The U.S. military operates a beachfront vacation site for its personnel worldwide and their families at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, with $42-a-night air-conditioned suites, surfing, boat rides, golf course, bowling alley and even a gift shop. One T-shirt for sale reads, “The Taliban Towers at Guantanamo Bay, the Caribbean’s Newest 5-star Resort.” News of the facility was not widely reported until a British lawyer who represents 28 of the nearly 300 detainees housed there described it to London’s Daily Mail in May.
The Continuing Crisis
Another Criterion for Teacher Certification: Police in Fort Myers, Fla., were called to Royal Palm Exceptional School in April and wound up arresting an 8-year-old boy named Deshawn for punching his female teacher in the face, leaving several bruises. Said Deshawn’s grandmother, Dorothy Williams, when interviewed by WBBH-TV: “He gets very upset, and he loves to hit,” but “If he was overpowering her that much, I feel like she shouldn’t be in that line of work.”
America in Decline: One of the Internet’s successful Web sites (10 million page views a month, with $500,000 in ads from companies including Verizon, McDonald’s and General Motors) is a site that merely reports on what celebrities’ babies are wearing, in that so many mothers are apparently obsessed with mimicking those clothing choices for their own tots. A May Wall Street Journal feature said sometimes the site’s posting a photo of a celebrity baby incites a nationwide run on what it’s wearing.
Workplace Culture: Salesman Chad Hudgens filed a lawsuit in January against his former Salt Lake City employer, charging that the boss and a “motivational trainer” used, as a “team-building” exercise, what was essentially the controversial “torture” practice of “waterboarding.” The boss allegedly said that if salesmen tried as hard to close deals as they’re trying to breathe during the simulated drowning, sales would soar.
British office worker Theresa Bailey, 43, was awarded the equivalent of about $10,300 by a court in Ashford, England, in May after she complained of sexual harassment by her otherwise-all-male direct-marketing team at Selectabase company. Among the “laddish” behavior was her boss’s regularly “lift(ing) his right cheek” and expelling gas in her direction.
First Things First
A supervisor at the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services told a Billings Gazette reporter in March that some of his employees were complaining that new computers delivered to the office lacked games like solitaire, hearts and Minesweeper, and that it wasn’t fair that employees with older computers still had the games.
The traffic commander of the Rusafah district in Baghdad told his officers in April to start enforcing the country’s seat-belt laws. The fine is the equivalent of about $12.50.
News of the Tacky
The leader of the Liberal Party in the Australian state of Western Australia said in April that he would not resign even though an accusation against him was true: that at a party staff meeting in December 2005, when a female colleague got out of her chair, he playfully moved over and sniffed it.
The Missouri Supreme Court suspended the law license of David A. Dalton II in March for allegedly arranging leniency, with a prosecutor, for one of his clients in exchange for the client’s having her godfather, retired football star Terry Bradshaw, autograph a baseball for him.