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   Vol.65/No.49            December 24, 2001 
The Great Society
Maybe they are crazy--While Enron stock shot down to junk status, employees saw their retirement savings wiped out. The electric utilities trust had deftly frozen their 401 (k) pension stocks. But Enron cares. They're lining up "grief counselors" for the shafted workers.

Capitalist Grinch--On a call-in radio show, New York's departing Mayor Giuliani clashed with Jimmy, a construction worker on the World Trade Center rubble site. Jimmy explained he had missed Thanksgiving with his family and asked what were the chances of giving everyone off for Xmas. Guiliani responded with a harsh no-way.

Still belching--Later, in an a "be patriotic, buy now" appearance at an upscale shop, Guiliani bought an $85 tie and renewed his attack on Jimmy, suggesting that if he didn't like his sacred job, maybe he should go elsewhere.

'Besides, they don't matter'--Los Angeles and Orange counties have ruled that homeless people seeking wintery shelter in National Guard armories be required to have photo IDs, and must allow their belongings to be searched nightly. Piped up a presumably non-homeless official: "The homeless population doesn't think it's unreasonable to be searched entering a military facility during times like these."

Take your vitamins--Data gathered by pollsters in 11 countries in Europe, the United Kingdom, and the Americas: In 1960, 8.5 percent of the working force were doing more than 9 to 5 shifts. By 2000, it was 17 percent. During that same period the number of part-time workers swelled from 6 percent to 20 percent. In 2000, the average retirement age was 59. In 2010, it's projected to be 72!

You don't hate capitalism?--In Minden, Nevada, a factory explosion killed one worker and badly burned three others. All part of an extended family, two women moved in to help the men in constant pain. The landlord went to court for an eviction because he had a three-person contract. The judge advised them to get out and set a final hearing December 3. Meanwhile the landlord, in a fit of human concern, offered the family new quarters--at a higher rent.

Cracking the whip--Over the past decade, 126 Denver cops shot people. Five of the cops were disciplined. One got hit the heaviest--a day's pay and a three-day suspension. Declared a top cop: "We hold the officers to a very high standard."

Hold the fries--A reader sent a picture ad of Barbie deced out in an apron with the big "M" logo. Commented the reader: "A Barbie dressed for her future as a minimum-wage worker at McDonalds. I call her Recession Barbie."

S.F., Cool City--"Days after the lids of eight ballot boxes were found floating in San Francisco Bay, the City Department of Elections has announced it found an additional 240 ballots that were not not counted in the elections earlier this month."--News item.  
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