretty straightforward case for us, since this time, the thieves actually reported the robbery."

Police said they were only too happy to help. The pair confessed to breaking and entering and were arrested on the spot.

The Unkindest Cut of All

Employee Advocate – – February 22, 2005

The Associated Press reported that a woman in Alaska was upset with her boyfriend because he was going to break up with her. Anchorage police said that the couple argued into Saturday night. What a bummer and right after Valentine’s Day.

Perhaps for old time’s sake, the couple decided to have one last romantic encounter. The woman suggested that she tie her boyfriend’s hands above the bed. He thought that this was a good idea and agreed. Evidently the man was unfamiliar with the proverb "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."

Does it sound like this story might end badly? It did.

No she didn’t.

Yes she did!

The jilted woman cut off her boyfriend’s penis. That’s pretty cold-hearted, even for the Alaskan climate. But there’s more. This scorned woman was really out for blood.

She then flushed the severed member down the toilet!

What did she do next – pour salt into the wound? No, compassion apparently overwhelmed her. She untied him and drove him to the hospital.

So, her heart was not completely frozen after all, and she was a tidy person. Police arriving on the scene found her cleaning up the bloody mess.

The woman is being held without bail for first-degree assault, domestic violence and tampering with evidence. Tampering with evidence can be a real killer.

And what about the flushed organ? It was recovered by utility workers. Surgeons reattached it.

A Bad Boss with Bad Breath

Employee Advocate – – February 18, 2005

The Associated Press reported that a woman was bound and raped at knifepoint by a masked assailant who had broken into her home. She was able to provide police with the identity of a suspect.

How was this possible, under the circumstances? It seems that her attacker had really bad breath. The breath was as bad as that of her boss.

Can a person be prosecuted and convicted on bad breath evidence? Who knows? But DNA evidence implicated her restaurant manager as the criminal, according to police.

On Monday, Tuen "Dickie" Lee, 36, pleaded innocent.

The Case of the Whooshing Courtroom

Employee Advocate – – February 10, 2005

What do judges think about while cases are being tried? Do they cling to each word, weighing each point of law, in an attempt to dispense justice? Some might. But probably not Judge Donald Thompson.

Jurors noted that Judge Thompson seemed distracted during trials. So much so, that some thought that he may be tying fly-fishing lures behind the bench. It appeared that he was not giving the courtroom proceeding his undivided attention.

Some jurors thought that the judge might have been playing a handheld video game. The judge was not inspiring confidence in the judicial system.

Not only did the judge not appear to be paying attention, but there was the matter of the “strange whooshing noise” heard in the courtroom. The whooshing was so loud that it was recorded on the audiotape of trials. Jurors asked what the unusual noise was, but the judge pleaded ignorance, saying that he had not heard anything.

In 2003, more mysterious whooshing evidence came to light. A police officer took the witness stand during a murder trial. Later he testified that he saw a piece of plastic tubing disappear under Judge Thompson's robe. The plot was definitely thickening. The matter warranted further investigation.

Truth can often be more shocking than mere speculation. Judge Thompson allegedly engaged in “sexual self-stimulation” during trials, according to the Associated Press.

There’s more. He allegedly used a pump, designed for this purpose, under his robe!

Judge Thompson is 58-years-old. He is married and the father of three grown children. He is very aware that he is innocent until proven guilty and has denied everything. When threatened with removal from the bench, he decided to retire last August.

Judge Thompson’s attorney thought that the judge was off the hook after he retired. But indecent-exposure charges were brought against him last month.

The judge tried to explain away the pump as a gag gift from a friend. Must one assume that it’s only natural to keep such an apparatus under the bench in the courtroom?

What kind of evidence it there to support the charges against Judge Thompson?

  • During a lunch break, police photographed the alleged “whooshing pump” under the judge’s bench.

  • Court records mention incriminating specimens found on the carpet, Judge Thompson’s robes, and in his chair.

  • The court reporter was an eye witnesses to the pump use. Lisa Foster said that she saw Judge Thompson use the pump at least 10 time during trials, starting in 2000. She kept quite out of fear of retaliation.

Appeals are expected in cases tried by “Whooshing Judge Donald Thompson.”

How Not to Get Dates

Employee Advocate – – January 27, 2005

The Associated Press reported that two men robbed an 18-year-old pizza lady. She later received a call from one of the robbers. He apologized for robbing her - and asked her for a date.

The victim wisely declined the date, but did give the robber’s phone number to police. Brent Brown, 25, was charged with second-degree robbery. An 18-year-old man was also arrested.

Police found the pizza boxes in the trash can at one residence. The incriminating receipt was still attached.

A police spokesman suggested this case for the television show “The World's Dumbest Criminals.”

Pit Bull Restores Christmas Peace

Employee Advocate – – December 31, 2004

Pit bulldogs usually do not get a lot of good press. But things are getting so bad that a pit bull had to break up a human brawl on Christmas night.

The Associated Press reported that Tennessee police investigated a fracas involving three siblings. A brother and sister were fighting and another sister was trying to break it up. It fell upon the family dog to restore order. The pit bull proceeded to end the brawl the only way he knew how; he nailed all three participants.

The fight ended. Yvonne, Christina, and Nicholas Lyman were treated for dog bites. The dog turned out to be the only sober one in the crowd.

Will dogs be able to lead humans to peace and sobriety? Probably not. There are not nearly enough pit bulls to handle the task.

Christmas Wishes Up in Smoke

Employee Advocate – – December 30, 2004

Evidently Steven Murray, 21, of Feasterville, PA, had anticipated receiving lots of nice Christmas gifts from his family. But his whishes went up in smoke when he received nothing. Perhaps he was a bad boy.

There is a chance that he will not get anything for Christmas next year either. Mr. Murray did not take it too well when he received no gifts. In fact, he did not take it well at all; he sent his parents home up in smoke!

Lower Southampton police officer Peter Liese said "He was irritated that his family gave him no presents for Christmas."

He is in jail on $1 million bail.

Shortcut to Winning the Lottery

Employee Advocate – – December 25, 2004

An Indiana man won the lottery, sort of, according to The Associated Press. The man found a shortcut to lottery cash for Christmas. He broke into the lottery machine inside a convenience store.

The robber did not do as well as those who took 22 million pound ($42 million) in a Northern Ireland bank robbery. The Indiana robber made off with $50 in cash. He did increase his net take by picking up three cartons of cigarettes on the way out. He also made a few more mistakes than the bank robbers.

The crime scene was across from a police station; dispatchers witnessed the event.

The bandit locked his keys in the getaway car. He had to go back into the store and get a broom to knock out a car window.

He tried to outrun the police on a snow covered road.

He crashed head-on into a police car and ended up in a ditch.

He then tried to escape on foot.

The only thing the robber won was free lodging over the holidays. He is charged with robbery and is being held without bond.

The Northern Ireland bank robbers are still at large.

If Donald Rumsfeld Had Never Been Born

Employee Advocate – – December 20, 2004

In The New York Times, Maureen Dowd looks at a world without Donald Rumsfeld:

A Not So Wonderful Life


CLOSE SHOT - Rummy is standing by the railing, staring morosely into the water. The snow is falling hard. Feeling a tap on his shoulder, he wheels around and wrestles an old man with wings into a headlock.

OLD MAN: Ouch! Tut, tut. When will you learn that force doesn't solve everything?

RUMMY: Who the dickens are you?

OLD MAN: Clarence, Angel First Class. I've been sent down to help you.

RUMMY, squinting: You're off your nut, you old fruitcake. You can't help me. I was a matinee idol in this town, a studmuffin. Now everyone's turned on me - Trent Lott, Chuck Hagel and that dadburn McCain.

CLARENCE: No more self-pity, son. I'm going to show you what the world would have been like if you'd never been born.

Clarence, who can fly now, takes Rummy's hand and they soar over the icy Potomac to the Pentagon. Beneath the glass on the desk of the defense secretary is a list of members of Congress and their phone numbers.

RUMMY: Who put that there?

CLARENCE: Sam Nunn. He's the defense secretary. Sam consults with Congress. Never acts arrogant or misleads them. He didn't banish the generals who challenged him - he promoted 'em. And, of course, he caught Osama back in '01. He threw 100,000 troops into Afghanistan on 9/11 and sealed the borders. Our Special Forces trapped the evildoer and his top lieutenants at Tora Bora. You weren't at that cabinet meeting the day after 9/11, so nobody suggested going after Saddam. No American troops died or were maimed in Iraq. No American soldiers tortured Iraqis in Abu Ghraib. No Iraqi explosives fell into the hands of terrorists. There's no office of disinformation to twist perception abroad. We're not on the cusp of an Iraq run by Muslim clerics tied to Iran. Here's Sam. He's with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

GENERAL SHINSEKI: We got some good news today on the National Guard, sir. Recruiting is up 40 percent. With the money we saved killing that useless missile defense system, we up-armored all our Humvees.

RUMMY, fists and jaw clenched: Grrrrrrr...I want to see Wolfie!

CLARENCE: Sam never hired any of those wacko neocons. Wolfowitz is a woolly headed professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and a consultant to Ariel Sharon. Richard Perle was never in charge of the Defense Policy Board, so he was unable to enrich himself through government connections, or help Ahmad Chalabi con the administration. Perle stayed an honest man, running a chain of soufflé shops. His soufflés were so fluffy he became known as the Prince of Lightness. Doug Feith never worked here, either, so he never set up the Office of Special Plans to spin tall tales about W.M.D. and Qaeda ties to Saddam. And he never bungled the occupation because there was no occupation. Without you to swoon over in a book, neocon doyenne Midge Decter became a fallen woman, like Violet.

RUMMY, dyspeptic: Holy mackerel! Take me to Dick!

CLARENCE: Dick and Lynne run a bait, tackle and baton-twirling shop in Casper, Wyo. You didn't exist, so you never gave him those jobs in the Nixon and Ford administrations, and he never ran for Congress or worked for Bush 41 or anointed himself 43's vice president. W. chose Chuck Hagel as his running mate. So without you and Dick there to dominate him, he was guided by his dad and Brent Scowcroft, who kept Condi in line. Colin Powell was never cut off at the knees and the U.N. and allies were never bullied. There was never any crazy fever about Iraq or unilateralism or "Old Europe." Here's Colin now, heading for the Oval Office.

POWELL: Merry Christmas, Mr. President. With the help of our allies around the world, we have won the war on terror. And Saddam has been overthrown. Once Hans Blix exposed the fact that Saddam had no weapons, the tyrant was a goner. No Arab dictator can afford to be humilated by a Swedish disarmament lawyer.

RUMMY: Goodness gracious, I've heard enough now. I'm going home. Unless you're going to tell me my wife is an old maid, because I wasn't around to marry her.

CLARENCE: Oh, no. Joyce lives across the street from your old house on Kalorama Road. She's happily married to the French ambassador.

"Auld Lang Syne" swells as we FADE OUT.

'The Prince of Darkness' Resigns

Zero Tolerance Kindergarten

Employee Advocate – – December 17, 2004

If the world seems more harsh these days, that is because it really is. Now there are even zero tolerance kindergartens.

In St. Louis, a five-year-old kindergartner was handcuffed and put in a squad car at Thurgood Marshall Academy, according to the Associated Press.

Principal Sam Morgan, who had worked eight years for the Department of Corrections, reasoned that driving the child around handcuffed in a squad car would cure his unruly behavior.

Aroni Rucker said "They put handcuffs on my baby. That's for adults who murder and kill. He's 5. He's in kindergarten."

The school has lost its sponsorship and the principal is on leave.

In Panama City Beach, Florida, another method was used to restrain an unruly 5-year-old. Paul Clark was babysitting his roommates children, ages 13 and 5. Mr. Clark was trying to run a methamphetamine lab and you can see how an unruly 5-year-old could cause problems.

Calling the police to handcuff the child and haul him away probably would not have been a good option. The problem was solved by binding the child’s wrists, feet and mouth with duct tape. The roommate, Graham Evans, knew that Paul Clark had used duct tape to restrain the boy, according to the Bay County Sheriff's Office.

Paul Clark, Graham Evans, and Julie Kirk, the boy’s mother, are facing multiple drug-related charges. Paul Clark is charged with child abuse. Julie Kirk and Graham Evans are charged with child neglect.

Zero Tolerance Nursing Home

Crime Dutifully Reported

Employee Advocate – – December 6, 2004

The Florida home of 18-year-old John Douglas Sheetz and 17-year-old Misty Ann Holmes was burglarized, according to the Associated Press. The Panhandle couple promptly reported the crime to police. They reported what was missing and gave detectives permission to search the place.

Two arrests were quickly made in the case. John and Misty, who reported the break in, were arrested and taken to the Bay County Jail.

It seems the property stolen from them was a quarter-pound stash of marijuana. The teenagers tried to explain to the officers that they needed to recover it so that they could resell it.

The search turned up marijuana stems and drug paraphernalia. The hapless couple are under $17,500 bond each.

Lt. Ricky Ramie said "They're America's dumbest criminals."

The Devil Made Them Do It

Employee Advocate – – November 26, 2004

National City pastor Carlos Romero, 59, may reap the whirlwind, according to San Diego The devil did not make at least three women in his congregation have sex with the minister, but allegedly, fear of the devil did.

La Mesa police Sgt. Daniel Willis testified that Romero said that he told three women that the "devil would physically harm them and he could protect them if they had sex with him."

Dora testified: "He told me that there was a revelation from God. He told me that I had already been attacked by the devil, that I could only stop this by having sexual relations with him."

Dora did not question the pastor’s veracity or motive. She said that she believed he was a "true pastor…guiding us toward eternal life."

Another victim testified that Romero told her that if she did not have sex with him, the devil would leave her "gravely wounded."

When a third woman tried to end their sexual relationship, Romero stopped using the Devil as a scare tactic. He told her that he would kill her!

Romero is facing five years and eight months in prison if convicted of the three felony counts. Who knows? He may even find a position as prison chaplain. He would then have a captive audience to preach his moral values to.

Man on the Run

Employee Advocate – – November 25, 2004

A 35-year-old California man had a great excuse for speeding up to 100 mph, according to the Associated Press. He told officers that he was suffering from diarrhea and was desperately in search of a bathroom.

It seems that there was also the matter of two outstanding warrants for his arrest totaling $35,000. Ioan Adrian Coras was arrested and taken to a place where the rest room facilities will always be close at hand.

Justice Scalia's Comedy Routine

Employee Advocate – – October 1, 2004

The Employee Advocate has said that it is too bad that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has a lifetime job. He would make a great stand-up comic. However, some of his legal decisions are not funny at all.

The Harvard Crimson and Associated Press reported that Justice Scalia is now encouraging orgies to eliminate social tensions. Friday, he commented at Harvard University on the number of people needed for group sex "Presumably it is some number between five and the number of people required to fill the Coliseum." He also noted that "sexual orgies eliminate social tensions and ought to be encouraged."

Comics typically recycle their material from one audience to the next and Justice Scalia follows the tradition. The orgies comment was recycled from a speech made September 20 at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

If Justice Scalia wants orgies, perhaps he should run for Congress. If he were in Congress, he would be able to participate in all the immoral activity that he wanted. And even better – then he could be voted out of office!

Did Scalia Look in the Mirror?

Dog Shoots Man in Self-Defense

Employee Advocate – – September 10, 2004

It is said that it is not news when a dog bites a man. But when a man bites a dog, it’s news. What if a dog shoots a man?

A puppy shot a Florida man in self-defense, according to the Associated Press. The man was trying to shoot the puppy in the head and also kill its six siblings. The owner succeeded in killing three of the puppies. The fourth puppy outgunned him.

The mass puppy murderer held one puppy in his arms, a .38-caliber revolver in his right hand, and super-puppy in his left hand. Super puppy kicked the trigger which discharged the pistol and shot the perpetrator in the wrist.

Deputies found three of the puppies in a shallow grave. Escambia County Animal Control took the four surviving puppies and plans to offer them for adoption.

Jerry Allen Bradford, 37, is recovering from the gunshot wound and is charged with felony animal cruelty.

Bush Actually Won a Contest

Employee Advocate – – July 25, 2004

Many people thought that G. W. Bush could not win any contest without a little help from Jeb Bush and the Supreme Court. But Bush actually won a contest, fair and square! There were no hanging chads, no disenfranchised voters, and no disruptions of vote counts.

According to Nelson Wyatt, of the Canadian Press, G. W. Bush won the Stupidest Man of the Year Award in Montreal. Even this victory was not clean; Bush tied for the award with British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Albert Nerenberg, of the Main Organization Revealing Obvious Numbskulls, said "What was interesting about that is that the decision was made overwhelmingly by Americans who voted."

Bush did take clean wins in other categories. He won the Stupidity Award for Reckless Endangerment of the Planet for the second year in a row. The award has only been given for two years, so that makes Bush the all time winner in this category.

Bush also won the Stupidest Statement of the Year Award for his comment: "combat operations have ended in Iraq." Bush beat some stiff competition to win this award. Britney Spears was nominated for saying, "I do," in Las Vegas. Jessica Simpson, was nominated for saying on TV: "Why does Chicken By the Sea taste like tuna? Is it chicken or tuna?"

U.S. soldier Pte. Lynndie England deservedly won the Stupidest Woman of the Year Award. She beat out nominees Martha Stewart, Courtney Love, Anna Nicole Smith and Michael Jackson, who "finally had enough surgery to place himself in this category."

The Shrug Says it All

The Shrug Says it All

Employee Advocate – – May 23, 2004

According to, President James Garfield could write Latin with one hand and Greek with the other – simultaneously! Times have changed. The current White House dweller cannot eat a pretzel and ride a Segway at the same time – or separately, for that matter!

The Associated Press reported that G. W. Bush took a bike ride at his ranch on Saturday. His handlers knew that they should take all precautions. They outfitted Bush with a mouth guard and a helmet. Bush’s bike riding entourage included: his personal physician, members of the Secret Service, and a military aide. The precautions were not enough to keep Bush out of trouble.

Bush fell off the bike, and suffered cuts, bruises, and abrasions.

White House spokesman Trent Duffy said "He had minor abrasions and scratches on his chin, upper lip, nose, right hand and both knees."

Trent Duffy added "You know this president."

Unfortunately, we do!

The Drudge Report quoted John Kerry as asking “Did the training wheels fall off?”

It was added: “Reporters are debating whether to treat it is as on or off the record.” They can debate all they want, but it’s too late now!

A short time after falling off the bike, Bush posed for photographs. He gave the photographers a silly shrug. What could better sum up his tour of the White House than a shrug?

Earlier this month, John Kerry also fell off his bicycle. One of these guys will be steering the country in January.

Lard-Making and Lobbying

Picture This

Employee Advocate – – May 6, 2004

In Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison, the American guards have made it even more infamous than it was under the rule of Saddam Hussein. In addition to other abuse, there seemed to be a perverted obsession with sex. Reuters reported on yet another case of nude photographs being taken. But this case is a little different.

These pictures were taken without the subjects knowledge. The snapshots were taken of female American soldiers, as they showered. And, these photos were allegedly taken by the head of a military police unit, Capt. Leo Merck!

The Contra Costa Times quoted Spc. Myrna Hernandez, 26, as saying "I saw a guy get on all fours with a digital camera in his hands. His head was going under the wall, and we made eye contact. I was in shock, like what do I do now?"

Kinder and Gentler Birthday Parties

Employee Advocate – – May 1, 2004

George Bush Sr. promised to preside over a "kinder and gentler" nation.

Did the G. W. Bush claim to be a “compassionate conservative” mean that he would pursue "kinder and gentler nation-building"?

What about kinder and gentler birthday parties for little girls? The Associated Press reported that at a birthday party, on a dare, the birthday girl’s boyfriend kissed another girl on the cheek.

Nothing could get out of hand; there was adult supervision on the scene. The birthday girl’s 36-year-old mother was the chaperon. She would surely see to it that all the little girls were properly behaved, had games to play, and received plenty of cake and ice cream.

But the mother apparently took offence when her daughter’s boyfriend kissed twelve-year-old Nicole Townes on the cheek. The mother allegedly urged her daughter to "handle your business."

As many as six people stepped up to dispense justice. Would this mini mob assail the boyfriend? No, the mob pummeled and stomped the twelve-year-old girl!

Assault charges were filed against the 13-year-old birthday girl; her 19-year-old sister; the 36-year-old mother; and three other girls, ages 13, 14 and 15. The attacked girl was in a comma for almost three weeks and may have suffered permanent brain damage.

Maybe they should have just went to a movie instead of having a birthday party. They could have watched “Mean Girls.”

Florida Crime Bust

Employee Advocate – – April 11, 2004

There are almost daily reports of executives extracting millions of dollars from corporations through less than ethical means. Few of these schemers will receive more than a small fine, if any punishment at all. The state of Florida apparently does not take such a lenient view of criminal activity, according to the Associated Press.

On Tuesday, a Pasco County sheriff’s deputy arrested, handcuffed, and interrogated a suspected criminal in a livestock heist. The vigorous police work resulted in the recovery of the livestock.

The arrested suspect was a 9-year-old girl. The missing livestock was a rabbit. She was also accused of taking $10 from a neighbor’s home.

The suspect was caught red-handed with the rabbit; she denied taking any money.

The suspect began crying after being interrogated and detained for about an hour. She was released to her mother.

The girl was not impressed with the deputy. She said “He put one handcuff on me really tight. He just stared at me in the mirror.”

Lemonade Stand Busted

Fighting Bush Beyond the Grave

Employee Advocate – – February 24, 2004

How much do some citizens detest G. W. Bush? Some fought him while they were alive and are still fighting him from beyond the grave. Now those people take their politics seriously!

It all started when Lee Sensenbrenner wrote an article about Sally Baron's anti-Bush obituary. It was published August 21, 2003, by The Capital Times. Ms Baron, who was not a fan of G. W. Bush, died at age 71. The family considered what would be a fitting tribute to her.

Pete Baron, one of her six children, said "My uncle asked if there was a cause."

Without hesitation, the family decided to add this note to her obituary: "Memorials in her honor can be made to any organization working for the removal of President Bush."

Maureen Bettilyon, Baron's daughter, said "She thought he was a liar. I think his personality, just standing there with that smirk on his face, and acting like he's this holy Christian, that's what really got her… She'd always watch CNN, C-SPAN, and you know, she'd just swear at the TV and say 'Oh, Bush, he's such a whistle ass!' She'd just get so mad."

Joe Baron, another son, said "She just didn't trust that a big corporate guy was going to be doing what was best for her. She just really didn't trust him."

The story is getting global coverage too. It has been reported in several British newspapers. The French have not overlooked the story either. Le Monde reported that others are getting into the fray. The obituary of Gertrude Jones, 81, included an identical note, published by New Orleans Times-Picayune. The obituary of Helen Kiok, 87, published in The New York Times, also included the note. Three new obituaries appeared in January, asking for support in defeating G. W. Bush.

Ms Baron has become a folk heroine. There are many tributes to her on the Internet. Le Monde pointed out that this will not be the first time that the deceased have been active in elections. Throughout history, many deceased have managed to have their votes tallyed at the polls.

Mr. Bush Changes Name

The New Medicare

Employee Advocate – – February 12, 2004

Corporations are reneging on health care coverage that retirees have already earned. Politicians are weakening Medicare, under the guise of reform. How will retirees be able to pay their health care bills?

The Associated Press reported that alternative methods of meeting health care expenses are being tested. In Florida, a 71-year-old man stopped by a bank to withdraw money a half hour before his wife’s doctors appointment. The problem was that the couple did not have any money in the bank. They needed money to pay the doctor, so they made a withdrawal anyway – with the aid of a fake bomb. His 66-year-old wife drove the getaway car. One could say that the bank and the couple were victims of explosive health care costs.

They got the money, but were not able to keep the doctors’ appointment. They were arrested, after a dye pack exploded.

The bomb turned out to be a bag of sand. The couple’s health care coverage turned out to be a bag of sand also.

Boob Tube Blooper

Employee Advocate – – February 9, 2004

In striving to stay abreast of all newsworthy developments, the Employee Advocate observed that the flap over Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl exposure has not abated yet. Justin Timberlake does get points for originality in proclaiming a “wardrobe malfunction.” That sounds like a NASA term. Picture an astronaut who rips out the rear of his space suit on a protruding screw. He frantically sends a transmission “Houston, we have a wardrobe malfunction.”

It sounds like everyone was keeping their promises. A MTV promotion promised “shocking moments.” Justin Temberlake promised “I'll get you naked by the end of this song.”

The CBS switchboard lit up with complaints. CBS executives and the NFL professed outrage. The FCC received over 200,000 complaints and Chairman Michael Powell vowed a thorough investigation.

It is uplifting that federal agencies are alert and eager to investigate the handling of this affair. But in other matters, federal agencies are reluctant to investigate. There has been no investigation into V. P. Dick Cheney’s secret meetings with energy executives and the scandalous, proposed energy bill that resulted. The General Accounting Office did file a lawsuit against Cheney, in an attempt to get answers.

The 9/11 terrorist attacks went uninvestigated for a long time because the Bush administration is so reluctant to provide any information about anything. That investigation is progressing slowly; Bush wants to decide exactly what can be investigated. Newsweek reported that “panel members are fed up with what one calls ‘maddening’ restrictions by White House lawyers on their access to key documents.”

G. W. Bush also opposed an investigation into his bogus WMD claims. He had to change his mind under mounting pressure for such an investigation. He will now have to settled for just being uncooperative and stonewalling-as-usual.

CBS did make some effort to protect the viewing public’s sensibilities. It banned a 30-second spot by What was so offending about the video? The video showed scenes of children working. These were fully clothed children, mind you, but the spot was not allowed. Perhaps it was banned because it was an anti-Bush commercial. It demonstrated how long children would be working to pay off the Bush budget deficit.

There has been much discussion about what children may have witnessed during the broadcast. Rest assured that CBS spared children from any disturbing deficit news. Children were treated to alcohol commercials; crude lyrics; scantily clad, suggestive dancers; an American flag worn as a poncho; crotch grabbing; and a horse blowing flaming flatulence into a woman’s face. This fare was in addition to the malfunctioning wardrobe escapade.

Henry Louis Mencken’s observation is verified each day: “No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.”

View "Child's Pay," the ad banned by CBS:

Concern for Bush’s Well Being

Employee Advocate – – February 6, 2004

As improbable as this may sound, no one is more concerned about the well being of G. W. Bush than the Employee Advocate. He should get plenty of rest, take vitamins, and avoid drafts. And by all means, he should stay clear of any pretzels!

Why all the concern? It would be a tragedy of epic proportions if G. W. Bush should suffer serious health problems. Dick Cheney would then move into the Oval Office! That would be going from the frying pan straight to Hades!

Cheney Pouts About Website

Football is not Everything

Employee Advocate – - January 31, 2004

“I Owe My Life To That Young Man”

To a high school freshman, age 14, making the football team may seem like everything. Justin Gregorich, of Florida, aspired to join the Countryside High School's junior-varsity football team next season, according to the Associated Press and On Wednesday, he attended the team's conditioning practice.

At 5-foot-3 inches tall and weighing only 130 pounds, he was at a disadvantage in the weightlifting session. So much so that his classmates called him a weakling. Justin was so distraught by the ridicule that he left early and began walking home.

As he dejectedly trudged home, the weightlifting session and searing assessment “weakling” weighed on his mind. Justin said “I'm thinking, man, I should have stayed at football, the coach is going to be mad at me, why did I leave? And -- WHAM!”

At that moment, an elderly man ran a Lincoln Town Car off the road in front of Justin and into a pond. Justin and two others on the scene, Michael McBrayer and Shawn Brady, dove into the snake and alligator infested pond and swam about 50 feet to the car. One opened the car door while Justin and the other rescuer pulled Raymond J. Kane from the sinking vehicle. They swam back to the bank with Mr. Kane.

In a matter of minutes, Justin went from “weakling” to “hero.”

Paramedic Mike Eash said “It's amazing -- there are snakes and there are alligators ... all three of them just jumped in right after that guy.”

Mr. Kane was hospitalized, but in good condition on Thursday. Through a hospital spokesperson, he said “I owe my life to that young man.”

Off The Wall - Page 3