Monday, March 31, 2008

Toobie, Or Not Toobie

Well, it looks like the reports of his freedom may be greatly exaggerated. Authorities today announced that before releasing suspected armed robber and car thief Elton "Toobie" Phillips, they will be interviewing Phillips' mother and suspected aunt. After appearing on WDSU Channel 6 News last week, the ladies have caught the interest of prosecutors for comments they made to Travers Mackel.

Carolyn Jackson, Phillips' suspected aunt, told Mackel that Elton confessed to "robberin'." I say suspected because she now claims that she is not his aunt. In fact, she now says she's not related to him at all. Jackson now claims that she met Phillips only once, in Hammond where she lives, and where Phillips fled after being mistakenly released in December, 2007. Her current claim is that Phillips confessed to "general wrong-doing" while they were praying together.

Phillips mother, Kim Wicker, stated that her son didn't tell here he did it, but he didn't say he didn't do it either. The AG's office has asked for a week long continuance to investigate both women's stories.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

God Bless America!

Here's a little story that is bound to make everyone sick a little bit at a time.

A while back, a Wal-Mart employee named Debra Shank was driving along the road when her vehicle was struck in the driver's side door by an eighteen-wheeler. The accident left her brain damaged and almost totally incapacitated, requiring around-the-clock care. A $700,000 settlement was agreed on with the trucking company to cover Debra's medical expenses.

The money was put into a trust fund for Debra's perpetual care. Well, sort of. After legal fees there was only about $417,000 left. The lawyers basically snag forty percent of the settlement. God Bless America.

That made me a little ill, but wait... it gets worse.

Wal-Mart sued Debra in order to recover over $470,000 its health care plan paid for her initial care after the accident! That queasy feeling was growing. If Wal-Mart is involved, you know it can't get any better. And it doesn't. It seems that when Debra crossed all her t's and dotted her i's with Wal-Mart, she overlooked a small clause in her contract where Wal-Mart had the right to reimbursement from any settlement she received if she also received money from her health care plan. It's incredibly disturbing, but look around and you'll find similar clauses in company handbooks all across this great nation. God bless America.

Employers are beginning to go after settlement money as a direct result of escalating health care costs. In this case, the multi-billion dollar entity says it's looking after the interests of all it's employees by insuring the integrity of it's health care funds. God Bless America.

Currently, just over $200,000 remains in Debra's trust fund, set up by her ex-husband, Jim, and though they refuse to be interviewed, Wal-Mart released a statement saying that they are showing compassion by settling for what's left instead of the full $470,000. And you know what? They sued the Shanks and won! Not only that, but an appellate court upheld the decision! God Bless America.

Debra's ex-husband Jim is currently working two jobs to pay for her nursing care.He recently had to let her private nurse go because he simply can't afford to pay her. Jim's two jobs mean that he can't be there for Debra all that much either. Remember, Debra can't do anything for herself. She can't walk. She can't feed herself. She can't bathe or use the bathroom by herself. And Wal-Mart, the largest corporation on the planet, wants its money. God Bless America.

I mentioned that Jim Shanks is Debra's ex-husband. You might think he's something of a saint, fighting hard for a former spouse, but that's not really the case. Until recently the Shanks were still happily married, but thanks to the United States Government their divorce was inevitable. You see, Debra qualifies for more government aid if she's single. I'm not kidding. I recently ran across an old friend in the same situation. I hadn't seen Mister Ronnie since the Pre-Katrina days, but he and his wife were the picture of a happy couple. When I last saw him I asked how everything was and with that wry smile he usually reserves for jokes, he told me he was divorced. My jaw dropped and he told me that was the only way he could afford his medication. So the next time you hear politicians wailing about Family Values and the sin of divorce, remember that there are a lot of divorces caused by the laws made by those same politicians. God Bless America.

And just to make you even sicker, I'll go for the jugular and mention that one of the Shank's sons was killed in Iraq, fighting for the country that forced his parents to divorce so that his mother could receive the best care possible. Is this a great country, or what? God Bless America!

For more on this whole sordid affair, visit MSN here:

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Rest In 10-Piece

I almost forgot. Al Copeland bought his last 10-piece dark last week. He died of cancer of the salivary glands. Makes you wonder what was in that chicken recipe he 'borrowed' from his grammaw, don't it? I will fondly remember his Popeye's chain as the haven it was for rude, unhelpful employees who turned off the fryers an hour early every night and consistently used every piece of product, no matter how many times it fell on the floor.

Don't Mock Me!

A mock terrorist drill was held today near the river, simulating an exploded river craft and toxic gas. It certainly was comforting to see the news coverage of emergency vehicles proceeding slowly to the drill site and first responders casually strolling from victim to victim. A mock hurricane drill is scheduled in the near future. Sources report that Mayor C Ray Nagin has already purchased tickets to Houston for his family.

Jordan's Squeezes 'Special' Friend Gets Off

Accused armed robber Elton Phillips is a free man again, but this time it's legal. (For the story, check past posts, I'm too lazy to recap it here.) According to the DA's office, the two witnesses had conflicting stories and were unable to pick him out of a lineup. Sources say this is the only reason for his release and not the fact that the accused is chummy with former DA Eddie Jordan's current moll.

In an interview with WDSU Channel 6, Phillips' aunt says he apologized to her and to God for the "things he done," and she said that he had to "say what he done," and he apologized to god for "robberin." Phillips mother said that he never admitted his guilt to her and she even "kinda axed him about it." Phillips says his aunt is "mistaken." Whatever the case, this is an opportunity for Elton Phillips to get his life back on track. Elton, if you reading this, take my advice and stop hanging out with bad elements of society like Eddie and his cruiser.

As to the police lineup, they're a fucking joke. I witnessed a hit and run about ten years ago and hung around with three or four other witnesses until the police came. We wrote down the license number and description of the van for the officers and I gave them my number. Two months later I was called in for the lineup. Needless to say, I failed to pick out the guy but apparently one of the witnesses did. But this was Kenner, so perhaps the NOPD is a little more on the ball, but somehow I doubt it.