Editor's Notes


– TREATY FOLLOW-UP. Those agreeing with our editorial against the Moon Treaty (Jan.) will be heartened by several recent developments. The leading Democrat and Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (Senators Church and Javits, respectively) have sent a strongly worded letter to Secretary of State Cyrus Vance asking the US delegation to vote to return the treaty to the UN Outer Space Committee. And Rep. Larry Winn, ranking minority member of the Science and Technology Committee, has come out against the treaty. A congressional seminar held by the University of Maryland in December presented both sides of the issue. And write-ups of the growing opposition to the treaty have appeared in Science, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the Washington Post.

– CONTEST. The American Bar Association's 1980 Ross Essay contest will be on the subject of "regulatory reform." Contestants are free to focus on any aspect of this subject, for up to 5,000 words. To enter, however, you must be a member of the ABA (including its Law Student Division). The prize is $5,000. Entry forms are available from the ABA Journal, 77 S. Wacker Dr., Chicago, IL 60606. The deadline is April 1.

– SYMPOSIUM. Readers may be interested to learn that a symposium on the work of contributing editor Thomas Szasz will take place April 17-19. It is sponsored by the Institute for Humanistic Studies of the State University of New York at Albany. Further information is available from Prof. M. E. Grenander, the center's director (SUNY, Albany, NY 12222).

– LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOOK. Editor Robert Poole's book on privatization of local government services is due out in March. Called Cutting Back City Hall, the book carries an introduction by former Treasury secretary William E. Simon and endorsements by, among others, Karl Hess and NTU chairman Jim Davidson. The publisher is Universe Books (whose most notable earlier book was the Club of Rome report, The Limits to Growth), and the price will be $12.50. Poole will be available for speaking engagements in connection with the book's introduction this spring.

– NOTORIETY. Two REASON contributors have been in the media recently. Frequent contributor John McClaughry had the cover story in the December 21 National Review: "Uncle Sam's War on the Independent Contractor." And his congressional testimony on the irrelevance of federal subsidies for wood-burning stoves appeared in the December 11 Wall Street Journal. Author Robert Ringer (Sept.) has come in for some harsh (and unwarranted) criticism'"by William J. Bennett in the December Commentary and by Richard Reeves in the December Washington Monthly. But such attacks cannot seem to dislodge Ringer's book from its place in the top 10 non-fiction bestsellers, where it remained at year end.

– SPANISH EXPOSÉ. Our November article on the UFW is now available in a Spanish-translation reprint (50 cents each, with quantity discounts).

– NEW PUBLICATION. Readers may be interested to learn of the existence of The Intellectual Activist, a newsletter "in defense of individual rights." Its editorial board consists of economists George Reisman and Henry Hazlitt, historian Robert Hessen, and engineer Petr Beckmann. Editor Peter Schwartz declares, "What we are fighting are not simply bad laws but bad ideas. To succeed we have to articulate better ideas, ideas that can be defended by appeals not to tradition or to faith, but to facts and to logic." The newsletter aims to provide intellectual ammunition to assist people in discussing the issues, writing editorial replies and letters to the editor, testifying at hearings, etc. The first issue, dated October 1, included a piece on broadcast deregulation and a reply to Jimmy Carter's concerns about a crisis of confidence in America. Subscriptions are $33 a year for 22 issues. The Intellectual Activist, 175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1019-R, New York, NY 10010.

– COMPLAINTS? Upset about how your federal tax dollars are being used? The feds now have a toll-free hotline for those who wish to report abuse, misuse of position or funds, or fraud in connection with federal money, property, or jobs. Call (800) 424-5454.