Vietnam's Communists enrolling in Business Management 101? The government abolished the country's school of business administration in 1975 but now it wants to reintroduce Western business skills as part of one university's curriculum. "They thought they did not need Western business practices," says a Georgetown University professor who was invited to start the courses in Vietnam. "That ended last year. Now they want to learn all they can about Western business practices, inspired by the prosperity of the Asian countries and China." Hanoi is even considering a private banking system. Perhaps they can give away free punji sticks with each new account.
In the past nine years, only one New York City public school principal has been expelled—and he resigned first in order to protect his lucrative pension. "You would have to be an ax murderer" to get fired, says a top education official. The subject came up recently because of the arrest of an elementary school principal for buying crack. Dozens of complaints about absenteeism and surliness had been lodged against the suspect long before the bust, but to no avail. The principal's union has a contract that would make a Teamster blush.
A Chicago police officer shot and killed a large brown dog that chased voters from a polling place during the November election. "The dog was a Republican," quipped Lt. Michael Boyle. "He was trying to keep Democrats from voting." Other Republicans should consider themselves warned.
Alann Steen may be the only man ever to wish he was able to appear in tax court. The IRS sent a letter to Steen, a college professor being held hostage by Iran-backed extremists for almost two years, threatening him with a penalty if he didn't pay back taxes within 30 days. As yet IRS authorities have not announced whether they will file a lien for Amelia Earhart's unpaid 1987 taxes.
Newark, New Jersey, cab drivers are being sent to charm school. The idea is to cut down on the rudeness, speeding, and messiness of the 1,000 or so cabbies who service Newark International Airport. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and local municipalities and businesses are spending $120,000 for the plan, known as "Jersey Gents and Ladies, Too." The cab drivers cannot renew their licenses unless they attend. So they're lining up for such savvy advice as, "Do not drive on people's grass. "
Jacksonville, Florida, nightclub owner Warren Colazzo got angry about a city law banning topless dancing at businesses selling alcohol. So he opened The Only Nude Car Wash in the Nation. Five nude dancers happily washed vehicles at $10 a car. Unable to find anything in the statutes under "Nudity, Car Washes," the Florida State Attorney's office finally determined that the car wash constituted a breach of the peace and a violation of public nudity laws (even though the car washers worked in an enclosed area).
Three years ago, nine New Jersey state troopers barged into Stanley Gurski's home, scared his wife and two sons, damaged their house, and helped themselves to food and drink while conducting a nine-hour search for illegal weapons. The cops found 185 firearms and displayed them proudly for the evening news cameras. The only trouble was, the guns weren't illegal. Gurski is a history buff and federally licensed arms collector. The cops declined his invitation to show them his permits, and they arrested him. Gurski was suspended for five months without pay from his job as a high school teacher until the criminal charges were dropped. Now, he's suing the police in a civil case. "I always taught my students how the grand jury system was one of our protections, but now I can't do that," says Gurski. Now he asks them, "Who's the watchman of the watchman?"
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "Brickbats".