â€¢ EDITORS' ACTIVITIES. Robert Poole's book, Cutting Back City Hall, finally appeared in May. In recent months Poole has spoken at a number of conventions and conferences on the theme of the book, privatization of local public services. On June 2, his essay on privatization vis-a-vis the tax-cutting movement appeared in the New York Times.
Poole has also been speaking and writing on other issues. In March he appeared on a panel on the Moon Treaty at the annual Goddard Conference of the American Astronautical Society. That month he was also elected to the Board of Directors of the Santa Barbara Futures Foundation, a local public policy educational organization. He and associate editor Marty Zupan have also been active in the Community Research Council, a local citizens' group studying housing issues.
Senior editor Manuel Klausner is serving as chairman of the Committee for Educational Tax Credits, a group attempting to qualify such a measure for the California ballot. In April he addressed the Chancery Club, a group of prominent Los Angeles attorneys, on the topic of libertarianism. That month he also served as moderator for the Reason Foundation/Liberty Fund Symposium on Virtue and Political Liberty. And in May he spoke at the Constitutional Rights Foundation's Law Day program.
REASON'S other senior editor and the Reason Foundation educational programs director, Tibor Machan, served as director of the Virtue and Liberty conference, by all accounts a highly successful and intellectually stimulating affair. He has also been busy setting up the Foundation's summer seminar in legal and moral philosophy, which began in mid-June. During the spring quarter, Machan taught another course, on the history of economic thought, to economics students at the University of California at Santa Barbara. His Human Rights and Human Liberties book is being translated into German by Philosophia Verlag, Munich.
â€¢ REVISING REVISIONISTS. If you want to know why today's generation of college students and young adults seems to have no conception of the notion that "eternal vigilance is the price of liberty," it helps to know that such republican precepts have been systematically snuffed out by 20th-century history textbooks. A good overview of this process is Frances Fitzgerald's America Revised: History Schoolbooks in the Twentieth Century (Little, Brown) and a masterful summary is Walter Karp's interpretive review in the May Harper's. Karp minces no words when he concludes that the record demonstrates that "a powerful few, gaining control of public education, have been depriving the American republic of citizens, and popular government of a people to defend it. And the American history textbook, so innocent-seeming and inconsequential, has been their well-chosen instrument."
â€¢ ALTERNATIVE CONSUMERISM. If you've ever been troubled by Consumer Reports' persistent bias toward government intervention in the name of consumer protection, you may be pleased to learn of an alternative. For some 50 years there has been a little-noticed but fairly well-done competitor called Consumers' Research. Now, in a move that could be significant, the magazine has taken on a new publisherâ€"conservative columnist M. Stanton Evansâ€"who promises to broaden the magazine's scope to include consideration of public policy issues affecting consumers. Unlike its better-known competitor, however, Evans's magazine will not look to government intervention as the consumer's salvation; indeed, it will look skeptically at such efforts (as in its May report on automobile air bags). Those interested should contact Consumers' Research, Inc., Bowerstown Road, Washington, NJ 07882 ($15/year).
â€¢ CARTOON KUDOS. Cartoonist John Trever, whose work graces our Brickbats or Trends pages, has won the 1979 Sigma Delta Chi Distinguished Service Award for editorial cartooning. His winning entry consisted of six cartoons dealing with the Ayatollah Khomeini, the gasoline crisis, nuclear power, and other current affairs topics. The award was presented at a ceremony in Seattle on May 10.
â€¢ NEW STAFFERS. We are pleased to welcome to the Reason Foundation staff a new office manager, Cynthia (Cindee) Huff. A native Texan, Cindee comes to us from Robotics Age magazine in Los Angeles, where she was office manager and production manager. Also joining the staff is our new Spotlight columnist, Patrick Cox. A free-lance writer, Cox holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Boise State University and has written a book explaining the free market to children. He is currently at work on his second book, on immigration policy.