By the Way…


– Q: Why did this summer's trade bill weigh in at 1,128 pages? It's hardly a riddle. Consider the bill's provisions just in the area of R&D. The National Bureau of Standards gets a new name'"the National Institute of Standards of Technology'"and a spiffed-up job description: to establish "regional technology-transfer centers," coordinate a nationwide "technology-extension service," and encourage corporate consortia to come up with new technology. The bill also puts into play a National Commission on Superconductivity and orders it to find ways the government can have a hand in applying superconductor research. Then there are new government-private "partnership programs" to beef up science and math education; $10 million a year for college science equipment; etc., etc. And that's just the R&D part.

– Congratulations to REASON associates James Taranto, John Hood, and Philip S. Smith, winners of Felix Morley Prizes, awarded by the Institute for Humane Studies to young writers for "proven writing ability, potential for development, and demonstrated interest in the classical liberal tradition." James, our intern during the 1987′"88 academic year, most recently contributed "Breaking Mr. Maynard" (June); Phil's article "The Soldiers' Story" appeared in the August-September issue; and John, our summer intern, wrote the On Campus column that begins on page 44 of this issue.

– And, in the Drug War Watch, Rep. Arthur Ravenel (R'"S.C.) wins this month's prize for most outrageous statement: "I think those drug planes should be shot down and I think the ships bringing the drugs in should be sunk and any survivors machine-gunned in the water."