Inside the System
May 30, 2003 | Page 4
When diplomats attack
UNITED NATIONS members must get cranky when they miss lunch. In early May, thousands of UN employees and diplomats plundered food, liquor and silverware from dining facilities at UN headquarters in New York City after food workers staged a wildcat strike during lunch hour.
As a result of the walkout, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and Security Council members who were in a private lunch were served a main course, but no dessert or coffee, and service was shut down elsewhere in the complex. That's when a "high-ranking UN official" ordered that cafeterias be opened as "no-pay zones."
When the doors were opened at 1 p.m., "It was chaos, wild, something out of a war scene," said an Aramark executive. "They took everything, even the silverware." A witness from UN security said the cafeteria was "stripped bare."
Another witness said that "chickens, turkeys, souffles, casseroles all went out the door," while a U.S. diplomat, asked how much liquor was taken from a bar, said, "I stopped counting the bottles." Some well-known diplomats were apparently among the takers--as more than $7,000 worth of food and liquor was taken from the main cafeteria alone.
Cops' insulting undercover sting
COPS IN Kissimmee, Fla., have hit on a disgusting new way to go unnoticed while trying to catch drivers who run red lights: dress up as homeless people. "Operation Vagrant," a sting operation involving the Florida Highway Patrol, Kissimmee police and the Osceola County Sheriff's Office, has so far nabbed 171 drivers--most of whom ran red lights.
Undercover deputies stood along streets and gave the indication that they were vagrants by pushing shopping carts and wearing fake teeth and tattered clothing. "Our ultimate goal is to make an impact," said Osceola Sheriff's Burreau Chief Jerry Geier, "The last thing we're trying to do is disrespect anybody."
Heard it through the grapevine
"WHERE DID this idea come from that everybody deserves free education? Free medical care? Free whatever? It comes from Moscow. From Russia. It comes straight out of the pit of hell."
"THIS BIG deal about Bush landing on an aircraft carrier? Talk about a 6-year-old kid with a Tonka toy--we got it here...Bush has polarized the country and is creating this breeding ground for an opposition."
"SUPPORTERS OF making dividends tax free like to paint critics as promoters of class warfare. The fact is, however, their proposal promotes class welfare. For my class."
"WHAT DOES it say to you that half of all 15 year olds in South Africa and Zimbabwe could lose their lives to AIDS? What does it say to you that 11 million children, roughly, die every year from preventable diseases? What does it say to you that of the 4 million babies who die within their first month, 98 percent are from poor countries? What do those statistics tell you about the world?"
"IT REALLY is a failure of capitalism."
"I HOPE that when the smoke clears from the Iraq thing, more attention would be given to Rumsfeld's ideas."