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Vol. XX No.

9 The University Community's Feature Paper February 10, 1999


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SAVIrNG SOCIAL SECURITY


By Steve Preston have projected that new revenues will fall short of Social Security, but, as investors like Warren Buffett
scheduled payments in the year 2032, under a set have argued, it would decrease a lot of the specu-
of fairly conservative assumptions and assuming lation and volatility in the stock market.
.|1 here is a story about a Vietnamese that no changes are made to the system. After this
family who *s too poor to afford anything for din- time, Social Security will only be able to meet 75% Partial Privatization
ner except a bowl of rice. On their wall is hung a of scheduled payments to retirees. The plan that President Clinton has pro-
picture of a fat fish, and to the left of it is a picture The Trustees actually have three projec- posed involves investing some portion of the Trust
of a roast chicken, and to the right is a picture of a tions: the most pessimistic of them states that Fund in the stock market. The Trust Fund is cur-
Social Security payments will exceed taxes far ear- rently invested in Treasury bonds, and the idea is
juicy steak. The family stares at these pictures as
lier than 2032, and the most optimistic says that that since the stock market pays, on average, a
they eat, imagining. One night, the younger child
Social Security will
sees that his brother has stopped eating and is just
never have any
staring at the pictures, so he complains to his par-
ents, "No fair! He's just eating his meat and not his
trouble. The ques-
tion, assuming the
...the idea tt te stock market will acure
rice!"
The American public sometimes seems to
operate this way. They will accept corporate wel-
pessimistic projec-
tions are valid, is
our is ress on faulty assumpor.
how to ensure that
fare for downsizing corporations, while dreaming payments will be available, without raising payroll higl her rate than Treasury bonds, it will generate
of "new jobs" for the unemployed. They will taxes or cutting benefits. moi re revenue for Social Security without any sac-
applaud a war in Iraq to save the royalty of rific -es. Clinton's plan is presented as the "liberal"
Kuwait, while visions of "democracy" dance in Saving Social Security plar n, as in the Wall Street Journal's editorial calling
their heads. And now, as the government prepares By some estimates, there really is no need it "ai desperate effort by an irrelevant president to
to use Social Security surpluses to buoy the stock to worry about saving Social Security. Some say regCain support from the only group that's
market, the people are presented with the fantasy that the Trustees have estimated too conservative- rem ained loyal to him, the far left wing" (2/1/99).
that this will "save Social Security!" But is the gov- ly: They have assumed that over the next 75 years, Then, of course, there is the "conserva-
ernment ready to destroy Social Security in order the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) will grow at an tive " plan, which is to slowly phase out all or part
to save it? average of only 1.5% per year. In the past 75 years, of Social Security, replacing it with mandatory sav-
ings accounts, which would be
How Social Security Works invested in much the same way
% of benefits covered by expected revenue
Social Security was creat- that 401k plans and IRAs are cur-
cd in 1935, during the ureat 10/ rently invested. Some variation
Depression, in part to encourage on this plan is favored by many
older people to retire in order to Republicans in Congress. The
ease unemployment, and primari- 80% most radical formulation of the
ly because of the problem of proposal is to simply follow the
poverty among the elderly. Social example of countries like Chile,
Security taxes are collected from 60% Argentina, El Salvador, Peru, and
all workers, even low-income Colombia (which are all coun-
workers, at a constant percentage
tries notorious for military gov-
(7.5%) of the first $68,400 of 40(, ernments, government crack-
income annually. Thus it is a
downs on poor dissidents, death
regressive tax, meaning the poor squads, and dirty guerrilla wars,
have a higher percentage burden 20%" though economists insist that the
than the wealthy. Social Security is
same reforms could probably be
the largest tax most low-income done in a democracy too), and
workers pay, since other taxes are 0% make the system completely pri-
generally refunded. vate.
However, Social Security
As often happens in
benefits are progressive, in the
public debates nowadays, most
sense that the poor will generally
of the media presents the Clinton
get a nigner percentage o their000 2015 2030 2045 2060 2075 option and the Republican option
contributions back than the as the only two ideas, and offers
wealthy. -Although lower-income some superficial debate about
people are less likely to have regular employment the GDP has actually grown at an average of about thern. The argument is currently not over whether
during their lifetime, resulting in smaller contribu- 3.5% per year. If a growth rate similar to this were Sociial Security funds should be invested in the
tions to the system, and although lower-income to continue, Social Security would never reach a stoc-k market, but rather whether some govern-
Fpople have shorter life expectancies, the progres- deficit. mer nt commission would control these invest-
sive formula used for Social Security benefits out- Even if the Trustees' forecast is correct, mer its, or whether some investment firms such as
weighs most of these factors, resulting in a small
there are many minor changes that could be made Mei rrill Lynch et. al. would control them.
r _distributive effect.
now to prevent the collapse of the system. The cur- This debate has all the relevance of a
Social Security is a pay-as-you-go system,
rent payroll cap could be raised from $68,400 to deb,ate between Medieval Christians about angels
which means that the money you pay in taxes is
$100,000. Very slight tax increases would also dan cing on the heads of pins. Like most of the
-ot saved for you when you retire, but rather is
eliminate any possible problem. The retirement poli tical debates since Clinton's election, the sub-
used to pay benefits for current
6
retirees. Although Social
Security is now building a
"trust fund" using each year's
odalam #it new rvenues
surplus, this trust fund covers
only a small percentage of total
inthe year 2032...
Social Security payments, so
age could be raised. Social Security benefits could ice of the plan is already agreed upon, and the
that the system is still largely pay-as-you-go.
be means-tested, or benefits above a certain subsis- iments are only over style. Recall that Clinton
tence level could be taxed. essentially agreed with the Republicans on
What's the Problem with Social Security?
Or, if the government would really like to FTA, welfare/workfare programs, the MAI
Since working people always pay the cur-
see the stock market subsidize Social Security, it ty, every single military action, Pentagon fund-
rent benefits to older people, as "baby boomers"
could implement a tax on stock transactions or a environmental .treaties, Internet censorship
retire, there will be less workers to pay for the ben-
tax on profits from short-term investment; this surveillance, and every facet of foreign policy
efits of more retirees. The Social Security Trustees
would not only provide a new source of revenue to e 1992. In fact, except for abortion, it's quite
cp;us;irusa~oEl~nnnoPrrrrP·ranen~s~ar~eu

THE STONY BROOK PRESS PAGE 2


ISSUES

THE ARTM
difficult to find issues where they don't agree. jected, then the stock market will do poorly; but if policies, such as tax deferments, which induced
Even if the debate over government con- the GDP is high, then wages will be high and there many people to contribute to such accounts, and
trol of Social Security assets in the stock market will be no crisis. Aaron Bernstein makes this point thus to the market.
had any substance, the issue would be moot. clearly in Business Week (2/8/99). Now that there is not much more money
Walter Burien has estimated that about 53% of to be gained from private investment, the market
common stock in this country is currently con- The Stock Market as Pyramid Scheme has embarked on an audacious plan: to require
trolled directly by federal, state and local govern- It is generally believed among economists people, through Social Security taxation, to donate
ments, through pensions and other investment that stocks represent holdings in a company, and to the stock market. The possibility of this boost-
funds (see http://wwwbuildfteedom.com/cevi/cevi_2htm have some intrinsic vahle. How, then, to explain ing stock prices for current investors is generally
for more on this). So if government control over a the fact that annual turnover is over 1 00 %; that is, not discussed in public view, but in some places,
portion of the stock market is socialism, then we on average, every stock is sold at least once every one an see a veiled jubilance at the potential
windfall. From the New
"As of December 30, amage sck on the New York Sock Exha S wn 7 Daily News
1/York
(1/21/99):
prcent, and half of al stocks on the big board had faen by roret S1
S"
's "Anyone with a
sharp pencil will calcu-
late how much new
certainly have already achieved that. year? If people were actually investing in compa- buying power [Clinton's] proposal will bring to the
nies, it would hardly make sense to sell stocks so stock market: $3.6 billion a month. This amount,
Why Privatization Is a Scam often. In fact, as Louis Lowenstein has written in when compared with $11 billion a' month from
Privatization, in whole or in part, has been "What's Wrong with Wall Street?", most money individual investors, is a significant positive force
proposed by Clinton, the investment firms, our managers' pursuit of short-terms gains in the mar- in the stock market. It can serve as buying support
own Senator Moynihan, several lesser-known ket has resulted in an institution built primarily on in difficult market conditions, as well as an oppor-
Republicans, and much of the major media, with speculation, "in which the whole enterprise begins tunity for even better performance
essentially one rationale: to "save Social Security." to resemble nothing so much as it does gambling, in rising markets. In effect, it is the ultimate case of
One who points out problems with this plan is except that the stakes are much larger." what the mutual fund industry calls dollar-cost
refuted with, "What, you don't want to save Social It is well-known among economists that averaging. This is to say that, over time, a regular
Security?" the ratio between the prices of stock and the earn- program of investment yields the best result."
But the idea that the stock market will ings of the companies are higher than they have In fact, it may be that the stock market is
cure our ills rests on faulty assumptions. For exam- ever been. It is also well-known that, historically, not doing as well as is generally believed. For
ple, a common argument in favor of investing in example, what is meant by the phrase "the stock
the stock market goes something like this: "If one
computes the total amount of money the average
citizen gets after retirenment, it is equivalent to
I I I
4AS62
market has performed well"? Generally this
means a certain index, such as the S&P 500 or the
Dow Jones Industrial Average, has increased.
what, on average, an individual would get with an But since these indexes only cover a small num-
investment earning a certain interest (between 4% ber of companies, 500 in the former and 30 in the
for high-income workers and 6% for low-income latter, one might reasonably ask what happens to
workers, according to the Cato Institute's webpage the others. The answer is surprising: According
at www.socialsecurity.org/studies/sspl0.html). to LI.S. News (1/11/99), "these traditional index-
However, the stock market historically returns Earn1er es disguise huge losses in the overall market. As
about 7.5% to 8.5% (depending on how much risk of December 30, the average stock on the New
is assumed), so it would be better for all individu- York Stock Exchange was down 7 percent, and
als to invest their money privately, rather than in half of all stocks on the big board had fallen by
Social Security."
more than 10 percent for the year."
However, the problem with this argument
Earner So the real question might be why these
is that actual returns from the market will probably
not be this high. According to Dean Baker indexes are doing so well in spite of everything
(http://www.socsec.org/facts/stocks-intro.htm), else. The answer lies in index funds, a very pop-
the rate of return could be lower for at least two S ;3m imo $90 i10 $51, ular form of investment in which a company just
reasons: buys shares in all the S&P 500 companies. Then,
1. In estimating Social Security funds in such overinflation of stock prices has led to col- when the S&P 500 does well, more managers
the future, the Social Security Trustees assumed lapse (this was the problem both in 1929 and in copy their behavior by investing in the same 500
that the GDP will increase far more slowly over the 1987), and thus some people quite reasonably sus- companies. In fact, one of the current arguments
next 75 years than it has over the previous 75 years. pect that the current wave of stock market success that Clinton and his supporters make is that
Since stock market prices are correlated with GDP cannot last much longer, without some outside when the government invests the Social Security
growth, this would imply a corresponding reduc- influence.
money, it will avoid potential conflicts of interest
tion in the rate of stock return, to probably less This is where you come in. The market
always seeks new sources of income; in the 1920s, by only investing in index funds. Is there really
than 5% per year.
2. Private account managers would likely the explosion in stock prices was fueled by reports any difference between all this follow-the-leader
charge maintenance fees of between 1.5% and 2.5% of the stock market being a sure thing, luring many investing and more traditional pyramid
per year, if fees for current IRAs, mutual funds, middle-class people to invest their savings there schemes?
and 401k plans are any indication. In contrast, instead of more traditional, less risky investments. Failing to address this question could
Social Security currently uses less than 1% of funds Eventually, of course, the bubble burst. Later, there lead us to dire consequences. Will we end up in
the same situation as Albania, where the govern-

Inf anayssoftheGDP just lOl ment officially sanctioned pyramid schemes,


people invested their life savings, and then
everything came crashing down? Perhaps we
are already going even further, by making it
mandatory to invest in the schemes. This is the
for administrative expenses. So the advantage of was the impetus to get new money from foreign real danger in starting, even with small steps,
investing in the private market disappears when countries, which was part of the reason that trade
down the road to putting Social Security into the
the probable maintenance fees are taken into between nations has been liberalized so extensive-
stock market. What happens when the bubble
account. ly in the past 20 years. But foreign money could
bursts? Who will we have to blame when it hap-
In fact, analysis of the GDP projection just only provide so muc growth. Eventually, the mar-
pens? When will we notice that we've been
mentioned shows a fundamental contradiction in ket started the pension funds held by many com-
deceived? Will we just keep staring at fish,
the crisis projections: According to standard eco- panies, as well as relying on 401k plans and IRA
accounts. This was helped by friendly government after our rice is gone?
nomic theory, if the GDP growth is as low as pro-

FEBRUARY 10, 1999 PAGE 3


EDITORIALS
MURDER IN GIULIANI LAND
It was cold last Thursday morning when when they condemned the NYPD as one of the most
Amadou Diallo died. Having lived all but his last two brutal departments in this brutal country. He doesn't
and a half years in West Africa, he was probably not take criticism well.
yet used to early February nights in New York. Maybe But everyone involved agrees that it is a
the chill bothered him as he fiddled with his keys to tragedy that this black man was killed unarmed and
the vestibule. without a criminal record. Giuliani promised to get to
It's unlikely that he was thinking about how the bottom of it all, and to sprinkle some justice. The
New York has changed under Mayor Rudy Giuliani. city will not tolerate the murder of black men in the city
When you are an immigrant working for a place in when they don't have criminal records, he promises.
America, you don't have the time to spend digesting Will Sean Carroll, 35, and Edward
politics. You work. Diallo worked 12 hours a day sell- McMellon, 26, and Kenneth Boss, 27, and Richard
ing socks and videotapes and gloves. Murphy, 26, be tried like murderers? Will they be
At any rate, Giuliani's New York was the only tried aggressively and without prejudice and will they
New York the 22-year-old Guinean knew. He had be punished in an unbiased manner? Did you know
never seen it any other way. He didn't know that New that the police are trained to shoot to kill and to keep
York wasn't for him anymore. He didn't know that the shooting to kill until the target is stopped or dead?
police hunted black men in the night. What was he Did you know that many New York City policemen
thinking as the bullets ripped into and through him? see their workplace as a jungle, and the people they
What did he think of America before he died? police as animals?
The four cops who killed him didn't explain How early in the fusillade did Diallo go down?
their actions for days. They finally said they might Giuliani has left too many questions unan-
have mistaken his beeper for a gun. They said this swered. Police murder indiscriminately in the streets
with sincerity, as if to say he earned it. It isn't yet clear like wild boar and no one watches them. They are
if he was ignoring or misunderstood their shouted never punished effectively for their actions. The cur-
commands. They haven't explained why they began rent Citizen's Complaint Review Board, which
firing. They haven't explained the number 41. It's a reviews claims of police brutality, has no ability to
number that sticks in the head and repeats itself over easily investigate such complaints, and few ever
and over. Like the phrase, "56 times in 81 seconds." make it to court, or end in sanctions for offending
The police commissioner said that he was officers. The cops know this, so they have no fear to
confident their actions were justified. Giuliani asked act and treat New Yorkers like the animals they imag-
people nlot to judge the, acl ion.s until the justice s\ s- ine them to he. Those oiur cops pulled the trigger, but
te1 ric als the truth -in the case. He salid _he doesn't Giuliani gave them the ammunition and Kevlar
beC liCe the incident say s ani thing about larger proh- accotiiabhility armor. Giuliani. more than all the sav-
lems with his police force. ages employed by the New York City Police
He didn't believe Amnesty International Department, has blood on his hands.

STOP THE CENSORSHIP


We have suspected for years that custodians in the Melville Library had been ordered to throw
out copies of the Press in order to stifle dissenting student opinions. Last week, our suspicions were con-
firmed when editors of both the Press and the Statesman found this bin stuffed with entire stacks of news-
papers that were set out only hours
earlier.
Student security guards
claimed that Dean of Libraries Joseph
Branin ordered them to trash the
papers because they "block the view"
of those sitting behind the security
table. But apparently, the large stacks
of Happenings (the administration's
public relations rag), summer session
course announcemnts, and pam-
phlets about contraception that lined
the table didn't bother them.
The message was clear: Student
publications that question the actions
of administrators are not welcome.
If administrators are truly
concerned with improving under-
graduate education, they should
begin by building trust with a
well-informed student body.
Every attempt to block out infor- *FIRST PLACE IN
mation is an insult to the campus REPORTING
community.
*FIRST PLACE IN
With all due respect Shirl,
stop playing your silly monkey HELLRAISING
( TIED WITH THE HUNTER COLLEGE ENvoy)
games.
I
THE STONY BROOK PRESS PAGE 4
I! -~--- - ~-c-~n~--~·--D·~I~PI-rs~r~·-----·-~.--is a~-il~Prmra~aaa~-·~--a~arraPl~a~aLa~rP1
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
unfriendly visit by the CIA. Therefore, as I understand it, our Campus lPoints
To The Editor: P.S. It is a useful exercise in noticing the were increased while campus location hours were
propaganda role of the U.S. media to imagine the cut, and the inverse for Residence Points and
There is a glaring, but almost totally degree of coverage and depth of outrage that locations. I fail to see the logic. I also would like
unmentioned, double standard in the way the would occur if Cuba or some other socialist coun- to add that two buildings in G-Quad have been
United States conducts bombing campaigns. Iraq try were strafing and bombing part of its popula- closed this semester, thus there are fewer students
invades Kuwait and is subsequently bombed by tion, as Turkey is doing to the Kurds. It would living on that side of campus.
the United States. Indonesia invades East Timor probably surpass the O.J. Simpson trial and Since you [President Kenny and the
and not only is not bombed by the U.S., but is sup- President Clinton's sex life as one of the hottest Faculty Student Association] do not have to wait
plied with weapons. Turkey attacks Kurdish vil- news items in history! on line to get food at any location, perhaps you
lages, and instead of condemnation, economic are not aware of the lines at places like the SAC.
sanctions, or bombing, Turkey receives helicopter Sincerely, Yesterday, I waited twenty minutes before I even
gunships and F-16s from the United States and Gary Sudborough got to place my order. I assume you are aware
permission to invade northern Iraq in pursuit of that this only floats because you have a monop-
--
Kurds. Apartheid in South Africa invades Angola, oly.
and the U.S. government does nothing. Only Cuba Then there is the insanity of your Price
comes to the aid of the Angolan government. Dear Sir or Madam: and Portion Guide. I went into the Deli last
Israel invades Lebanon, and there is little protest week, and was told that they could not sell me
from the U.S. government. Incidentally, both Israel Let me first begin by saying that as a for- cheese, because they did not have the price. Yet,
and South Africa have weapons of mass destruc- mer employee of Campus Dining Services, I they were selling sandwiches with cheese on
tion. understand that at times it can be difficult to do them. It seems to me that it would make more
Is this double standard due to oversights, what is most pleasing to the students. However, sense to sell what you have at aprice that may be
mistakes, stupidity, or are people with so much as a student (customer), I think that it should be too low, taking a minimal profit loss, rather than
wealth and power simply sleepwalkers? I think top priority. not selling anything at all. This would keep your
there is a very logical explanation. Third World The state of campus dining this semester customers happy and returning. This is not the
countries which open up their land, labor, and is disturbing to me. The first issue is the change only problem with the Deli-you can barely walk
resources for the exploitation and control of for- in the meal plan. It is my understanding that all and there is no counter at the cash register to
eign investors are deemed not bombable. Socialist Residence Points and Meals left from last semes- place your purchases on.
countries like Cuba, which have nationalized for- ter have been converted to Campus Points this I am sure that this letter will probably be
eign property, are very bombable. Countries with semester. I also understand that the semester was disregarded as mindless rambling of a laundry
nationalistic governments which act independent- begun with $400 in Residence Points and $700 in list of complaints. However, I urge you to take
ly, erect tariffs, fail to comply with IMF austerity Campus Points. I became aware of this entirely by note of the complaints that I have made. I am not
measures, etc. are also bombable. Nations which accident, overhearing someone in line ahead of the only student who has these complaints, and I
promote a more egalitarian distribution of wealth me. The issue is this: it is my money, and I know you certainly want to do what the cus-
are bombable. Countries like Iraq sitting on believe I have a right to be informed of such tomers want, because you "appreciate" us.
immense oil reserves had better follow orders. changes before their institution.
In this global capitalist system, those Following this change, certain dining Sincerely,
Third World countries which don't act as good lit- locations had their hours changed. The Bleacher Christina Napolitan .
tle puppets are likely to be bombed, have econom- Club is now open from 11am to 4pm Monday to
ic sanctions imposed on them, or receive and Friday, while H-Quad is open until 10pm.

_ -- a ~re a~ -~-~aa -.- ~--- -`d~~s~a·~n~an~~MI


Pataki's Budget to include Massive Higher Ed Cuts
---------- ~c~"ld--~~~"s~a"s~mnrs~·e~slrslss~~

A quick look at some of the questionable NYPIRG (New York Public Interest
By Joanna Wegielnik and Hilary Vidair
and SUNY-relevant provisions of the proposed Research Group) estimated that the proposed
2000 budget: 1) The $72.7 billion state budget pro- changes to TAP will cut the program by at least
It's that time of year again; our fearless
posal would increase spending by less than the $133,000,000. "Cuts to financial aid penalize exact-
governor unravels his budget for the upcoming fis-
rate of inflation, with the rate of inflation at 2% and ly those students that can least afford increased
cal year. Since 1998-99 was not a gubernatorial
election cycle, we feared the worst. And sure the proposed spending rate at 1.8%; 2) State costs," said Todd Stebbins, Stony Brook's NYPIRG
enough, that's what Governor Pataki delivered: Medicaid payments to hospitals and other coordinator. "Tuition at public colleges has more
the annual budget, complete with huge cuts to providers would be reduced by $266 million. than doubled over the last 10 years. The
Medicare, drastic cutbacks in financial aid and (Experts say the actual amount would be about Governor's proposal does nothing to address this
more prisons. Ladies and gentlemen, presenting $850 million once federal and local contributions pressing problem, and instead squeezes students
the 2000 budget! Signed, sealed, delivered, it's are factored in.); 3) $114 million cut to TAP, a finan- and their families for hard-earned dollars. Funding
ours! cial aid program many SUNY students rely on, for higher education in New York State has been
In the state of New York, budget is syn- with promises of reimbursements upon a four-year
significantly reduced in recent years. Reducing
onymous with cuts. Even during surplus years, graduation record; 4) School aid essentially frozen
funding further, or not proposing an increase to at
much like this year's expected 3 billion dollar with proposed increases too small to keep up with
least match inflation, places an intolerable burden
excess, our governor still proposes drastic cut- inflation. 5) $180 million for the construction of
on colleges and universities to cut costs."
backs. And who does he target? Society's most vul- two new prison complexes; 6) Elimination of
parole by requiring convicts to complete 86% of The governor's proposal for reimbursing
nerable, of course: the poor, the elderly, students-
their sentences. tuition not covered under TAP for students who
basically, anyone who doesn't have an army of lob-
Under the Medicaid proposal, the gover- graduate in four years drew particular criticism
byists and money backing them up. Besides, it's all
nor is calling for a $266 million reduction in state and praise from students. Many don't see the point
perfectly justifiable because, after all, our governor
spending. However, once Federal and local contri- of a reimbursement after graduation when they
has great, big, national aspirations. He's goin' for
distance; he's goin' for speed; he's goin' for the butions are factored in, experts say there would be need the money more while in school; others see it
presidency! Pataki has to appear fiscally conserva- at least $727 million less for the program than this as an incentive to graduate on time.
tive, and what wouldn't appeal to middle America year and payments to hospitals would be cut by Education is arguably New York's most
9
more than a governor who "made New York a bet- $374 million-$23 for nursing homes and $114 for valuable asset. Investment in education is one of
ter place to live"? home-care providers. the safest ways to battle complex social dilemmas
Last year's budget, proposed during an Under the new TAP proposal, payments such as unemployment, crime and poverty.
election year, contained large spending hikes to would now cover 75% of tuition (instead of the Building prisons is not. Taking care of the indigent
appeal to voters. It worked like a charm; Pataki usual 90%) and require a minimum of 15 credits for and elderly is part of the governor's responsibility.
won by a landslide, blowing his competition clear TAP eligibility (up from 12 credits); it would set a
Turning his back on them while shamelessly pur-
out of the water. This year, with his butt firmly four semester assistance maximum for Associate's
suing national presidential aspirations is not unac-
planted in the governor's seat, he can do as he Degrees, as well as offer to reimburse tuition not
ceptable.
chooses, and Pataki chooses to fuck with the dis- covered under TAP if studies are completed in four
enfranchised over and over again. years. Vfl
~,, ,, ·~,-~-----~pn~amn~~-,~R~n~,~,~i~;l~c~~ FEBRUARY 10, 199 PAGE 5
ISSUES --
WHEN EPIDEMICS BREED ATROC/TIES
By D.J. O'Dell done. Individuals testing positive under this sys- HIV monitoring and prevention. Other adverse
tem held a CD4 count of 225, whereas those who consequences of this system include testees not
tested positive under a confidential system held a returning for their results, and a significant drop in
hen faced with a national epi- CD4 count of 304. (The CD4 count is a way of mea- the number of sex workers, intravenous drug
suring the progress of HIV in a person's body; the users, and people of color getting tested. In North
demic, it i bsitely necessary to find the most
lower the count drops, the closer that person Carolina, 30.3% of people tested confidentially did
effective means of combat and control. This comes to experiencing the onslaught of AIDS). not return for their results whereas those who test-
process includes a close scrutiny of all available Consequently, those who tested anonymously ed anonymously only experienced an 8.2% no-
data concerning the epidemic, and an objective experienced an average 1,246 days before being return rate. Sex workers and intravenous drug
approach towards choosing a method that would diagnosed with AIDS, whereas those who tested users experienced a dramatic increase in the num-
cron fi n ftiall v
best fit what the data suggest. In December, a new
proposal for preventing the spread ofHIVwas pro-
experienced 718. I 4
This shows that
posed by the Federal Centers for Disease Control. people will wait
This draft, known as Guidelines for National HIV longer, endanger-
Case Surveillance, Including Monitoring for HIV ing their health, Uflr
Infection and Acquired Immunodeficiency rather than be
tested under a
Syndrome (AIDS), "clearly supports" a controver-
name-based pro-
sial program that includes name-based reporting
on IHV testing. _t*1_l_
- _*__
-6-2-
gram. The CDC,
after a six-state kb
As it implies, name-based surveillance study, acknowl-
would require a physician to report the name of edge that test rates were adversely affected among ber of people getting tested in areas where anony-
any individual who tests positive to public health "racial/ethnic subgroups and HIV-risk exposure mous testing is introduced (56% and 17% respec-
officials. Thereafter, any medically-related infor- categories," and yet continue to propose this sys- tively). As stated by the ACLU, "Given this coun-
mation deemed necessary by state or federal HIV tem over the systems which are already in place. try's history of race discrimination in the guise of
control agencies in connection with that individual Even more detrimental to the goal of HIV public health initiatives, minority communities
would be made freely accessible to those agencies. monitoring, anonymous testing is often eliminated often distrust coercive public health programs.
This is one of the greatest faults of the system: the in states which adopt a name-based reporting sur- Mandatory names reporting would only exacer-
loss of privacy and confidentiality. veillance system. The guidelines themselves clear- bate this distrust." The New York City Departmeni
Although the CDC recognizes the impor- ly show that fewer people would be tested under a of Health concluded that 22% of the people in
tance of maintaining an individual's confidentiali- name-based system than under an anonymous one African-American and Hispanic communities
ty, they fail to offer a secure way of maintaining (61% would test under a names program while would not be tested if their names were reported tc
fronfl /
LltalL co . l i II dlltLy niI LI st under an anonymous public health otficials.
which state, "The receipt ( . These data, however, In light of the numerous. studies con-
surveillance- funding is ( ireliable. In an effort to ducted on this subject, it is amazing that the CDC
dent on the recipient's ab ginalize the difference still proposes this plan as the most effective plan
[,,toi ur-t h e p!t,
, sical secu tween the systems, the available. Legislation of this sort is reminiscen
ty and confidentiality o
case reports." Though the
_DC has chosen to DCf other HIVto statutes like coercive partner notifi-
has chosen
-
0
recent
ignore the more
CDC has formed a model and favorable daita cation. It is becoming increasingly more appar-
state public health priva- made available dio
them ent that HIV has become a public rather than pri-
cy act, the model does not on behalf of anony- vate matter, as individuals continue to lose the
specify under what condi- mous testing. Instead, personal rights of anonymity and confidentiality.
tions information may be alder data are docu- I believe that the evidence given is enough tc
given outside of the more nented in an effort to show that the CDC is running this particular sys-
normal instances < ake the name-based tern as part of a personal agenda, and that this
exchange. As the AC >rting system appear less prevents them from objectively approaching this
(American Civil Liberties U iental. Furthermore, the problem. Perhaps if the CDC tried funding the
claims, "The draft model acn ises to support systems systems already in place, they would discover
short of the goal of focusi: lemincu .a masCnc . o'lo . ths st o.
how a state may collect and track-but other- numeric code or unique identifier with federal to get tested, they help maintain the anonymity
wise hold secure-identifiable public health infor- funding, while at the same time funding name- of those who test positive.
mation, and avoid disclosing such information to based systems in various states. In this manner, HIV is one of the few illnesses that
anyone except under the most narrow and clearly the data used by the CD(C are shown, once again,
defined circum- stances." to be unreliable.
This issue revolves around an individual's The datisoawould 67 . % . - J J
r ght to privacy when it comes to their illness.

Regardless of how effectively their confidentiality much different


e w' i
is secured, being forced to rescind control over results if the CDC StI
their medical records would discourage many had funded botli
from getting tested. in one study, 60% of individ- l fl w a
systems, rather than r a ^
uals who were tested anonymously for HIV said favoring one. The 2
they would not have gotten tested under a names- CDC also tailec to
based program. In South Carolina, homosexual
testing dropped by 51% among men after anony-
mous testing was eliminated. Other than homo-
gleaned from
a e
six.-
compare the-r adi
name-reporting
tnamereporting
`4

A, ,1
remain stigmatized, and it is necessary to pro-
.l
sexuals, other groups sharing the greatest need for states, with non-name-reporting states. Regardless ect those who already suffer from infection
testing would be deterred from doing so. These t e ct t h o se w h o a l r e a d y s u f e r f r o m in fe c t i o n
of their attempt to marginalize the difference, even
groups include people of color, sex workers, and their data show that 11% of the population would .rom the scor of society A name-based pro-
intravenous drug users. Of those who do test refrain from testing under a names-based surveil- gram would betray an individual's right to pri-
under the name-based reporting system, a greater lance system. vacy, and as a cure is still forthcoming, this pri-
delay of time is experienced between the time of Undoubtedly, a name-based surveillance vacy is one of the few things those who test
deciding to be tested and actually having the test system would adversely affect the overall goal of positively can hold on to.
~~-~, ~R. -·. X ~ ·- i--~
THE STONY BROOK PRESS PAGE 6
"A ISSUES

GEETCH'S WEB PICKS: AIDS INFORMATION


. . . . . .. . . . . I_
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ty also have a higher population thanf most other
suburbs, and even some states, but is this an rinig i theIdo
topics,
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excuse? The site contains a series of short sum-
maries and statements about what LIAAC does
and how you can help out. If you want to "do your
part," they have a section inwhich you can contact wane t ow.y far the most useul site of t
them directly to join in the fight.

THE LOSS OF KING USS OFJORDAN:


A Personal and Political Reflection on the King
By DH Campbell amongst his people is nothing short of amazing. East, I hope it both continues to advance and that
However, King Hussein was more than its advancement begins to move away from the
The Middle East and the politics of that just a benevolent king, or a crafty statesman who slow pace that it has been taking over the last few
region have never been able to be categorized into has managed to survive coups and assassination months. However, I am not sure how much my
one distinct catch phrase that would sum up the attempts. Hussein was a man who, over the course hopes will be realized without the help of Hussein.
whole area and sources of its tension. It is an of his life, came to realize that armed conflict over His effort to keep the talks going is something that
extremely diverse region (more diverse than most disagreements solves nothing and in the end caus- I do not see from either Israel's Netanyahu or
Americans think) and this fact often represents a es more damage than good. He also came to realize Palestine's Arafat. Perhaps they will both absorb
challenge for any policy agent who wishes to cre- that no side wins in war, no matter who declares some of his desire for peace and keep trying to
ate the best possible policy for that region. The victory at the end. Hussein was one of the first come to a settlement. However, neither of them, so
d e\orcsfit alson crert sJ Ai•.11 1VA
tArau oegin leaders 10 far, has really come to see what peace and commu-
difficult place for peace negotiations with Israel to nication about differences means to the future of
to be reached after years have a peace settlement that region. And until they do, I am not sure how
of violent conflict. and was also one of the much further they will advance the issue.
Religious differences, first Arab leaders to advo- I am not pro-Israel. I am not anti-Israel
cultural differences, and cate a peace policy for that either. I am also neither pro-Arab nation or Anti-
age-old sources of ten- region. Arab nation. What I am is a person who feels that
sions make many people I find myself saddened violence for rights and lack of communication
within region unable to by the loss of Hussein about difference in the end brings nothing but
put their pride away in while trying to figure destruction. The late King Hussein of Jordan, I
order to live in a peaceful whether the Middle East's believe, felt much the same. Perhaps that is why his
manner. However, at future holds peace. I was death has so depressed me. In an era where states-
times there has appeared always impressed with men care more about themselves or their parties
a hi1J hia, tIh^
a lcd d^at VWOlin/ ds I:. e than the people they serve, or issues that are crucial
me passion and convic-
courage and faith to try to work for peace. This tion with which he spoke when talking of the to their peoples' survival, it was always impressive
week, the Middle East, and for that matter the importance of communication and understanding. to see Hussein's dedication to his people and to
world, lost one of the greatest leaders for change I was also always impressed with the personal feel- their peace. He wasn't a perfect leader and he made
and for peace, Jordan's King Hussein. ings that he let show in the course of his public mistakes. But unlike his contemporaries (and this is
On Thursday, the 63-year-old king duties. I remember listening to the speech that he what made him such a great leader and man),
returned to his homeland of Jordan to die. After gave at Itzach Rabin's funeral and being able to Hussein was able and willing to admit his mis-
battling non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and enduring hear the cracking of his voice as he spoke about the takes, learn from them, and move on. The peace
harsh chemotherapy treatment in the U.S. for the loss of his friend, his peace partner and of a man process, the future of children, and their safety (and
last nine months, the king reportedly wanted to that he admired, no matter how great their differ- right) to live in a peaceful world were always
leave so that he could die in his homeland with his ences. I also remember admiring him for leaving behind his plans and efforts for peace. The game
people. After serving for almost five decades, his hospital bed and flying to Washington to keep was never about him winning, but was rather
Hussein is the longest serving monarch in the peace negotiations going when they looked as if about others enduring-a lesson, perhaps, that
world today. To many Jordanians he is the only they were going to stall. other politicians and statesmen should learn.
ruler they have ever known, and his popularity As for the future of peace in the Middle

FEBRUARY 10. 1999 PAGE 7


ISSUES

STRAIGHT FROM MY HEART ~~··ZZ~·V~Z~~.·N.·~.·N··~C····Z~CZ:ZC~·L


By Chris Sorochin Dear Clinton Legal Expense Trust and God only knows who else, those lamebrain lefies
still defending Clinton were hoping against all hope and
n outfit called the Clinton Legal :;-:;:::::M.;:i. Va^
1have just received your appeal asking me to the evidence of long experience that, here at long last,
contribute a sum of my hardeamed and scarce mone-. was someone who understands and would treat us
Expense .tust h:d the poor judgement to send me tary resources to the legal defense of one William
a letter asking me to kick in to save the Je rson Clinton, aka. "Sli Wilie" ad "Schmk."
Commander-in-Chief's bacon from the flame. At
I have to wonder; is this sornekind of espe- cofscist iy of The Republican Pay hates him so
cially sick and tastelessjoke, or are you actually naiae much is that he's stolen all the issues that keep the
first I thought it had to be like those fake charities enough to believe that that cynical, two-faced, mass- money roiling into their campaign coffers, leaving them
that prey upon the clueless, but to my surprise murdering, opportunistic, morally bankrupt, fake-liberal with nothing hut unpopular Old Testamenit takes on
they seemed to be legit: the saps had included a dweeb in the Wh4ite House is deserving of anything socialissues.NowthatClintonis WallSt'sfaithfulrent
post-paid envelope, allowing me not only the plea- ,:.i.lld
. . . .
I Odi
|
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heinous offenses he and his accomplices have commit- ing mothers, and internet porn.
q ....'............
more merciful than life imprisonment for the diverse and boy, they're left with railing against abortion rights, woik-
. .
re of unloading my acerbic response on them
v th both barrels, but of sending it back at their |1|lwIl
.|... al|..
|i|
ted against the Of/ice of the Presidency the nation,
|||
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Anyone who thinks we're saving ourselves
..
..
....
countless innocent lives in Iraq and Suidan, and com- from a retum to a social Stone Age by choosing the
expense. I strongly suggest this as therapy when
i......
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.::
... :: . , h
bih t h'..:-''4ýtý
.|.........
:a..,/..
mon decency, and the saccharine-drooing, complacen- lesser of evils, should remember the German elections
ll|.......|...::
any evil/stupid organization sends you such an
opportunity to "go postal." Happy Valentine's Day!
cy with which he'scommitted them?
..
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of 1g33. Contrary to popular belief the elecorate did
..
...
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Wait, donjt tell me: -is enemies, all those not tumn out in Wagnerian force for Hitler u elected by
||&ii^ -.
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rabid, unevolved Republican ayatolahs manque, are a nearrw margin a Count von Hindenburg (for whom the
li iii .. .......
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worse than smooth old silly Boy. You think because he exploding zeppelin was name'd) in the eroneous belief
..... ...
I.....
... ... l l ýlls..ansl "" ::::---`-
. Wllfti
..
invites Maya Angelou to the White Hlouse and makes that anything was better than Adolf But the Nazis were
.-
t ...
"Atfirst it was kind of hard to kill Iraqis. Then
it got a lot easier."
e:::.:
tth.... .1............:.:.
..........
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.... I.
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noises about gay rights anid health care and a '"Uilog e too fanatical to accept a mere electoral defat and
w ............... . .. .....
on race, " he really is some kind of closet progressive. made considerable trouble, up to and including staging
|........
.........
..
....
...
. ............... , .. . .. . . .
. . . . ...
-Timothy McViegh, in a letter he sent to his aunt
....l nlliliijli
When are you guys going to finally wake up and smell incidents of terrorism (like the Reichstag fire) Ftha
. .
. .. .l ................. ll lI ..:, ....
............ .w
the buillsit? That's al a big con game, wothy of PT showed how much der Fuhrers bran d oflaw and order jI......Il.
The really nauseating thing about Bill's
. . .i
Barnum.
. l.e
. ::::::l
liin.
. t I.-u -e:: in
seyl..0,6 ........
was neede. Von Hindenburg made Hitler Chancello
Bubba's presided over growing disparities in and Germany got him anyway
Christmas Bombing was not that it happened or
that it was done for such a transparently bogus and jl lr.erI a. Ma.Ve ... . .
..
income, huge giveaways of public resources (like Isn't it about time we all faced up to the fa
ntionalparklandsand wildemessaeas), andaseady that the presenit system is incorrigibly corrupt and no
self-serving reason. What has me profoundly wor- frightening erosion of civl rights. Hle's accelerated the matter who is sitting up there as flgurehead, they're
ried and sickened is that all but the most cement- growth of corporte power. pushed the poor into going to do the bidding of the powerful unless the rest
enforced servitude (and made them poorer to boot and of us act?
headed know that Clinton ordered the four-day Mr. Clintn has been outrageously
continues to feed the bloated Pentagon budget.
saturation-bombing of a country whose people And do you know hOw he managed to do all Machiavelian in abusing his power When I turned on
have already undergone tremendous suffering, a this? He made some insignificant, insincere kissy nois- my radio on Deceimbr 16 and head what he was
country totally unable to defend itself from attack, es to the tinpot liberal hierarchy, invited them to lounge doing, I lost any and all respect or sympathy I might
solely to postpone his impeachment hearing (for a on the silken pillows of his Beltay boudoir; and enticed have had for him.
day, it turns out) and nobody really gets too upset them to give up their dignity and honor with promises of I'd have to be out of my fucking mind to send
about it. Oh, a few professional peaceniks protest- tree love and fidelityk Then, when he was fiished satis- you one red cent. If he's so goddamned desperate, let
ed, but the majority of what could laughingly be fying his porcine appetites, he booted them out with a him get LockheedMartin or some other weapons con-
heaty "Colme again, y'alll" tractor.to di into their ilgotten pits to pick upthe tab
called leadership either ignored it, or, actually In shon, he treated them the way he treated for defending hkn.
came out in support! the harem of silgl gullible, dsperate women whonow
There is much discussion of the inaction of constitut the centerpiece of CNN reporting and the. Yours mos derisively
the great majority of the German people as crimes octurnal emissions of Kenneth Starr ad his pftiient
of ghastly and inhuman cruelty were taking place discipls.
......
Like..
Gennifer Monica, and
..... .......
-
yes,...Hil~ary
....... ...
too, Chris Sorochmn....
... . .. ..-. .. .... .... ......
-.-- .......
.. - ...... ....
.. .
in their name duri ig the ThuJd Reich. "How much
did they know about the death camps and the U.S.-led sanctions against Iraq do? an attack. Celebrate the day in any way you enjoy,
atrocities being committed on the Eastern Front? In related sliminess, the U.S. government but make sure you cast at least one stone at the
Why did they do nothing?" And there is much is conducting a persecution of Voices in the gross edifice of hypocrisy and violence with which
clucking of tongues and self-righteous pronounce- Wilderness, the Chicago-based group that has we now find ourselves surrounded.
ment that surely the German nation must bear the made many numerous trips to Iraq to bring medi- And gird thy loins for further battles.
mark of Cain for generations for their silent com- cine and the message that many in the U.S. don't Now we know that the Satanists in control of the
plicity during that dark era. I know people who support our leaders' genocidal policies, to help Empire won't bother to try to manufacture public
say, "I'll never go to that country." ease some of the suffering there. The Office of support, or even the support of Congress or the
Well. at least they have Foreign Assets Control is threatening Voices with United Nations. They'll just go ahead and bomb
the exct ringing back such away.
opened t an Iraqi postage One additional casualty of the December
have pa a bottle of water. Blitz was that Russia had refused to ratify the
camps, t y dangerous: a SALT II treaty to reduce nuclear arms, on the
is our exi e children dying grounds that the U.S. is clearly not to be trusted
as other re adequate food and is contemptuous of international law. I also
mostly >eople here saw it hear that the Russians are going to start dealing
mass-des r spiritually dead with Iraq, maybe buying their oil. Voices in the
tax mon )sses wouldn't be Wilderness sponsored a march from the Pentagon
iao it- to thap
f I I with
ith the1mpssagp
m that if thP
name? T
children forget that
killed th is the first annual
lack of ci ,moration of the
tions. I :king of the
because :ade of phony q,
them soi ,ublic support the r
than hu Administration an
just as tried to sell at a ak
many in CNN "town
the U.S. meeting" in And wouldn't the warlords just love a
c- nsider Columbus, new Cold War with big, bad Russia as an enemy
Arabs Ohio. Some again? Before I forget, Clinton is giving the
subhu- scure but dedicat- Pentagon billions more yet again, in a spending
man. I ivists made sure frenzy approaching Cold War levels. More omi-
wonder e true voice of the nously, they are trying to appoint a "Commander-
if they was heard, and in-Chief for the continental U.S." in case of "terror-
killed as witnessed by ist attack," and there have even been "urban land-
6,000 a iole world. It did ing" exercises in San Francisco, just in case the
month, t deal toward get- natives of the continental U.S. should get out of
as the ie warmongers to hand.
their plans for
-- C ~--- ·-~ ------ -s--~
THE STONY BROOK PRESS PAGE 8
. .------. ISSUES
How To LEGALIZE DRUGS
By Chris Sorochin Shots in the War on Drugs", the persecution of about what they'll take into their bodies without
Chinese opium smokers in late nineteenth century state interference or coercion. Foremost among
California), personal sociological narratives (Luis them is Thomas Szasz, a pioneer in decrying the
wo weeks late and a couple of Barrios and Richard Curtis' account of several gen- various hypocrisies of prohibitionist laws, policies
guilders sho, here's my contribution to the Press' erations of a Puerto Rican family and their rela- and education. Unfortunately, the chapter dealing
stupor inducing "Potfest '99" issue. It's a review of tionship with the drug subculture and, conse- with him, "Moral and Constitutional
"How to Legalize Drugs", edited by Jefferson M. quently, the criminal justice system, and a series of Considerations" by Robert W. Sweet and Edward
Fish, Ph.D., of the Department of Psychology at St. chilling, yet nonjudgemental, vignettes of heroin A. Harris, is often sullied by language that borders
John's University (published by Jason Arondon, users on the Lower East Side by Michael C. Clatts on the sort of philosophy-text gobbledygook that
Inc.). Disclosure: Dr. Fish is a personal acquain- et al.) tends to make eyes glaze over.
tance of mine and got me a free copy of the book. My personal favorite in "On the The second section of "How to Legalize
The driving force behind this 700 page opus was, Reconstruction of Drug Education in the United Drugs" does drag a bit; as the saying goes, "the
according to Fish, anger and frustration at the States," by Rodney Skager and Joel H. Brown, Devil's in the details." Once the policy wonks start
almost complete lack of any open and rational which echoes my own sentiments and even makes to play with the idea, one begins to suspect that
debate about drug policy in the United States. Fish the totally heretical suggestion that drug experi- another of my cohorts, Mr. Glenn Given, is right,
says he's published other works on controversial mentation by teens be viewed as normal and to be and the best thing would be some sort of decrimi-
topics, but never in his experience have prospec- the target of realistic, non-Sunday school educa- nalization which would stop people from getting
tive contributors begged off for fear of profession- tion (Just like sexual experimentation....whoops, busted but still keep the grimy little paws of the
al reprisals. Fish himself confessed some uneasi- we're running into trouble already, as we're still government out the whole affair. I was dismayed
ness over how his largely conservative colleagues fighting an uphill battle for rational sex education). to read that many of these folks admire the current
would respond. Skager and Brown even cite an explosive study restrictions governing alcohol and tobacco and
Not surprisingly, there has been a total which indicates that high school students who many go on about the importance of keeping all
media blackout of the book, even with its deliber- experiment casually with marijuana are psycho.- these goodies out of the hands of "minors." Eric E.
ately provocative title. Given the work's breadth logically healthier and better adjusted socially than Sterling (who gets my "Putzhead of the Week"
and scope, it's hard to set this down to mere coin- either heavy pot smokers or total abstainers. award) would like to see refrigerators built with
cidence. So, gentle readers, in yet another ground- As might be expected, there's a detailed lockable compartments for beer and wine and calls
breaking, earthshaking, Press exclusive, you're history and outline of the famous and much- the growing efforts at age prohibition as "a step in
reading the very first review of "How to Legalize envied Dutch Model by Bart Majoor, a psycholo- the right direction." There is also somewhere in the
Drugs" anywhere. I was a little nervous about gist from the Netherlands, who came face to ugly book a proposal that juveniles using forbidden
undertaking an analysis of a friend's work. Jeff face with a particularly rude form of culture shock substances be jailed to find out how they're getting
was clearly enthusiastic and I knew he'd worked when he was arrested for trying to apply Dutch the stuff and arresting those concerned.
hard on it. But what if I personally found it tedious philosophy in Giulianiland--he was arrested in an Hello?!? One of the largest groups using
and overacademic, laden with graphs and profes- attempted needle exchange. I these so-called illicit drugs are those designated as
sional jargon and t] von't summarize the chapter minors (which very likely also includes you if
reader? "Conflict of here, as this was done most you're reading this). I don't really see the point of
my head. brilliantly by my esteemed a 21-and-over legal status unless its paired with the
Once into colleague Joanna Wegielnik sort of Gentleperson's Agreement that existed for
givings evaporated in these very pages (January years in regard to tobacco and alcohol. I smoked
drug war cliches b 27). One additional fact that my first cigarette at 13, drank my first beer at 15,
the most part in lai eally tickled my tulip bulbs and was initiated into the giggly rites of marijuana
by any undergrad. is that when the Dutch gov- shortly thereafter. My experience is not uncommon
the "War on Drugs" nent set up a commission to and I often wonder why other "responsible adults"
actually hurt in wz n drug policy, drug users don't have the balls to stand up and state that ado-
viding greater profi ves were invited to take part! lescence is the average age of introduction to these
users to use strongk imagine this happening in the matters.
ed preparations, d anyone who admits to use of I might add that we didn't commit real
that could be bette eemed illegal is automatically crimes (outside of some minor theft and vandal-
and, most importan ral-eyed addict and therefore ism) or indulge in violent or antisocial behavior.
rights and giving tl of rational discussion. And as long as we behaved ourselves, the adults,
agents almost total formers fall into two frequent- including the cops, were mostly cool with it. So
violating the dignil ories. Those who subscribe to maybe the much-touted problems lie not so much
in the name of fig Model still believe drug use is in the "Teenage Wasteland" as in the values (sorry!)
drugs. This alS :al, but seek ways to minimize that are imparted from the society at large.
extends to the ig and other associated prob- At the other end of the spectrum, hyper-
US govern- tion adds to this, harm reduc- libertarian Mark Thornton calls for an end to all
ment using i it drug abusers as people in prohibitions, which I sort of warmed up to, but he,
drugs as a pre- elons to be locked up. disappointingly, places all his trust in the question-
text for med- :^ velation is that drug prohibi- able wisdom of the "free market". I happen not to
dling in the inter- e number of casual users, in trust entities driven solely by the profit motive, so
nal affairs of whose use doesn't cause or I'm afraid I can't gush with too much enthusiasm.
other countries. s. The hard-core dependents In addition, he refers to prohibitionists as being

h tb-n~
al or their lives are in the toi- "anticapitalist". Whoa, there, pardner. While many

-
Clearly,

tnII~
some more human
~
approlulaUl mlust Ve- Iu.
Other countries, most notably the Netherlands,
Ll lt UU/bI
V t tL
get high. That's why prohibi-
UvVV.IA.
The other faction centers its arguments
on the left do do-si-do with the Lifestyle Nazis,
there are (I hope) more than a few of us who are
gonna wanna party after the Beast is slain. As
have had great success with such experiments. As around civil rights. Many basic rights are currently Emma Goldman once said, "If I can't dance to your
with healthcare, transportation, education and under siege by the drug warriors. Among these are revolution, I don't want to be part of it."
many other areas of civilization, we lag behind. the rights to privacy, equal protection and even But I digress. Dr. Fish and all his learned
There are 24 chapters, a few written by Fish him- speech--those who advocate legalization or criti- co-conspirators have done a great service by pre-
self, the others from a smorgasbord of scholarly cize drug laws or their enforcement frequently find senting ideas and arguments that may hold sway
and public policy sources. The first part is devoted themselves the targets of harassment by the state in a good many classrooms, living rooms, and even
to background (something too little discussed in and its agents. board rooms, but seem to be banned from the
most drug debates) and includes history (Jerry Many advocated in this group even go so chambers of government and, more importantly,
Mandel's fascinating account of "The Opening far as to post a right to make informed decisions newsrooms.

FEBRUARY 10, 1999 PAGE 9


ISSUES -

VIVA TIMOR LESTE!


4 -c,
--------------
--- ~n, -~---e~b-~·~-aR~a~p~_~s~as- -- ss ~~I~II~·7~R~WS~~~-·r--6 - - ~sa
--- ---------~mPs--

By Joanna Wegielnik mer senior CIA operations officer, Philip Liechty, death. In 1994, the two received the R.F.K. and
who was based in Jakarta in 1975, during an inter- Alfred du Pont journalism awards for their cover-
view in Death of a Nation, a documentary about age of the Santa Cruz massacre. Here's what Nairn
na sharp reversal of a staunch 24 East Timor. said to the American journalistic elite as he and
year-old ,d-line policy, the Indonesian govern- "It was covered under the justification that Goodman received their silver batons.
ment is considering full autonomy for the annexed it was for 'training purposes only' but without "During the fifteen-year, eleven month
territory of East Timor, something the former heavy U.S. logistical support, the Indonesians period starting from the announcement of the '75
Portuguese colony has been seeking for over two might not have been able to pull it off. [Instead] invasion and running up to the massacre we sur-
decades. they were able to
Indonesian and Portuguese officials are
currently meeting with UN representatives,
stay there at no
real cost to them; "g unrwith ilitary machines should
Imrl
including Secretary General Kofi Annan, in New
York to iron out the technical details for East Timor
it didn't put any
pressure on their not be permit to invade, o npy, ad bui thr
autonomy. While Portugal argues that autonomy is
a transitional stage until the East Timorese vote on
economy and on
their military peacemul neighbors."
independence, Indonesia says that UN autonomy forces because
proposals should be final. The Timorese have been American taxpay-
demanding a UN-sponsored referendum on self- ers were footing the bill for the killing of all those vived, the ABC, NBC and CBS evening news
autonomy since 1976. In order to fully comprehend people and for the acquisition of that territory, to shows did not run a single story on. East Timor.
the significance and complexity of what is current- which they had no rights whatsoever," said Nightline, McNeil & Lehrer have never mentioned
ly unfolding, a brief history of East Timor, Liechty. it. U.S. radio and print, though occasionally men-
Indonesia, and U.S. involvement is necessary. Even to the present day, U.S. involvement tioning the killings, have inaccurately omitted the
Indonesia invaded East Timor in 1975 in a in East Timor has never come to full light. Most U.S. role.
naked act of aggression never recognized by the Americans have no idea where Indonesia, let alone "If you want to understand what the
UN. The following year, East Timor, is. United States is doing, think of this baton as an M-
East Timor was formally To a large 16 [takes baton award and points to his head]. It is
"integrated" into the extent, this is pointed at the head of an innocent East Timorese
Indonesian archipelago as the direct fault who has dared to stand up and ask for the end of
the "27th province." of the major the occupation. Washington pauses, considers,
According to numerous American says, 'Don't forget human rights,' and then hands
human rights groups, print and the troops new ammo and says, 'Go ahead, open
including Amnesty broadcast fire.' Repeat this scenario 200,000 times and you'll
In :ernational and the media, who begin to grasp the enormity of crime."
Catholic Church in East virtually A few years back, I took a trip to
T;mrr tmoro tfhn 970 000 inistalled a Washington DC with ETAN (East Timor Action
people-approximately 1/3 of the pre-invasion blackout during the invasion years and kept the Network), an activist group, to lobby Congress
r )pulation-have been killed by the Indonesian public wholly ignorant of what their own country against U.S. military aid to Indonesia. Nairn and
(ABRI). The United States historically has
rilitary was doing. i nterestiingly enough, around this same Goodman accompanied us on the trip. Aside from
Sceen an ardent supporter of the Indonesian regime time, the Khmer Rouge (read: Cambodia: commu- the actual lobbying process (which gives one a fas-
(the U.S. supplied more than 90% of the weapons nists; Indonesia: client-state) seized power in cinating peek into the way the American system of
during the invasion period) and bears special Cambodia, and this conflict was played up to the government works; I found myself standing in
responsibility for what happened in East Timor. nth degree. Noam Chomsky, an authority on this Congressmen's offices next to professional lobby-
Timor's southern coast, sits atop huge oil subject, has done an interesting comparison of the ists representing General Electric and Philip
and gas reserves and deep-water sea lanes (read: two conflicts and how much press coverage each Morris), the thing that struck me the most was
It.k*" l ""L
t,
sUbmarines).I
N1
aiCllturl ly, tel il
ht sllt
i Ill1w f hg r-rktrz Alan's account of the mas-
to exploit these strategic and eco- sacre he and Amy sur-
nomically viable resources would vived. After confiscating
be much more easily obtained all of their recording and
from Indonesia than from an inde- photo equipment, the
pendent Timor. On December 6, Indonesian soldier had
1975, then President Ford and him and Amy kneel on the
Henry Kissinger arrived in Jakarta ground with their hands
toasting Suharto (Inonesia's for- behind their heads and
mer dictator, who was recently pointed an American M-16
forced to step down amidst wide- to Alan's temple. The only
spreao economic and social thing that kept him from
upheaval) on the eve of the inva- executing them was the
sion. "Our relationship involves a fact that they kept shouting
common concern for every nation "We're Americans! We're
to pursue its own destiny on its Americans!" He let them
own independent sovereign go, but only after checking
course. On behalf of Mrs. Ford and their passports and deliv-
ering a couple of swift
myself, I raise my glass and pro-
pose a toast...." Within hours of blows to the head. Alan
this meeting, Indonesia invaded still sports a very visible
East Timor. scar on his forehead from
"Suharto was given the green light by received. The number of column inches written by being hit repeatedly with the M-16.
Kissinger to do what he did. There was a discus- the New York Times on Cambodia and East Timor In 1996, two East Timorese leaders, Bishop
sion in the [U.S.] embassy and in traffic with the was approximately 20 to one. Carlos Belo and Jose Ramos-Horta, were awarded
State Department about problems that would be Alan Nairn, an investigative reporter for the Nobel Peace Prize for their tireless efforts to
created if the public and Congress became aware the Nation, along with another American reporter, bring justice to their homeland. The Nobel briefly
of the type of [American] military assistance that Amy Goodman of Pacifica Radio, were in East put the media spotlight on this obscure region of
was going into Indonesia at the time. Rifles, Timor in 1991 when the ABRI opened fire on a the world and the countries (notably the U.S.,
ammunition, mortars, grenades, helicopters...you funeral procession in Dili, the capital of East Timor, Great Britain and Australia) who continue to sell
name it...was going straight into Timor," said a for- killing 271 people. They were nearly beaten to military hardware to Indonesia despite its horrific

THE STONY BROOK PRESS PAGE 10


"---------------ISSUES
human rights record in East Timor (as well as Indonesia).
Once the hype died down, however, hopes for East
Timor's autonomy aspirations dwindled.
During last year's global economic upheaval,
Indonesia was again propelled into the media spotlight
as it experienced the worst riots since Suharto's over-
throw of the Sukarno government in the 1960s.
Thousands of people were beaten and detained. Suharto,
who ranks right up there with the 20st century's most
ruthless dictators, stepped down from power amidst
rumors of massive corruption and failing health. He
appointed a successor, General B.J. Habibie. In essence,
nothing really changed with Suharto's departure.
Indonesia is still ruled with an iron fist by the military.
(Incidentally, the CIA helped put Suharto in power.
Sukarno's platform was a populist one, with distinct
communist overtones, not palatable to the world order
The Firm was busy constructing.)
The Indonesian hard-liners have admitted open-
ly for years that East Timor is their number one public
relations nightmare. Two weeks ago, Indonesia
announced that it was considering granting East Timor
independence. Negotiations have been taking place at
the United Nations between Timorese, Portuguese and
Indonesian officials all last week.
While this latest development is very promising
indeed, especially given that Indonesia has staunchly
opposed East Timorese independence for 24 years, the
real proof of Indonesia's intentions will be the actions it
takes in the coming weeks. According to East Timor
Action Network activists, the situation in the province
has seriously deteriorated since Indonesia announced its
plans.
According to a January 27 statement released by
ETAN, "While government officials deliberate over East
Timor's status, the situation in the territory remains dire.
Recent events, especially the arming of paramilitary vig-
ilante groups, seem designed to exacerbate conflict
which would make the holding of a referendum or a
eace u o ca ran
m-
_ _•~ .- ~
--..
-----------. .. . .-..- ____ .-..--..
. ---. . .

pie, the East Timor Human Rights Center reported the


killing of four and disappearance of six others when
members of the Indonesian military and armed civiliai
WUSB 90.1 FM Top 30: Januaryl 8
o 0

militia groups launched an assault on the village of (516) 632-5000 music@wusb.org


Galitas on January 25, 1999. Such attacks in remote areas
of East Timor have resulted in a flood of internal refugees 1: "Post Punk Chronicles" -(Rhino)
into Dili and elsewhere in East Timor." 2: April March - "Lessons of April March" -(Ideal)
I share the skepticism expressed by many East
3: Lisa Germano - "On the Way Down From the Moon Patrol" -(Koch)
Timorese leaders; anything Habibie and his henchmen
4: Sean Lennon - "Half monkey, Half Musician" -(Grand Royale)
promise should be taken with a big grain of salt. On the
5: "Tommy Boy's Greatest Beats" -(Tommy Boy)
other hand, Indonesia has never made statements about
granting East Timor any kind of independence. In any
6: Ani Difranco - "Up Up Up Up Up Up" -(Rightious Babe)
case, the Timorese refuse to accept anything short of a 7: Dan Caballero - "Singles Breaking Up" -(Touch and Go)
UN-supervised referendum on self-determination, 8: Art Ensemble of Chicago - "Fanfare for the Warriors" -(Koch)
release of all political prisoners, including Xanana 9: Poole - "Among Whom we Shine" -(Spin Art)
Gusmao (a Nelson Mandela-like figure in Timor), and a 10: Von Zippers - "Bad Generation" -(Estrus)
permanent United Nations presence to monitor human 11: Fela Kuti - "Music is the Weapon of the Future Vol. 2" -(Exworks)
rights abuses. Not much to ask if you've lived under fear 12: Baluchi Ensemble of Karachi-"Love Songs and Trance Hymns"-(Shanchie)
and persecution from a neighboring country that has 13: Sleater-Kinney- "Get Down" -(Kill Rock Stars)
done nothing- but 14: Adrian Belew - "Salad Days" -(Thisty Ear)
terrorize you for 15: "Forward till Death" -(Lookout!)
the past twenty- 16: Jennifer Kimball - "Veering From the Wave: -(Imaginary)
four years. 17: Long Hind Legs - Feb 4th-14th 1998 -(Kill Rock Stars)
The Timorese
18: Mankind Liberation Front - s/t -(Sol 3)
deserve our out-
19: John Lee Hooker - "The Best of Friends" -(Point Blank)
most support
especially,
20: KMFDM - "Agogo" -(Wax Trax)
because we live
21: William Parker - "The Peach Orchard" -(Aum)
in a country that 22: Leon Russell - "Face in the Crowd" -(Navarre)
is responsible for 23: "Estrus Sizzles" -(Estrus)
much of their mis- 24: Tarot Bolero - "Vaudeville Rising" -(Ace Fu)
ery. They risk their 25: The Residents - "Wormwood"-(East Side Digital)
lives each time they 26: Beta Band -"The Three E.P.'s" -(Astralwerks)
speak up for their 27: ."Songs for the Jet Set" -(Jet Set)
rights. What do you risk? Fear of boring your classmates, 28: Surf Teens - "Surf Mania" -(Dionysus)
friends and family? Nobody will ever point an M-16 at 29: Bonaduces -"The Democracy of Sleep" -(Endearing)
your head if you speak up for them. They live with that 30: Rush - "Different Stages-Live" -(Atlantic)
fear and reality every single day.
i

FEBRUARY 10, 1999 PAGE II


TRW%
AVL
RE"a
Fo 10CTNS
By Daniel Yohannes
ON fuEL
If y'all didn't know, it's illegal for US citizens to
B
would continue to work until he was physically
visit Cuba. For once, I was thankful for my emi- unable. Thanks to Fidel, he could see. There are
Decompression grant status "een thees" country. many hospitals in Havana and throughout Cuba.
What I saw in Cuba left me saddened They are the pride of Cuba. Pharmacies have
It started early. I realized that the
Revolution was a lie. It was a tower erected by a
madman to protect himself and control a
diverse population.
My plane arrived at about 11:00 PM. As
I walked toward the immigration control booth,
I noticed a tourist slipping the army-fatigue
wearing Ministry of the Interior officer a bill,
dollars. There were a few people ahead of me so
I had time to contemplate the horrors of the cus-
toms search process. When my turn came, I had
all my papers ready. Foolishly, I asked " por
favor, no marcas a mi passaporte", please don't
stamp my passport. He looked at me strangely.
Shit, was my Spanish that rusty? What did I
say? I started to panic. The process dragged on
too long. There was only so much to see on a
passport and a driver's license. He got up and
left the booth, came round, asked me to sit by
the side and walked off with my passport. I had
a cigarette and pulled my stuff together. I
watched as ,all the pink people slowly made
their way through and waited. Waiting is part of and all the more certain that the best way to poor variety, but most essentials can be bought.
life in Cuba and I would become quite accus- improve the condition of the Cuban people is to All children must attend school. Schools
tomed. After everyone had gone through, and a end the artificial pseudoisolation of Cuba. In the are in every town and all children must wear lit-
few minutes had passed, I got up to look for my absence of a credible threat to the US mainland, tle revolutionary uniforms. Cuba has a literacy
passport. The guy walked up to me and asked people should be put before politics. rate that rivals that of the US. Higher education
me where I was staying. I had made up a reser- is merit based, and those who deserve it, get free
vation at a Havana hotel but he wasn't buying education. The cruelty of all this free education
i:. He said, I can help you get a cab into Havana
1,id a hotel. L Vou help me out, I caIn help you
out. I understood. We went back to the booth, he
thee good is that Cuba has a highly educated population
with no jobs that correspond to their level of
education. Doctors and other professionals earn
handed me my passport, and I handed him a little more than less educated people. This leads
$10. I can't really get you a cab, but you'll find In Cuba, there is universal health care them to take jobs as taxi drivers and lounge
one outside. No big deal, I was in. and education. Homelessness is closer to eradi- singers in order to make a livable wage. Cuba is
I tried to get a foreigner to share a cab cation than in most western countries. Racism as one of the only countries in the world where the
into Havana with me but they were very xeno- we know it in America, does not exist. people are educated enough to contemplate the
phobic. Finally, I intricacies of their own oppression.
Datted the $1200 I ,,•$ A billboard in Trinidad announces,
dangling There are 200 million homeless children in the
had
around my neck world and none of them are Cubans". While this
-. d got the cab claim is difficult to corroborate, there weren't
solo. We took the the "street urchins" that are common in many
long way in and other countries. Popular rumor says that all
didn't arrive at the orphaned children are sent to live communally
hotel till after mid- in the country.
iight. The room Racism as we know it does not exist in
v'as ok, but was Cuba. While skin color is sometimes used to
windowless, as describe someone, there is no negative or posi-
were all the rooms tive connotation associated with skin color.
in the hotel accord- When the entire population is oppressed, micro-
ing to the recep- managing that oppression to include distinc-
tionist. I was tired. tions among skin colors is useless. The Cuban
i tried to crash. people run the entire range of the racial spec-
The inter- trum. After centuries of intermingling of the
n ittent screams races in Cuba, few are purely white or black.
and my neighbors
s'eady snoring
delayed my plans.
Finally, I went to sleep.
The next day, I got up and found a new
In central Havana, a Cuban complained
that beer, at nearly $1 per, was too expensive to
the bad
place to stay. afford. " But, because of Fidel, I can see." Two The Police
years ago, he had had laser surgery to replace
the corneas in his eyes. The man was not Fidel rules Cuba, but it is the police who
The following is a stream of conscious-
wealthy. He had worked hard all his life, and control the Cuban people. Much like the polic-
ness recollection of a two-week voyage to Cuba.
------- --- --- -----------------
il~i~PPPls~~ I Il I --
THE STONY BROOK PRESS PAGE 12
----..........--- ...-.. ... . .. TRAVE L

ing evident in the NYC dictator Guiliani's qual- special permission. lidel licenses some of these Ca sa
ity of life initiative, police in Cuba have wide But most Cubans are smart. They all Particulars at a cost of $100-150 a month p)er
liberty to stop Cubans, demand identification, supplement their wage with the dollars they room. With the going rate for a room closer to
and detain them if they lack it. earn from tourists. A Cuban who brings a for- fifteen dollars, a household must have a ren ter
Tourists are never stopped by the police unless eigner to a black market dealer or illegal renter for more than ten days before they see a pro fit.
they happen to be with Cubans. If a tourist con- will often receive a commission. Some offer an Duenas often offer to cook their guest a m
vinces the police that the interaction didn't extra room in their house for short-term rentals. ($5-6) to increase their bottom line.
involve an exchange of money, the Cuban may Some have entire houses and apartments that If a family is renting (illegally as is oft en
ao free. Otherwise, the penalty for a Cuban they offer for this purpose. the case in Havana), they have what few oth 2rs
interacting with tourists is 1,500 Cuban pesos
($75), nearly 4 months wage for most.
This fine is mostly levied against the numerous
local taxis that aren't licensed to carry tourists.
State-sanctioned tourist taxis are late model
vehicles that often charge double the local taxi
fare. This money goes to the state tourism
monopoly. The fine could also be levied against
the numerous illegal room renters in Cuba.
Smaller fines are levied for offenses that don't
involve foreigners. Presumably, the logic is that
Cubans with tourists have an illegal income that
will pay for the fine.
On a Friday or Saturday night, one cannot walk
two blocks without passing a police officer. This
writer was walking with friends and stopped
several times because he appeared Cuban. I
explained to my friends in Spanish why we
were stopped, " The police harass Cubans who
are. interacting with tourists, and they think I'm
a Cuban." Upon showing a foreign license, we
were allowed to continue with an apology for
having been bothered. A Cuban in that same sit-
uation would have been arrested.
Along with the police, each neighbor-
hood has a branch of the Committee for the
Defense of the Revolution (CDR). This organiza-
tion has branches all over Cuba, and is charged
with ensuring that a counter-revolution does
not begin. Neighborhoods are watched by the
elderly and the bored; those who act suspicious
can be, and often are, reported to the police for
further investigation. On the street, one must be
on one's best behavior.
Tourism
The Havana police force has just started
using the 500 Peugeot sub-compact police cars
that Fidel Castro bought for them. How, in a
country of people living a third world lifestyle,
can he afford such an expenditure? The one
word answer is tourism. Tourism is the
bread and butter of Cuba. While there are
exports from Cuba, nothing rivals the volume of
dollars that arrive in the pockets and purses of
the foreign tourists. The police ensure that
nothing happens to the tourists that would prej-
udice them against Cuba.
They come for the cigars, the beaches,
the lifestyle, and the hookers. They come from
around the world to taste the last gasps of a
Cuba made famous by Hemingway, Sinatra, and
Fidel.
Alone and in partnership with
European and Canadian hotel chains, Fidel has
a near monopoly on tourism. The foreign
investors are used mainly for money and exper-
tise on the latest luxury hotel fads.
The Cuban people can earn a good
wage working in these hotels, if they speak
English. If they wanted to enjoy the amenities
on their free time, .they couldn't. They are
Cuban and Cubans are barred from interacting
with foreigners and enjoying tourist facilities
regardless of ability to pay, unless they have
FEBRUARY 10,1999 PAGE 13
TRAVEL ~p , - ·I I ----
· 1 - -~ L ~- , -C - - II _ _ C CI-- r~sCsl I ~I

do : a steady, dollar income. Legal renters prob- paying more than that to take a girl out on a to interrupt this circus. Foreigners go there to
ably see a large surplus in tourist season which date, and then there are no guarantees," he said. meet Cubans and there, Cubans are free to be
is whittled away by Fidel's cut in the dry Back home in San Diego, half of his "dates" gay.
months. could have him arrested for statutory rape.
Nonetheless, the tourism industry sup- In the town of Trinidad, a tall, hand- The Old And the Young
ports a class of people with far greater purchas- some Dutch man consorted with a group of
ing power and more western lifestyle than the male prostitutes at 4 PM, a pre-teen girl at 6pm Oppression of the youth (18-30) is the norm. The
average Cuban. Fidel's dream of equality for the and a teenage boy at 9pm. Trinidad is a small older generation has lived through the revolu-
masses wafts away like the smoke disappearing town. The high-fashion clothing of the children tion and the relatively fat years of Soviet patron-
age. They remember the hardship, racism, and
oppression of the pre-Fidel/Soviet years. They
acknowledge the hardships that have befallen
them in the years since the collapse off the
Soviet Union, but see them as temporary with
respect to their personal experience.
The youth have lived most of their adult lives in
the post-Soviet era. They have forgotten the
years when necessities were given to all by the
government. They see the lifestyle of the for-
eigners visiting, and envy it. They are the hus-
tlers working the tourists, the pimps selling
their sisters, and the sisters selling themselves.
The lucky few have good jobs working legiti-
mately in the tourism industry. The western
lifestyle is a part of their everyday lives, but
they are stuck in Cuba. They have little hope of
living that lifestyle.
It is the youth that pose the greatest
threat to the status quo in Cuba. But, they have
no financial power. They are poor and they will
stay poor as long as Fidel can blame all of the
country's ills on the US embargo. Even the
youth believe that some of the hardship in their
lives is due to the embargo.

The Embargo

But the truth is that Fidel is doing busi-


ness with many Eurooean and Latin American
from the burning ash of a Cuban cigar. immediately distinguishes them a
prostitutes. Whatever clothing isn'
counterfeit, was given to them b)

the ugly tourists as bonus pay.


In the Playas Del Este in th<
province of Havana, an Australiar
prostitution man of late middle age was accom
panied by a muscular 18 year-olc
The oldest profession is alive and well young man. In his own defense, h(
in Fidel's Cuba. In the words of a Norwegian said, " Inevitably, when the first
man, " Child prostitution is officially sanctioned world meets the third world, th(
by the government of Cuba." first world pays."
The truth of that statement is relative. If It isn't strange to see thE
a police state has rampant street prostitution, most average looking man in a
and there are police on every other street corner, disco dancing with two or three
and prostitution is illegal, is the government young ladies of the night. A bottle ol
sanctioning prostitution? Yes. Does child pros- rum costs as little as three dollars
titution exist in Cuba? Yes. Is it widespread? Drugs are cheap. At $20 per girl,
Yes. some can afford two or three.
A Finn named Johan had no shame There are no gay bars in
about his reason for visiting Cuba. The women Cuba. At one time there were, but
are beautiful, bountiful and cheap. "$15 for a the police have since forced their
pretty girl. $10 if she likes you, or is old. $20 for closure. Instead, young gay men
a really young girl." congregate next to the Habana
An American in Havana on his third Libre, the old Havana Hilton. There
visit had an apartment in the center of town. He is a cinema there, and under the
and the 23-year-old man he rented it from bright lights of that cinema, they
would go out every night in search of a more congregate. One cannot imagine a
beautiful or younger girl. His host would make more conspicuous scene : 150 young
the contact and introduce the American. He gay men congregating under the
would have the final vote, up or down. Money lights of a theater, next to the most
didn't matter. The youngest and most beautiful famous hotel in Havana. Yet, the
girls cost little over $25. ",Back home, I would be police stationed in the area do little

THE STONY BROOK PRESS PAGE 14


....... TRAVEL
countries and Canada. The embargo doesn't
affect Cuba. They have Coca-Cola, and rap
music and Mercedes Benz's. The embargo only
serves to shield for Fidel; any social and eco-
nomic hardship can be tied to it. It exists as a
monster, from which Fidel protects the Cuban
people. Any gains and luxuries are touted as
having been obtained in spite of the embargo
and against the wishes of the American imperi-
alists.
40 years of the embargo have only
served to make Fidel one of the longest ruling
absolute dictators. When the embargo is ended
and free trade reigns in Cuba, the money earned
by the Cuban people will empower them. The
American dollar is already the de facto currency
in Cuba.
Time will bring an end to the Castro
regime, but who will replace him? It is in the
interest of US foreign policy and the interest of
expatriate Cubans living in the US to have a
hand in shaping the future of Cuba. The current
iron-fisted approach will only lead to the torch
being passed to Fidel's younger brother Raul
and it is in no ones best interest for this madman
to assume power.
Fidel has redistributed the wealth of
Cuba into his own hands. But not even he can
take it with him. America and Cubans living
here should be prepared for the chance to reen-
ter Cuba and return her to her former glory. Lost
property may or may not be regained, but the
importance of the future of a country overshad-
ows the claims or losses of any individual. Lives
and people should be more important than
property and possessions.

FEBRUARY 10, 199 PAGE 15


FEATURES gL8-·~·araslsraslQe~s~·41C~i~i~L~I~~IEaa .~IY___~,orrmsvsar~Lu

---- I ~ - q-- II - 1 ·~99 P~9P IIC-·~P-·I C-·ll. - P~ I -6-·C~bl~ALS~S~·, -- 6~

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THE STONY BROOK PRESS PAGE 16


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........................................... ..............
By Rhianna Bianco night hoping some guy will find me attractive ask me out around Christmas. For a while, he had
enough through his beer goggles to approach me. been coming into the bagel store where I work on
Since Valentine's Day is creeping up on And imagine that he realizes, "My God, this one is weekends, trying to find the words. I couldn't
us, I have no choice but to face the cruel beast cute and she has more than one brain cell in her' help it; I became that frail little waif in the dime
head on. I was painfully reminded of this dis- head." store romance novels, the ones with Fabio on the
tasteful event while purchasing postage stamps. Granted most of us women don't help cover. It was so bad that my friends said birds
The clerk, a woman, handed the stamps to me and either. Ladies, get off your bar stools and were flying around my head. Birds! How dis-
squealed, "Aren't they just gorgeous?" I thought approach him. Since when is this a crime? I gusting! I became the girl I want to puke on in the
to myself, what a peculiar way to describe postage thought those macho men liked aggressive movies. We won't even talk about how my voice
stamps, but to my horror, I looked down and there women? Even I know this and I have been out of seemed to be three octaves higher when I spoke to
•All or trs
rum. i irre
they were. There was no denying that the stamps the loop for him. All of this is irrel-
were sickeningly cute. They were pink flowery over three evant except for the
hearts, truly the epitome of femininity. How dis- years. I am fact that I hated myself
heartening! Normally, none of the events I just just getting my for my foolish behav-
described would faze me in the slightest, howev- feet wet again ior. So nothing good
er, this year I'm without a significant other. after all these came out of 'Hank'. He
Before all you proud single women string y e a r s . dumped me on New
Year's Eve by telling
t t t ll MO
me up by some genital organ, I am fully aware of Somebody for-
me that he still had
how utterly pathetic I am. I have prided myself on
the fact that I am a strong, independent woman, that while I was blissfully gazing into the eyes of feelings for his ex. I tried to be the strong woman
but when the hell did wanting the company of a my ex, the rules of dating changed. And so have but dammed it bit me right in the ass. He said
man become a crime? Does it make me any less the men. he'd call me. He lied.
strong? Am I no longer independent? Strong or Anyway, let's explore this whole weak From this I have come to two conclusions:
not, a woman can only help herself for so long. woman theory again. I get mad at myself when I I find no shame in being single and at the same
(You know what I mean.) I work two jobs, go to cry at night over being alone, that if this was the time I will stop punishing myself for wanting a
school full time, and drive a brand new car. I cer- 18th century, I would be flogging myself with a boyfriend. My game plan is to stop waiting
tainly do not want (or need) a man for the same belt at the feet of some saint in a chapel. Why around on my bar stool for some anonymous Mr.
reason our mothers did. No man will ever have to aren't men interested in me? Am I so revolting to Right. By George, I'm going to actively partake in
support me. I am not afraid of sweating or break- the opposite sex that no man will approach me, the search and hope for Mr. Mediocre. I'm a '90s
ing a nail. unless of course he is otherwise involved, too woman, and I can pick up a guy. Right? So ladies,
Honestly, though, you can't tell me that it drunk to see straight, or certifiably insane. if you are single, keep looking, and for Valentine's
doesn't suck. I am sick of going to bars night after One guy, who I'll call 'Hank', actually did Day, go out with your friends.

By Russell Heller
rm o-.... Of course, we must consider that different
people eat their pumpkin seeds differently and this
al
Dr. Salt's page also gives a breakdown ot
various sodium intake levels which gives all this a
aM
.111
.

This semester, many of you may have EXTREME amount of sodium might not be a con- little perspective. A normal salt diet (based on a
cern for everyone. In addition, there are obviously 2000 calorie daily intake) has from 1100-3300 mg of
noticed the racks of trail mix which dispense exot-
people who read a "Nutrition Facts" label much sodium daily. A diet considered high (read: dan-
ic blends of dried fruit and nuts.
Earthly DelightsTM, the sole provider of more thoroughly than I
trail mix for the campus, also has a darker, more do. With this in mind, I
took it upon myself to web a g td by Dr.AecN. Sat Ph.D.
sinister agenda. On the shelf with slightly more
benign trail products, one may find a bag of survey 150 members of vas& ao t i[gI1h
regaSI
Earthly DelightsTM Pumpkin Seeds. An innocent the Stony Brook cam-
bag of pumpkin seeds. Or so it would seem... pus as to their pre-9U IT fl|
ferred method of
My experience with these abominable
seeds happened at the beginning of the semester pumpkin seed enjoyment, gerous) in sodium has from 4000-6000 mg/day.
75% of those I asked said that they would One third of a cup, the suggested serving size, of
when, hungry, I stopped by the Union Deli and
simply eat the entire seed. Also, approximately Earthly DelightsTM pumpkin seeds contains 9290
picked up a bag. I brought them back to my room not, in fact,
read ofa those
half I asked time dobefore
that they
saidevery mg of sodium all by itself. Quite a bit considering
and started eating them. My initial thoughts were
that they tasted remarkably like sea water, salty
read a nutrition
something.
label
nutrition
every
label
time before eatingeating
tthat tthis sa
snack f i isi probably
food item probably not
not the
the only
only
some These results place a considerable number food containing sodium you plan to eat for almost
almost to the point of being inedible. Naturally, I
turned the bag over to peruse the nutrition facts. four days.
of people at risk of unrealized, and probably
To my surprise, the product was revealed It has also occurred to me that suggested
unwanted, sodium consumption. I felt some inter-
to be a significantly low source of sodium. In a 1/3 serving sizes are usually grossly inaccurate e.g.
net research was called for.
cup serving, there were only 17mg of sodium-less On a web page generated by Dr. Alec N. "serving size: 3 cookies." Yeah right. We are a glut-
than 2% of the daily value! With that concern Salt (I swear I am not making this name up), Ph.D. tonous people and we like to pig out sometimes.
somewhat diminished, I cautiously resumed eat- of The Cochlear Fluids Research Laboratory at So what happens if you were to disregard the serv-
ing (did I mention being rather hungry?). When I Washington University, St. Louis, I was able to ing suggestion and wolf down an entire bag of
reached the point where I could no longer swallow come up with some statistics regarding high sodi- those scrumptious, if somewhat brackish pumpkin
the briny pulp I was chewing, it dawned on me um intake, seeds? Your sodium level would climb up to 46,400
that something must be amiss. I returned my atten- Excessive sodium has a variety of deleteri- mg!-1,93 5 % of the daily value! To put it another
tion to the nutrition facts and scoured them for an ous affects on the human body, notably: way: One bag of these seeds has enough sodium
explanation. What I uncovered was shocking. 1) The retention of water; causing bloat- for almost three weeks.
In fine print, at the bottom of the bag, ing, particularly in women. (Yikes !) So what if it is already too late and you
there is a message which informs the reader that 2) A precursor to high blood-pressure, have already foolishly gorged yourself on these
the above information pertains only if one eats the which can be aggravated by other poor dietary saline seeds? Well, Dr. Salt says, "Sweating, vomit-
inside of the pumpkin seed. Consumption of the habits and smoking. ing, and diarrhea can all provide significant sodi-
entire seed would raise the sodium total to 3) In the presence of high blood pressure, um loss." So I would have to recommend that you
9,290mg, equivalent to 387% of the daily value! high sodium intake is deadly and is the first thing try some combination of those activities. Extra
1/3 cup of these pumpkin seeds contains almost someone with hypertension should staying alive, points if you can do all three at once.
enough sodium for FOUR DAYS! (Yikes, again.)
17
PAGE
1999
|0.
FEBRuARY
FEBRUARY 10, 1999 PAGE 17
WE_

By Terry McLaren Choy" to everybody.


Throughout this two week celebration,
"I hate Valentine's Day, yadda, yadda, there are parades involving marching bands and Tet - February 16 this year
yadda." If I have to hear that one more time colorful floats. These parades are held nightly until This Vietnamese New Year is similar to
between now and the friggin' 14th, I'll scream. Fat Tuesday itself. Then the parade is held in the the Chinese New Year, but with some variation.
Seems like almost everyone bears a grudge against daytime. Spectators dress up in unique costumes, Ladies wear red and yellow because those are the
the Hallmark holiday, and they have every right to. and each float usually throws out some sort of colors of the Vietnamese flag. Men wear all black.
But instead of letting one measly holiday treat, such as beads, Mardi Gras coins, or even lit- People go to church and eat earth cake, a square
that centers around people getting laid make you tle stuffed animals. There are also many wonderful cake made with rice, beans and pork. They also eat
grumble for the whole month, why not get off your balls and parties to attend. fried rice. After that, the passing out of red "lucky
duff and enjoy one of the other special days February Mardi Gras colors are purple, green and money" envelopes begins. After that, dragon
has to offer? And, since Stony Brook is such a smor- gold. Purple stands for justice, green stands for dances are performed and firecrackers are set off,
gasbord of diversity, we're not limited to just faith, and gold stands for power. especially red ones. Once again, there is lots of
lid , If'
htN";.
A i-",nrn'Q
m/-ercan
1 no.Ii11
nuctys. I LIere s noitn n ol n me g
d f,--
A--
UoJuIt LUU..

U.S. calendar, we can always borrow a cause My Vietnamese foster sister is the one who
for celebration from our international brothers first turned me on to Tet. I quickly embraced the
and sisters. Here are a couple of suggestions: holiday as my own and am currently waiting
for my parents to hand over some new clothes
Groundhog Day- February 2nd and lucky money. I could sure use them.
This will have to be a belated celebra-
tion, but since losing the groundhog day spirit Setsubun- February 3
isn't an issue, it can be done. Groundhog Day This Japanese ceremony, called "mame-
is celebrated every 2nd of February. Although maki" ("bean-scattering"), is performed at
some may prefer a good old fashioned temples and hrines, and in people's homes on
groundhog BBQ, this holiday's roots actually "Setsubun," the last day of winter on the
stem from Germany, Austria, and England lunar calendar.
where the people predicted the length of win- Roasted soybeans are scattered in and
ter by the behavior of hibernating animals. around buildings, with cries of "Oni wa soto,
If a groundhog comes out of its hole fuku wa uchi!" ("Devils out, good fortune
and see his or her shadow, there will suppos- in!"). The doors are then closed quickly to
edly be six more weeks of winter. If the groundhog New Orleans is a fabulous town, but since keep the devils out. After the throwing ceremony,
doesn't spot his shadow, you guessed it: early spring. it is a bit distant, I'd recommend bringing the party people eat the same number of beans as their age,
There's extra cause for celebration this year, because on over here. Have a no-holds-barred sinfest and in order to guarantee themselves a year of good
the groundhog everyone watches, "Punxsutawney live it up. If you're worried about your immortal health.
Phil" of Pennsylvania, didn't see his shadow. soul, you can always spend Ash Wednesday and Large shrines and temples sometimes
A friend of mine was actually years ahead Lent atoning for your merry-making. Make sure invite sumo wrestlers or other popular personali-
of me in this whole Groundhog Day thing. She's those forty days of repentance are well deserved. ties to perform the bean-throwing ceremony,
been throwing a rather kick-ass G-Day bash for choosing "toshiotoko" (those whose birth sign on
years, and it always seems to lessen everyone's Chinese New Year- February 16 this year the Chinese Zodiac is the same sign of the current
mid-winter blahs. Attempts to capture and cook One of the greatest holidays during year on the Chinese calendar) for good luck.
groundhog remain unsuccessful. February is the Chinese (lunar) New Year. On this My brother e-mailed me from Japan about
day, people visit relatives and anticipate a prosper- this one last year, and it seemed kind of interesting.
Mardi Gras - ends February 16 this year ous new year. They wear new clothes, and young There's no inherent carousing involved, but you
Mardi Gras is Louisiana's most famous festival. The people receive money inside red envelopes (called can always get creative. This is another holiday that
phrase "Mardi Gras" means "Fat Tuesday" in lai see) for luck. Lion and dragon dances are also occurred before the Press' deadline, but you can
French. It refers to the final day of merry-making performed for luck. There are lots of fireworks and have fun driving devils out any day of the year.
before Ash Wednesday dawns and Lent begins for parties too, not to mention some very good food. So to all you anti-Valentiners, don't let one
Catholics. Many other countries have similar cele- So, if this particular holiday isn't already silly day spoil the whole month. The non-romanti-
brations, and it's known in Latin countries as on your social calendar, try it out. New clothes, cally inclined deserve their fun too. Enjoy this vari-
Carneval (which means "farewell to meat" in Latin). money, food, what could be bad? "Kung Hay Fat ety of holidays. Celebrate, and party to the fullest.

___ L IL __
Conservative hero-worship got a lot more debt, clearly deserves to be lumped in with those who
pathetic last week when our putzhead of the week, brought us the Emancipation Proclamation and the
Rep. Matt Salmon of Arizona, introduced a particular- Declaration of Independence. Ah, duh!
ly idiotic new bill into Congress. Salmon's legislative gift has been demon-
He presented a resolution to the strated with previous gems like the "No
house to carve the face of former presi- Second Chances" bill, which would require
dent Ronald Reagan into Mount that violent criminals receive mandatory life
Rushmore, the huge memorial in North sentences, without parole, on the first
Dakota. Reagan's face would join the leg- offense. So much for "correction" and
endary figures of Jefferson, Washington, "reform," huh?
Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt. Matt Salmon can be reached via
Salmon contends that Reagan, the email at matt.salmon@mail.house.gov, or by
man who brought us the invasion of phone at 202-225-2635. Give him a call and
Grenada, Iran-Contra and a record national tell him what a putzhead he is!

THE STONY BROOK PRESS PAGE 18


il~B~Ai~B~i~&BWB~ereaa~s6e4aP~
FEATURES
F-I _ __1~__11__1_ __ __________ ~___ _·_ I ___________
_I ~YII_ ________ _ __ ·_ _ F

£ove and iMarriaae


By Marlo Allison Del Toro by tying ribbons with the six rainbow colors that es offered by many employers and legal contracts
have come to signify gay and lesbian rights- that gays can sign to try to attain the same legal
St. Valentine's Day is a popular day for peo- around bus stops and in front of the infirmary. rights and responsibilities that marriage grants
ple to declare their love for one another, and to get They also gave bits of the ribbon to people they straight couples, "you will always miss some-
married. So last February, when students at SUNY at met, so that they could tie it around their left-hand thing," says Clemans.
Stony Brook saw a couple dressed in wedding attire, ring-fingers or pin it to their lapels. Several times Samuels quotes an article
many assumed they'd just gotten married. "Tying the knot" was part of the national she read recently about gay marriage. Originally
"A lot of young guys would walk by and campaign to gain recognition for the importance of printed in NY Blade, Patricia Penalosa's "No
say, 'Congratulations,'" says Melanie Clemans, the gay and lesbian "family ties," organized by Lambda Greater Moment" details how the writer's partner,
bride. She says they said it almost as an automatic Legal Defense and Education Fund. Kevin M. Linda, was not allowed to go into the emergency
response, "like saying, 'Bless you,' when some- Cathcart, executive director of Lambda, has said the room with her as she miscarried.
body sneezes." But not female students. "The knot "represents support for the freedom to marry, The article states, "Because the law does
women always knew something was up," when equality for lesbians and gay men, and love." not recognize our committed relationship...hospi-
they saw a bride on Samuels and tals and other institutions do not have to respect
campus. They real- Clemans visited several our basic human rights.... By contrast, if a man and
ized campus isn't offices on campus that a woman meet in a bar and decide to marry the
where most newly- day to inform others next morning, they have more legal protections
weds would choose about Freedom to and rights than a same-sex couple that has been
to go on their special Marry Day, beginning together for 25 years."
day. with Student Activities Samuels also has personal reasons for
Clemans and Polity, where they wanting the right to marry. "For me, it's about
and her partner, knew they'd be "fairly declaring your love...and asking everyone present
Alana Samuels, well received." to support you on it."
dressed as a bride and groom to bring attention to While walking around campus, they met a Clemans echoes those remarks, adding
the first annual national Freedom to Marry Day, student in Overview of Gay and Lesbian Issues, a that the commitment that gays should be able to
supporting the right for gays and lesbians to health sciences course that was meeting that day, make to each other is also a commitment they will
marry. The National Freedom to Marry Coalition so they made their way over to east campus and make to raise together any children that they have.
chose February 12 because of the notion of equali- gave an impromptu speech on Freedom to Marry This semester, Clemans is a teacher's assis-
ty related to Lincoln's birthday and the proximity Day. tant for In the Gay '90s, a class that covers gay and
to St. Valentine's Day. Samuels and Clemans say they went from lesbian issues. On the first day of class, she asked
To prepare for Freedom to Marry Day, one end of the campus to the other, twice, and tried students to answer a questionnaire that began by
Clemans used about $15, some clothes she already to go "where the people would be during lunch." asking if gay marriage was legal. About 80% of the
had and a sewing needle to create a wedding dress Even when they took a break to get lunch class believed that it was legal in Hawaii.
for herself. She topped her outfit off with a flow- for themselves, they were still answering looks and In a class where Clemans says the average
ered headpiece and veil, and sewed a cummer- questions. student is already pretty aware of gay and lesbian
bund for Samuels' suit. Then she and Samuels put "A lot of people thought we really got issues, a large majority of the students didn't know
up fliers and posters, which they'd made, the night married," says Samuels. "It was funny because that it still is not legal for gays to marry anywhere
before. we're not even engaged yet." Even some of their in the U.S.-and that, according to Lambda, 29
On the morning of Freedom to Marry Day, friends thought they'd gotten married and just states have adopted measures that would discrim-
they returned to the north parking lot on campus hadn't invited anyone to the ceremony. inate against married gay and lesbian people.
to put up the last poster. As the white-clad There are 1,038 things that Samuels says Samuels and Clemans hope to change that.
Clemans was hanging it, a young man walked up she is denied because she and Clemans are not "We hope to have a couple-not a couple
behind her and started to read the poster. married. Because only family members are couple, but a couple-of people dressed up" this
"This guy was standing shoulder-to- allowed into a hospital's intensive care unit, she year for Freedom to Marry Day, says Clemans. She
shoulder with me," Clemans says. She was ner- says, "If Melanie went into ICU, I wouldn't be able doesn't know if she will be able to participate yet-
vous about a potential confrontation, was afraid to to see her." she hasn't gotten off of work-but a friend of hers
get hit, and began trying to remember what she'd "If I was in a coma," Clemans says, "she will most-likely wear the dress if she doesn't.
learned in self-defense class. can't make decisions for me. And who would Samuels says she thinks what they did last
"He turned to me and said, 'You mean you know better than her?" year went over well because it was non-threaten-
ing, and she says she will definitely be doing

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can't get married?'" Clemans recalls. Clemans is also concerned with inheri-
"I was so relieved, and so excited," she
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tance in cases where wills are not made, and cus-
tody of children a gay couple has raised together,
which is often relinquished to the absent parent or
leafleting this year.
They continue to fight for the right to
marry, because, as Samuels says, "Letting us be is

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....|-.. ..
...
Ruth goes to Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, with Noemi, and
. . .- .. .
:::i.i:::'':::::.---i:-.....
becomes widely known for her devotion. Orpha is never heard of again.
.|.. ..... ..
...
....
...
...
..
Ruth's dedication to Noerni includes the "'til death do us part" of
traditional wedding vows-of the traditional promises of a man and a
.
.. .
....--
. .. ..
.
4.. ....
..
* ... .. b
... ....
..4ý
---.
....,..............
.
woman to stay together, forever, after marrying each other and promising
unending loyalty to one another before God anid their friends and family.
But these traditional wedding vows, and traditional promises, are
not extended to homosexual couples who wish to promise unending loyalty
to* one anoter. And neither is Ruth's dedication, the dedication of one
wonman to another, ""til death do vs part," alowed to be used in a court of
law or in a church to seal the love between a man and a man or a woman and
a woman. Not in the United States of America-not in the land of the free."'

FEBRUARY 10, 1999 PAGE 19


FEATURES U

PRO
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thin-
Triple
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P'atented
left

known
as the
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made aga
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be fooled
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Sorochin;
Miss July;
the cover:
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DogFancy
windmill 4
Elephant
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relation s
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new mear
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tie paper;
World cor
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she's who
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when thel
wait 15 n
their Bre;
to reheat;
"Hee-Haw
straight 1
ing down
Knows th;
Watchers
FATr UE I
BBE LOM

will have

THE STONY BROOK PRESS PAGE 20