Working on this month's cover story on home births was an interesting experience. Much of the literature put out by home birth advocates is strongly anti-technology (hospitals, drugs, instruments) and antiprofits (doctors). My own experience doesn't square with their horror stories. When I gave birth several years ago, it was in a hospital and attended by a physician. The setting and people were warm and friendly, and my wishes were followed. I don't doubt that there are some horror stories, but the point is that they shouldn't be considered crucial in the home birth controversy. Nor should my experience. What is important is the issue of freedom of choice. If I have another child, I believe I will want to deliver it in a hospital. I want to have that choice. But I want others to be able to choose home birth—without being deprived of whatever help they wish to secure.
Two of my friends at other think tanks are now editing newsletters aimed at corporate executives. John von Kannon, treasurer of the Heritage Foundation, is putting out Policy Digest, a monthly review of research findings and new books (for example, our own Instead of Regulation, reviewed last April). And former REASON assistant editor Christine Dorffi is now editing Executive Book Digest, a monthly summary of chapters from important books that reflect the involvement of the Institute for Humane Studies. Both newsletters are free to executives. Write: Heritage Foundation, 513 C St., NE, Washington, DC 20002, and Institute for Humane Studies, Box 1149, Menlo Park, CA 94025.
For the fourth time in a year, my input has been sought by Washington policymakers. This time the subject was the postal monopoly on first-class mail. At the request of Sen. Steve Symms (R–Idaho) I submitted testimony on this subject to the Joint Economic Committee in June. Copies of the testimony, "The Case for Postal Competition," are available from the Reason Foundation.
Reprints and condensations of REASON articles continue to reach a large audience. Last August's much-quoted cover story on street privatization in St. Louis is having yet another reprinting, this time in the quarterly Current Municipal Problems. Dale Gieringer's May article on tax credits for charity has graced the op-ed pages of several newspapers in condensed form, including the Des Moines Register and the Harrisburg (Pa.) Evening News. The latter paper has also published a condensation of Jack Harris's July article on condominium conversions.
I have joined with two other Santa Barbara-based publishing people—Jim Lance and Clyde Packer—to raise money for Polish medical schools. Last July the Polish government canceled all subscriptions to foreign medical and scientific journals due to a shortage of hard currency. Since then, Poland's 10 medical schools have been unable to receive some 500 American journals. Our committee is seeking funds to buy replacement subscriptions so that Polish medical schools can continue to follow US medical techniques rather than depending on Russian medicine. Contributions may be directed to Magazines for Poland, Box 20093, Santa Barbara, CA 93120. All will be promptly acknowledged.
I'm pleased to welcome to the REASON team a new advertising manager, Robert Flickinger. Bob is a graduate of Occidental College in Los Angeles. He has worked on the advertising sales staff of the Inflight Publishing Group of Ziff-Davis in New York and for several other publishing firms in the Los Angeles area, including MPA International, publisher of the Official Talent & Booking Directory. Bob is enthusiastic about REASON's potential and expects you to see some exciting new ads in our pages in the months ahead.
Between 1944 and 1947, thousands of innocent people were forcibly repatriated to the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia as a result of the Yalta agreements. Large numbers met an early death and many more were sent to labor camps. Funds are now being raised in England to erect a monument to these victims of big-power politics. Sponsors include Malcolm Muggeridge, Nikolai Tolstoy, Lord Bethell, and Rebecca West. Contact Yalta Victims Memorial Fund, Coutts & Company, 440 Strand, London WC2R OQS, England.
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "Notes".