Editor's Notes


? EXPOSÉ UPDATE. Many people in the media were skeptical of our November 1979 article "Who's Bankrolling the UFW?" In it, investigative reporter Patty Newman charged that federal grant funds paid to nonprofit organizations set up by United Farm Workers union president Cesar Chavez were actually being spent to benefit the union. Late in July the federal Community Services Administration released the results of its internal investigation into REASON's charges. Their findings? Some $951,000 in CSA grants was used to support the activities of the UFW union in direct violation of the agency's rule against supporting unions. The report chronicles the way top CSA officials bypassed their regional office to channel the funds directly to Chavez's National Farmworkers Service Center, which the CSA report calls "a spinoff organization of the UFW."

? AVIATION SAFETY. Regular readers of this magazine are aware of our continued interest in the problem of safety in the skies, a problem made acute by the fact that responsibility for it has been socialized rather than being left to the insurance industry and consumer organizations, as in most other fields. One consequence is a general dulling of consumer awareness of air safety issues, a "security blanket" effect.

Fortunately, there are people working to counter that lethargy. If you fly a private plane, you ought to know about a newsletter called The Aviation Consumer. Now in its 10th year, this fortnightly publication serves as a kind of consumer report on general aviation aircraft and systems—and appears to be doing a thorough and conscientious job of it. The price is $3.50 a copy, or $39 a year. (Write The Aviation Consumer, Box 972, Farmingdale, NY 11737.)

? MEDICAL CONFERENCE. Two years ago a number of physicians concerned about the survival of private medical practice met in Hawaii and created an international organization, IATROS. Now the organization—whose members include Americans, Britons, Canadians, and Australians—has announced its first international congress of private and independent doctors. It will take place January 12-17 in Sydney, Australia, on the theme, "Survival of Private Practice." The keynote speaker will be Prof. Milton Friedman. Further information can be obtained from IATROS Congress, American Express Tower, Box 2548 G.P.O., Sydney N.S.W. 2001, Australia.

? MEDIA NOTES. Two recent articles illustrate the continued penetration of libertarian ideas into the intellectual mainstream. Saturday Review published a hard-hitting article on the IRS by Blake Fleetwood in its May 1980 issue. Called "The Tax Police: Trampling Citizens' Rights," it was based on a four-month investigation of IRS practices. The August issue of Harper's featured Lewis E. Lehrman's forthright presentation of the case for a gold standard, appropriately titled "Real Money." And speaking of Harper's, we can all be thankful for the timely rescue operation mounted by the MacArthur and ARCO foundations during the summer. The two organizations have purchased the foundering magazine from its former owner and will keep it going, with editor Lewis Lapham still at the helm.

? RUFF EXPANDS. Financial commentator Howard Ruff, interviewed here in February, has turned to political action. Though telling his readers "when it comes to government and the marketplace, I'm probably a lot closer to being a libertarian than anything else," Ruff declines the label, along with "liberal" and "conservative." But he has become financial co-chairman of an independent political committee (Americans for Change) that seeks to raise $20 million for the Reagan campaign. He has also formed Free the Eagle, a lobbying group backing such measures as federal spending limits, a gold standard, and reform of OSHA and the Federal Election Commission.

? PERPETUAL GIFTS. Would you like to give your favorite library a subscription to REASON—in perpetuity? That happy thought can become a reality for just $250. Under our new Library Gift program, your $250 (tax-deductible) contribution will make possible a perpetual subscription for the library of your choice. Does your alma mater carry REASON? How about your local public library and high school library? A library copy reaches hundreds of readers—perhaps even thousands. What better way to spread clear thinking?