Editor's Notes


Pictured above is the artwork for a new button I recently designed. I'm offering this large (1 and 3/4 inches diameter) laminated button to Reason readers and their acquaintances for the incredibly low, low price of 30¢ each; 4 for $1; 25 for $4.50; 100 for $13 (larger orders available). The minimum order is $1, and all orders less than $4.50 should be sent with cash (coins or bills). Samples of this button were recently sent out to a select group of my friends and sold over 500, so those readers who belong to or run a political group can consider the buttons a good buy. People seem to really like the design and have even written me notes commenting on it. One girl said she'd never worn buttons before but this one is so beautiful…Well, enough testimony. Address checks and inquiries to Reason.

On March 15th, I delivered the second paper of my series on the police to MIT Radicals for Capitalism. Over the April 4/5th weekend, I will deliver an extended version of this paper before the second east coast libertarian think-in of the Society for Individual Liberty at Drexel in Philadelphia. (The first segment of the series appeared in the Nov. 1969 Reason). I'd be quite interested in delivering this entertaining and enlightening speech to other libertarian groups (especially on the east coast). Those possibly interested in having me should write care of this magazine for further details. Briefly, the paper discusses American police efficiency and explains why it is what it is. By summer, I hope to have completed a speech on press objectivity suitable for general audiences.

The May 1970 issue of The Freeman is slated to contain an article that first appeared in Reason last September: "Fly the Frenzied Skies", by Robert Poole.

Canada Month will shortly be reprinting my notes on police brutality. Canada Month is a libertarian magazine published in Montreal, with a circulation of 18,000. Address: 4920 De Maisonneuve West, Montreal 6, Canada.

Pine Tree, the publication of Rampart College, and Nation's Business, publication of the National Chamber of Commerce, have both asked to use photographs I took at the recent Left/Right conference at USC in Los Angeles (Feb. 28, Mar. 1). Incidentally, Nation's Business is another one of a growing list of large publications that includes an "Objectivist" on their editorial/journalistic staffs. Some others include Barron's, Chemical Engineering, and TV Guide. Nation's Business is planning a story on the student movements of the 70's. One of those movements will be the Libertarians.

Nash Publishing has asked to purchase Jackie Estrada's anthology on the New Left and their current assault on the universities. The book will appear next fall, tentatively titled The University Under Siege. Look for it and buy it; help make me rich.

Cheri Kent Litzenberger and I have agreed to collaborate on a book on press objectivity to be ready within two years. This means that patient people will soon see in Reason the second part of my series on the subject. Hurray!

Nash Publishing will release in May of this year a book by Nathaniel Brandon on child psychology.

I've found a third pro-Objectivist student newspaper, this one monthly and broader in journalistic scope than the last two mentioned. The Pillar includes sports and other general-interest material. Sample and information: Pillar. Box 2, Tufts University Branch, Medford, Mass, 02153.

On page 15 and on our front cover, we feature the artwork of Karen Gilstad, a 22 year old college student living near Wash., D.C. Miss Gilstad plans a career in interior design. Those seeking her efforts as a portrait artist can contact here at 5425-55th Pl (301) Riverdale, Md. 20840. This month, Miss Gilstad's work appears essentially as an adjunct to the editor's notes. " In future issues, we hope to have her illustrate articles.

This issue will probably arrive much too late for this advice to be helpful, but nevertheless I'll offer it. From what I've learned of the legal aspects of the matter, census resistance would appear to be quite a good decision. The penalties involved are minimal ($100 fine; 30 days in jail) and almost never (2 fines and no jail sentences in '60: both were test cases) invoked, and surely less likely to be used this year when thousands are expected to refuse to answer either some or all the government's queries, and the time involved in resistance is less than that required to comply. Just drop the questionnaire in the trash can with the rest of the junk mail. Also, another highly effective protest is a refusal to pay telephone excise tax, a practice already widespread among war-protesters (the tax is a war tax), especially in California. Again, the penalties and risks are minimal. There are supposed to be 5,000 such resistors in this (Boston) district alone.

I recently came across what must be one of the most effective devices yet for libertarians to cheaply and quickly exert ideological pressure on the political structure. It is apparently not well known that juries have the legal prerogative to refuse to convict a defendant regardless of clear evidence for whatever reason they please, including principled opposition to the law under which the defendant is being tried. The two most famous instances of the use of "jury nullification" in America are the John Peter Zenger trial and the various trials of Abolitionists before the Civil War. Jurors have all sorts of "rights" they normally are not informed of. They can ask questions, make speeches, and more. Think about it. Think about what a single libertarian on the jury in the trial of the "Chicago 7" would have meant. As it did end, it was proto-typical, exactly what both the revolutionary left and the counterrevolutionary, establishment left wanted instead of refusing jury duty because it is compulsory, libertarians might do well to pull strings in order to get themselves onto juries of critical test cases. Or, alternately, work to convert non-libertarian jurors in such cases. The leverage involved here is amazing. In general political education one must spend millions of dollars, convince thousands or millions of people, and then all that will come out of it is the election of the lesser of two very evil evils. Radicalize a single juror and the repercussions (publicity, acquittal, hung jury, precedents set, etc) are immediate and far-reaching. If I am not wrong, jury nullification is going to become an important tactic among the "liberal" left during the next few years. It behooves libertarians, then, to soon use this device for rational purposes before its usefulness is spoiled by misapplications from the left. (Boston Globe, 8 Feb. '70).

While we weren't watching, nor perhaps caring, rock music has begun to grow up. My first notice of the trend occurred in December when a local FM rock/jazz/classical station paused for Christmas and a Brown University station came through with its particular selection of rock. My first clue was a baroque composition by an English group called "Deep Purple". It was only after the selection was over and the next one was playing that I realized that someone hadn't changed the dial on my radio, and that what I'd been listening to was a rock group. Amazing! I'd been hoping to see this happen over since I'd heard Gerswin, but didn't know it was already happening. Not only happening, but well advanced, especially in Britain. A fusion of rock, jazz, and classical, with composers (hopefully) selecting the best qualities of each. There is a definite movement in this direction now in America, best shown by the Bell Telephone special last Saturday (14 Mar. '70), the "Switched-On Symphony" (a not very well or tastefully done show, as television programs rarely are, but still very interesting). Some other indications include the local acid rock (or whatever you call it) station WBCN playing an increasing quantity of classical cuts, an increasing number of the more serious rock groups (Chicago Transit, for one) including an increasing number of classical cuts on new albums, the emergence of several groups of obvious classical background and influence (Renaissance, for one), several co-operative projects between rock groups and symphony orchestras, the scoring of which has been written by the rock members ("Deep Purple", "Moody Blues"). If the trend continues, what can we expect? Well, certainly a vastly increased audience for classical as young people (the biggest record-buying segment) realize there's something—a great deal—to be had there. And we can expect plenty of musical perversions, such as powerful orchestral compositions reduced to completely undynamic, rock-oriented arrangements (such as the "Classical Smoke" album), or far too uninventive compositions being orchestral for a whole philharmonic (such as the Santana piece on the Bell show). But best of all, we can expect some serious attempts to tastefully integrate the art forms (such as the Jacques Loussier Trio does on a London recording with jazz and classical, with Bach's "Brandenburg Concerto") and maybe, just maybe, some real work in the tradition of the Romantics. It may be that contemporary classical composers won't ever get out of the backwaters of chance music, numerical composition, and atonalism, but if they do, wouldn't it be funny if we had rock music ("jungle music", as some of my acquaintances are prone to call it) to blame for it? I'm going to list the groups I know about and I hope readers will send the names of any I've missed. (Also, I'd like to hear from readers with anything to say about the trend, or about any subject, really). I haven't heard all the music under ideal conditions, so right now I'll mostly list, not criticize. "Renaissance", a four-man rock group with some serious classical (piano) interpretations, on Electro. "Chicago" has one (light) classical cut on its second album. "Moody Blues" has been using symphonic background for several years and have one co-operative attempt with the London Philharmonic (light classical, typical "Moody Blues" rock). "Deep Purple" is a rock group I never thought much of until I heard Jon Lord's co-operative work with the London Philharmonic (concerto for group and orchestra, on an English label). Now I'm not so sure. "Classical Smoke" on Buddah records (by Kasenetz and Katz) is a rock rendition of a dozen famous classical pieces. The diminution from the original music will be immediately obvious, but because these arrangements are structured around melody lines completely alien to modern rock music, they are quite interesting. Finally, the Jacques Loussier Trio just released that tastefully done Brandenburg #5 rendition. Incidentally, one of my reasons for being hopeful that a good synthesis will come about between rock (and jazz) and classical is the already well-developed one between rock and jazz that has produced some of the best composed music rock has ever seen. ("Blood, Sweat, and Tears", "Chicago Transit Authority", "Ides of March", "Myrth" are examples of that fusion). Incidentally, while I'm speaking of music, the "Fifth Dimension" just released a single on which they sing the Declaration of Independence.

On November 1, 1969, Italian airline Alitalia began offering round-trip N.Y.-Italy flights for $299—down from $409 and the lowest price ever. The reaction of America's flying facists? The Civil Aeronautics Board insisted that the reduced fare be effective only thru March 31, after which further "study" (as the Board put it) would be undertaken to determine if it should be continued. For those Reason readers who still believe in the basic goodness of those in power, listen to this statement by a CAB lawyer: "The CAB believes in lower fares, but this is ridiculous". (Newsweek, 29 Sept.'70).

And a word on preventative law from the National Observer (undated): "When a person is picked up for drunken driving, he usually does his best to cover up all evidence. But not Gordon Grey of Surbiton, England. He knows a loophole in Britain's drunk-driving law. When police approached him he brandished his hip flask and started swigging. He knew he could not be asked for a breath test until 20 minutes after his last drink. Though he pleaded guilty in court to being drunk and disorderly and obstructing police, he avoided charges of failing to take a breath test and was able to keep his operators license. Mr. Gray's defense lawyer commented, 'it would seem that the law which was supposed to stop people drinking and driving is now encouraging them'".

Some updates on groups:

The Johns Hopkins University Society far Students of Objectivism was falsely called the JHU Rad-Caps. Our apologies.

At the University of California, San Diego, a new group, the Libertarian Alliance, has been formed. Chairman: Mrs. Tony Sidney, 3827 Miramar St, Apt C, La Jolla, Calif. 92037.

Last summer, an ad hoc group in Calgary called B.A.M. (Boycott Alberta Medicare) rounded up 2,000 boycotters. Information: M. Miller, 2603 19 St NW, Calgary 44 Alta, Canada.

New group: Michael Goode, president, Memphis State U, S.O.S., 2589 Kenner Ave, Memphis, Tenn. 38114.