Editor's Notes


– INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM. We are pleased to announce the receipt of a new grant for the Reason Foundation Investigative Journalism Fund. We are actively seeking leads to worthwhile investigative projects, as well as qualified journalists interested in doing such reporting. If you fit into either category, let us hear from you.

– RESPONSE TO NADER. Senior Editor Tibor Machan conducted a highly successful media campaign against Ralph Nader's attempted "Big Business Day" in April. In addition to his editorial in REASON'""The Anti-Business Mentality"'"Machan had op-ed pieces published in both the New York Times ("Don't Turn Employees into Police Informants," April 16) and the Los Angeles Times ("An Unexpected Defense of Businessmen's Rights," April 20). In both cases Machan argued for evenhanded consideration of people in all professions as to possible wrong-doing, rather than singling out those in business for a presumption of guilt, as Nader's proposals seem to do. Machan's articulate arguments, perhaps helped by his identification as a professor of "Marxist economics," led to Time picking up a quote from his New York Times piece to conclude its own coverage of Big Business Day. [Not to worry, folks'"Machan is teaching UCSB economics students about Marxist economics, not teaching them to be Marxists!]

– CATALOGUED. When you pick up your copy of The Next Whole Earth Catalog, due out in September from Random House, be sure to look for the section on Libertarian Periodicals. There you'll find a perceptive overview of the libertarian movement, followed by brief reviews of Inquiry, Libertarian Review, SLS's Liberty, Libertarian Vanguard, and our very own REASON and FRONTLINES. While the Whole Earth folks found REASON somewhat "stolid," with "the air of a slightly stiff Rotarian [!] loosening his tie while he excitedly discusses abolishing the Income Tax," they praised it for revealing worthwhile truths and cited our "bold investigative report on curious United Farm Workers funding." For FRONTLINES, they had unmitigated praise. Terming it "lively, gossipy, and informal," they concluded that "there's probably no better way to gain a compact overview of the libertarians. Highly recommended."

– FOR THE RECORD. Ron Paul's much-quoted "SALT-Free Defense" from our March issue has now been reprinted in the Congressional Record. Interested readers will find it on page H2317, March 27, 1980.

– SUPER-GLUE BROADCAST. David Mathisen, author of our exclusive report on FDA suppression of the medical uses of super glue, was the featured guest on Clark Weber's "Contact" program on radio WIND in Chicago, April 30, the same program that last fall featured REASON author Patty Newman debating Cesar Chavez on the points in "Who's Bankrolling the UFW?" (Nov. 1979).

– PRIVATE SPACE PROGRAM. If you were thrilled by the photos of the surface of Mars sent back by the Viking landers, here's your chance to participate personally in the space program. Although one of the two landers went dead in March, the other is expected to continue transmitting valuable scientific data for up to 10 more years. There's just one problem. NASA funding cuts threaten to eliminate the relatively modest budget for processing and analyzing the Viking data. Hence, the San Francisco section of the American Astronautical Society has set up a voluntary program to raise $1 million for this purpose. Your tax-deductible contribution will keep the computers humming and the analysts computing'"and perhaps set a healthy precedent for voluntary support of space efforts. Send it to the Viking Fund, Box 7205-R, Menlo Park, CA 94025.

– TRITIUM UPDATE. Shortly after our March article on the hysteria in Arizona over tritium release from a luminous-dial factory, an editorial in Science made much the same point. Merril Eisenbud of the New York University Medical Center pointed out that the radioactivity of tritium is so weak that if all the tritium and carbon-14 (also a "soft beta emitter") used in 1978 by all US biomedical institutions were to be discharged by a single incinerator stack, the dose to the public would meet existing standards within a few tens of meters from the stack. Eisenbud pointed out that NRC and EPA regulations permit biomedical institutions to incinerate such wastes but that none have chosen to do so, for fear of adverse public reaction. Instead, they have "opted to accept the burden of unnecessary recordkeeping and inspection procedures, as well as the expense of shipping their wastes to distant burial grounds."