Meet the World’s Dumbest Criminals, Politicians, and Bosses

Head-scratching decisions … Ludicrous power trips … Bizarre regulations … Of course we’re laughing at these guys!

By Bill Hangley and Andy Simmons from The Dumb Book (Reader's Digest Association Books)
Also in Reader's Digest Magazine April 2014

man in dunce cap

Serge Bloch for Reader’s Digest, Ralph Smith for Reader’s Digest

World’s Dumbest Politicians

Seattle City Council member-elect Kshama Sawant had a plan should Boeing move some of its manufacturing out of state: The workers could “take over” the plant. “We can retool the machines to produce buses, instead of destructive, you know, war machines,” she said. The Boeing plant builds passenger planes. Source:

“It’s a racist tax.”—Florida Rep. Ted Yoho, on taxing tanning salons, which apparently discriminates against pale Americans

Marty Hahne—aka Marty the Magician—had just finished his show at a library in Missouri when a mysterious stranger demanded, “Show me your license.”

“License for …?” asked the surprised entertainer.

“For the rabbit,” said the stranger, who was from the Department of Agriculture, enforcing a regulation designed to protect circus animals and other working beasts. If Hahne wanted to keep entertaining, he would have to provide a “disaster plan” to protect his three-pound bunny from fires, floods, air-conditioning failures, and other acts of God or the electric company. Hahne already had the proper rabbit license. But now he also has a 28-page disaster plan, and he must submit a detailed itinerary anytime he travels with the rabbit. The irony is that animals raised as food are exempt from such rules. “I can kill the rabbit right in front of you,” Hahne said. “But I can’t take it across the street to the birthday party.” Source:

Everyone is familiar with hyper-protective school boards that ban books because of controversial language. But few can match the visionary leaders of the Menifee Union School District in California, which decided that the best way to handle certain words was 
to ban the dictionary. (A district committee reversed the ban.) Source:

When Michigan officials say, “No building without a permit,” they mean it. That’s what Stephen Tvedten found out when he received a letter from state officials demanding that he “cease and desist” the construction of two dams on his property. Trouble was, it wasn’t Tvedten building the dams—it was a family of beavers. Fortunately, the state dropped its concerns once an investigator examined the situation more closely. “It probably would have been a good idea to do the inspection before we sent the notice,” one official said. Source:

dumb criminals book

Want more idiocy?
The Dumb Book (Reader’s Digest, $9.99) celebrates America’s funniest foibles from criminals, politicians,
and celebs as well as viral gaffes we can’t get enough of. Available online and wherever books are sold.

Serge Bloch for Reader's Digest, Ralph Smith for Reader's Digest

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