This month's cover story is another in Jack Wheeler's series of investigations of Third World guerrilla movements that are trying to free their countries of Soviet occupation or Soviet-backed Marxist governments. Having previously covered the struggle against Soviet imperialism in Angola (April) and Nicaragua (June-July), Jack this month turns to Afghanistan, the only country in the world where people are currently fighting the Soviet Union face to face. His discussion of the mujaheddin's cause begins on page 22. Meanwhile, Jack is off on another three-month "tour of duty," following up on previous investigations and widening his field research to new areas.

The slightly new look of the cover this month, with a much larger and centered REASON, is the work of REASON's new art director, Laura Main. Laura has a Bachelor of Arts degree in graphic design from California Polytechnic State University. This is actually the second issue she has designed. Her style is strong and innovative, and we think she will make the magazine ever more enjoyable.

This is not the first time, by the way, that the size of the logo has been changed. On REASON's first issue back in 1968, it stood a "large" one inch high. Over the years it has gotten as small as three-eighths of an inch and has been seven-eighths of an inch for a few years now. But as I gazed at REASON on the newsstand in my local bookstore recently, it seemed to me that the name and the idea of the magazine could be "proclaimed" more loudly on the cover. And our new art director agreed! We hope you like it.


We were excited here at the Reason Foundation to see the July issue of Venture magazine. Its cover story, "When Entrepreneurs Take Over Government's Work," describes the growing entrepreneurial opportunities created by privatization of public services. The article draws heavily on material from REASON over the past several years (Oregon's Valley Fire Service, Scott Adler's World Mail Centers, private airport control towers, etc.) along with details from the Reason Foundation's Local Government Center (LGC). In fact, LGC's director, Phil Fixler, was an important source of leads for Venture reporter Kevin Farrell, and LGC's data bank of private public-service providers is discussed in the article. Back issues can be ordered for $2.50 from Venture, 35 West 45th St., New York, NY 10109.

Speaking of privatization, we really wonder about the postal monopoly. Two weeks ago we received a subscription order card from a man in New York City ordering a year of REASON for $7.87. The expiration date of the offer was 4/1/75, and the card was covered with grime. Stamped on the address side was this notation from the postal service: "Found in Supposedly Empty Equipment-GPO, NY (O.M.) Irregularity No.___." Nobody had filled in which irregularity this was, but once found, the card was dutifully mailed to us—nine years late!

As many REASON readers know. I have long been interested in private-enterprise fire departments, a subject whose progress has been covered in several REASON articles over the years. A number of readers have wished to encourage consideration of private fire service in their own communities. An excellent introduction to the subject is a new booklet, "Questions and Answers about the Private Fire Service." Single copies are available at no charge from the Private Sector Fire Association, 2006 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80302.

This country's first free-market institute, the Foundation for Economic Education, has elected a new president. He's John C. Sparks, a corporation executive who has been a FEE trustee since 1967 and has contributed more than 40 articles to FEE's journal, The Freeman. As one who was first introduced to free-market thinking by that journal, back in my college days, I'm pleased to see FEE prospering after the death last year of its founder and leading light, Leonard E. Read.

Readers in the New York City area will be pleased to see REASON on the newsstand starting with this month's issue. The magazine is being distributed in the Big Apple by Bernhard DeBoer, Inc., the national distributor that handles Policy Review and the Public Interest. If the three-month New York test goes well, distribution will be expanded throughout the Northeast and eventually across the country.