Thursday, October 05, 2006

Cognitive dissonance, or Wha'th'Fuck!?

Here's a "Wha'th'fuck!?" story on the Iowa First US Congressional District race between Republican businessman Mike Whalen and Democrat, and lawyer, Bruce Braley.
A new poll released Wednesday shows Mike Whalen leading congressional election rival Bruce Braley by 13 percentage points.

The new Reuters/Zogby poll, conducted Sept. 25 to Oct. 2, says Whalen leads Braley 47 percent to 34 percent.
Now, here comes the "wha'th'fuck!?" statement by a Whalen functionary.
In a prepared statement, Russ Perisho, Whalen’s campaign manager, said the poll shows voters are responding to the Bettendorf businessman as an outsider who would “upset the apple cart in Washington"(emphasis added).
An "outsider" who will "upset the apple cart..."?! Pull-eeze. A Republican businessman, Whalen owns the over-rated, over-priced, choke and puke Machine Shed Restaurant chain. Whalen's business both caters to and is a front for big agribusiness lobbys: Our home style, made-from-scratch cookin' continues to win numerous awards from farm groups like the Pork Producers and the Beef Industry Council.

And, of course, Whalen's Machine Shed is "family" oriented so everything's always on the up and up in a "Christian" sort of way. Take this little incident from three years ago, of instance:
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today filed a sexual harassment lawsuit in federal court here against Heart of America Management Co., which does business locally as the Machine Shed Restaurant. The federal agency's suit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 charges that the Machine Shed permitted the sexual harassment of Joetta Haas, a server at its restaurant located at 7475 East State Street (Route 20) on the commercial strip west of Interstate 90. EEOC said Haas worked at the restaurant for 15 months until she resigned in September 2001 because of the continuing sexual harassment.

EEOC said that its administrative investigation which preceded the lawsuit revealed that the harassment, which was carried out by a male server and observed by other employees, involved almost daily propositions and explicit sexual remarks which were graphic and offensive in the extreme, as well as the man physically grabbing the woman. At one point, while at work at the Machine Shed and in front of other servers, the man recounted a dream he claimed to have had in which he and the server were having sex. After the server married, the man escalated his harassment, told her "I can do a better job . . . than your husband," and graphically described his sexual desires.

When Joetta Haas complained about the constant harassment, according to the EEOC investigation, management told her that she "shouldn't get worked up about it," that there was "nothing [they] could do," that she should avoid the harasser, and that the harasser claimed that she had been making sexual remarks to him. The investigation also indicated that, after Haas was forced out of her job by the harassment, the harasser was eventually discharged because her complaints were corroborated by other employees.(emphasis added)

Ms. Haas said, "When I went to work at the Machine Shed, I didn't count on constant sexual harassment being part of the job. When it went on and on, and I complained, I really believed that management would do something about it. But nothing was done, and I was forced out of my job. I'm glad the EEOC is getting involved, and I hope there will be some real change at the restaurant and at Heart of America."
We can be sure one of the "apple carts" Whalen wants to upset is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

To be fair, I've eaten at the Urbandale, IA Machine Shed restaurant on several occasions and I found both the food quality and service to be spotty, ranging from good to, well, downright surly. Why? According to a Quad Cities Times report on Septermber 22, 2006,"...servers in his restaurant make $3.09 per hour base pay plus tips. He said the hourly wage, including tips, is $10 to $15 per hour for most servers." Ain't he a generous sonuvabitch?

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