One Job Created -- If you're wondering whatever happened to that One Spokane summit (sometimes known as the "poverty summit") from last year at this time, maybe you should just apply for the job. That's right, to keep pushing the dozens of initiatives that came out of that summit, the City of Spokane will hire a "One Spokane Coordinator," according to a recent job listing.
"The position coordinates with One Spokane initiatives and provides support to the One Spokane Joint Committee, including meetings, correspondence, marketing, fundraising, special events, Web page maintenance and research." Deadline for applications is 5 pm on April 28.
Protecting the Precious -- By now we've all heard how Iraqi looters cleared out the Iraq National Museum -- the equivalent of our Smithsonian, except that it goes back to the dawn of civilization, not just a few hundred years. Of course the blame rests on the looters, but didn't the U.S. have some responsibility to protect those 170,000 pieces of history? According to the Geneva Convention, invading forces are required to maintain civil order and protect citizens and property.
But When NBC's Tim Russert asked Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld about the cultural catastrophe on Meet the Press, Rummy looked at Russert as though he was insane, answering "But we didn't allow it. It happened... Bad things do happen in life and people do loot... It's a shame when it happens."
Rumsfeld didn't mention that U.S. troops apparently did have orders to protect another Iraqi building filled with treasures, as reported by the Washington Post. Why protect one but not the other? And just what was this building that was off-limits to looters, thanks to heavily armed Marines? The Iraq Ministry of Oil, where all the records pertaining to Iraq's underground wealth are stored.
Escapist Clause -- There's a maxim in the movie business that appears to be holding up: In times of great stress, people seek refuge in the silver screen. In 2001, a year filled with immense dread over terrorism, the economy and the future of the world, Hollywood sold 1.64 billion tickets. It was their best year since 1957.
Taxed Out -- Now that the ink has dried on your old John Hancock for Uncle Sam, you've got to wonder, is the tax code any simpler than it used to be? According to the Wall Street Journal, the answer is a resounding "No." In 1986, the Tax Reform Act became law, and it was designed to simplify the IRS's rules. But the rule book now numbers 54,586 pages -- up 2,500 pages even from last year. In 1984, when the complexity was deemed so bad that it spurred a new federal law, the book was only about half as big as it is today.
Publication date: 04/17/03