The Militant(logo) 
    Vol.60/No.7           February 19, 1996 
The Great Society  


A matter of values - A judge in Tallahassee, Florida, awarded custody of an 11-year-old girl to her father because her mother is a lesbian. Earlier, the father did a prison stretch for murdering his first wife.

Catch 22 - Rodolfo Acuņa, a veteran Chicano Studies faculty member at Cal State Northridge, was rejected for a teaching post at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He sued on grounds of age bias and won $300,000 damages. But a federal judge denied his request for the teaching post, declaring that what with the three and a half years of litigation there would be bad vibes at the university and, therefore, it would be "impractical and inappropriate" for Acuņa to teach there.

He'd run too - A New York judge threw out a drug case against a woman who was busted in the Washington Heights area. The cop said he saw four men place some bags in her car trunk. When he stared at them they ran away. The judge said this did not justify arresting the woman. He said Washington Heights residents tend to regard cops as "corrupt, abusive, and violent," and it would be surprising if they hadn't run.

`A fool and his money...' - It's called the "molecular locator" and, supposedly, detects hidden drugs. (The makers say they don't reveal how it works so the secret won't be stolen.) The FBI warns it's a fraud, but some police agencies have paid $1,000 for them. Randy Schwegman, an embarrassed Minnesota sheriff, said, he's not convinced it's useless. He observes, "There are some things in this world that don't have a scientific explanation. This could be one of them."

Sometimes - To round out his argument in defense of the "molecular locator," Sheriff Schwegman says, "I don't know how it works, but I don't understand how computers work either, and they seem to work."

March of technology - New products featured at the American Correctional Assn. confab included a plastic "Slammer Stool" - a portable seat for when two inmates are put in a cell designed for one - and "Stack-a-Bunks" to handle overflow.

Better than two martinis - The London Observer reports a growing network of Christian chapters for business folk. It cites a U.S. employer who had to chop 600 jobs: "He was sure it was a correct business decision. But he also knew that he ought to `look the people in the eye' and tell them they had lost their jobs. He said he would not have done this if he had not been attending local chapter meetings."

They twitch all the way to the bank - Psychologist Craig Dreilinger recommends taking the first early retirement offer the boss makes. Why? "Employers are likely to be more generous with early retirement offers at the beginning of a downsizing because they feel lots of guilt."

Yes - When a woman wrote to Ann Landers about her husband looking for a job for three years, the advice columnist berated the writer for a "negative attitude." Landers said this evoked 6,000 angry letters and cited some. Our favorite: "Dear Marie Antoinette: Millions of people in the United States and Canada are working for peanuts to create millionaires and billionaires. This is the stuff revolutions are made of."

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