At 03:50 AM 8/26/97 -0700, Slate Magazine wrote:
>By Scott Shuger
>The Florida tobacco settlement leads all around. Everybody has the
>same basic details: the top four cigarette manufacturers and the
>largest seller of smokeless tobacco have agreed to pay the state
>$11.3 billion over 25 years in compensation for its previous
>tobacco-related medical expenditures and to fund and/or enact
>various public health measures, including an anti-smoking campaign
>aimed at children. The companies will also cease most outdoor
>advertising. And everybody notes that the deal could help cement the
>proposed $368 billion national tobacco settlement, although none of
>the papers gives the most obvious explanation for this, namely that
>at $11 billion a state and climbing, fifty separate settlements
>would be far more expensive.
>Everybody also notes that if approved, the national settlement would
>supersede this deal. But it's the Washington Post that explains that
>the public health aspects of the state agreement would still remain
>in force. And it's the New York Times that explains that this
>agreement will benefit Mississippi, which in June made a purely
>financial settlement with the major tobacco companies, but also
>secured the benefit of any additional public health concessions made
>in other deals with other states. And it's the Times that reveals
>that, according to the deal, the tobacco firms will be paying the
>plaintiffs' legal fees.
Also in this issue -
>The Wall Street Journal's "Work Week" column reveals a new and
>surprisingly lucrative job category: Year 2,000 conversion worker.
>It turns out that the need of business to change mainframe computers
>so that they don't freak out when they come across the millenium is
>so wide and so pressing that folks are getting hired on at a minimum
>of $30,000 a year immediately after completing a six week training
>course, with others in the field making twice that much. The column
>reports that in a survey of 128 large companies, 60% say they are
>hiring more Y2K (the hot new acronym, apparently) staff.
"I suppose that when ants get stepped on, they have no idea what hit them.
But I'll bet that hasn't stopped them from coming up with fancy names for
it, like 'spontaneous compression' or 'vertical planar syndrome.'"
- LeMel Hebert-Williams