The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, June 19, 1991, Image 5

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Opinion >age7 | Wednesday, June 19,1991 The Battalion Page 5 il Gas station prices fail :amads * tO reflect actual cost wins -n Santa; ty ofte n near i of sevt' ides. h reporte: os Angela Jiscuss 4 aid Goib- tions Bus have isues ie remai- h as mot: ?s of info: initions ed to mal dataca the :ted pei' est im ,pt a dm ,nting sia. IV virus, first foit Asia th p rapid concern, on bar ed 500,4' but da! the nur ion. derail an! m Eurof ; differet eading i' Alexand icial to Gasoline doesn't cost enough. No, this ,s not a misprint. When we drive into the ervice station and fill our gas tanks, we Iways underpay. Let me explain: A recent Scientific American article by arold Hubbard called "The Real Cost of nergy" shows there are many costs associated with gasoline consumption hich are not incorporated into the arket price. Take for example the money spent rotecting oil supplies. Hubbard points ut that in 1989 alone, the U.S. epartment of Defense spent more than $15 billion to safeguard oil supplies in the ersian Gulf. This figure is on the conservative side some analysts estimate that with direct costs, the figure could have been s high as $54 billion per year. Notice this s the amount payed in 1989. With the “ulf War in 1990 and 1991 the costs have surely been multiplied. • Unfortunately, there are other hidden costs as well. Hubbard cites a range of stimates between $100 billion and $300 illion per year for other hidden costs of nergy, including "tax credits, nvironmental degradahon, increased ealth care expenditures and lost mployment." AM IA COMMUNIST TO POINT S OUT? Actually, no. These facts hould bother any free market capitalist, ut one of the requirements for a ompetitive market system is the vailability of complete information henever making choices. Unfortunately, this deflated price for asoline has distorted economic ecisions of policymakers and consumers like. There is currently a European firm hich is seeking to connect various Texas ities through a "bullet train" network. “ ey claim the operation will be able to ay for itself. Opponents scream that in he end the government will have to ump money in to keep it from going ankrupt. This is what is known as a "subsidy." Subsidies are supposedly anti- American. But don't tell that to the eople in the petroleum industry, ccording to "The Real Cost of Energy," he U.S. government subsidizes fuel roducers to the tune of $26 billion per ear through tax credits and research nding. I am not calling for all of us to become ish and revert to using horse and uggy for transportation. But if we are going to subsidize, let's use our funding to promote transportation which uses this subsidized petroleum more efficiently. It is simply not efficient for one person to drive around in 3,000-4,000 pounds of steel. And even if it were, it would be ridiculous to think that this one machine could be most efficient for both downtown manueverability and cross country high speed trips. However, with a reckless neglect for efficient transportation, our nation is now built on the highway. According to the Bryan Eagle, the U.S. Interstate system is "the greatest construction project in history." When the Central Artery project in Boston is completed in 1998, the system will have cost $129 billion, and will include "forty-four thousand miles of four-lane plus, limited access, grade-separated, high-speed coast-to-coast and border to border highway." The cost per head will be relatively small—only about $500 per person. But the cost to this country's cities has been life-threatening. The interstate made it easier for the wealthy to abandon the city in favor of idyllic suburbs. What was left was a shrinking tax base and a slumping civic concern. Furthermore, this nation's unbalanced use of the automobile has done more to kill contact between diverse people than any university president's flimsy policy ever could. The more developed tne highway system, the farther I can get away from people who are not like me. I may work in an area with diversity, but I can get into my car, roll up the window, and drive to my homogeneous suburb at the end of the day. According to the Eagle, "In 1988, the U.S. Department of Transportation classified just 57 percent of the pavement in the Interstate Highway System as being in good condition." I, for one, say let the highways rot. If petroleum production must be subsidized, then don't subsidize inefficient automobile usage as well. If we are ever going to get along with each other in this country, then we will have to create more opportunities to come into contact with each other. Why not start by shifting subsidies of automobile traffic to subsidies of public transport? Tim Truesdale is a graduate student in urban planning. Parking vultures prey on Northgate revelers ite [e where nd hwv buiM ay, leav- ounded from ttifi y MiM'l of seven m a draft sent it® ’publics le ration, \doption nark ae ’s unify' s 15 re sign W its have ^ linieft naticaif t of the ner resided ■red the itish ea sier Ere Doufll 35 in SeP' 3 ve tree Kuwait' BlearinS spying ^nmeh' I am writing in regard to the article run on the towing at Northgate. 1 wish 1 had . seen the article before I parked there so I would have been forewarned, but...(sigh) that isn't the case. I first would like to make a correction to the article about the culpability of the towing. DUDLEY'S ISN'T responsible. However, the Chicken is. The only people who have spotters (slimy morons who love to antagonize people) is the Chicken. As a matter of fact, people at Dudley's were quite helpful. The $42.50 that I shelled out to get my car won't go to Dudley's or the Chicken because it went to my car. The spotters at the Chicken also think this is great fun by all that I can tell. Instead of warning people, asking them to move or anything, they are like vultures ready to pounce on the carcass. These are some of the events which happened to my friends and me: Case 1: Individual went to the newspaper racks THEN went into the CHICKEN!! to eat a burger.. .and got towed. Sandy Dillard Reader's Opinion Case 2: Individual was at Dudley's, went to the 7-Eleven to get more money and came back.. .and got towed. Case 3: Individual went to Freebird's then to Dudley's... and got towed. When questioned about his spotting techniques, one grease spot (a Chicken backporch spotter) said in a dull moronic voice "I can't read minds." My only question is if I go into Dudley's through the back door and leave through the front how are they going to know? My advice to you is when you go to Northgate go into the Chicken (don't buy anything) or Dudley's (go ahead and buy something) first, then go to the other place you want to visit while there out the front door. The second thing to do is bend someone's ear at the Chicken about this Philistine activity. Sandy Dillard is a grad student THE KECOfiD HEW 0E£«J( ; / «: jUb? The Battalion is interested in ! editor. Please include name, c m The editor reserves the right tc, 0 M letters will appear. Letters may be brought to 216 Reed McDonald or sent to Campus Mail Stop 1111. Students need appreciation for library EDITOR: Recently I read a letter to the editor which mentioned the "poor reputation of the library." Having lived in Col lege Station my entire life, I have used A&M's library for many years, and I have found little about which to com plain. Compared to my high school's facilities, it had an in credible amount of relatively accessible information. Then this past year, I trekked off to Baltimore, to begin my col lege career at a prestigious and rather expensive univer sity. It was not until I ventured into the library for my first term paper, that I fully appreciated Sterling C. Evans li brary. The library at school has only one copy of each book, of which there are not an awful lot. Our periodical and microfilm resources are an abomination, and it can take more than 30 minutes to get student monitors to look up your film or journal (can we not find them ourselves?). In a high pressure institution like Johns Hopkins, there ex ist a number of "cutthroats," those students who, upon hearing an assigned topic, will rush to the library to check out every possible book on the topic, so that no other stu dent will have access to that information. Coupled with the six-week checkout period, which can be extremely useful at times, any book that you want could be checked out un til long after you need it. Also, due to the silly wishes of some wealthy alumni, no building on campus can be higher than HIS belltower, so the library extends four sto ries below ground - not an inspiring or comfortajble atmo sphere in which to study. Lastly, not only does one need a student ID to enter, the library closes at midnight during the week, and a paltry 2 a.m. during finals. There are many times I wish I had access to good old Sterling C. Evans when I needed information fast - let's be thankful we've got it right here. Jennifer Wormuth, Johns Hopkins '94 Weekend beer bashes at A&M become new religion for those craving college-life excitement You're in a crowded room squeezing through masses of humanity to find space to breathe. There's music blaring so loud you can't hear the person next to you. Strangely, several people surround a silver cask, pass cups of holy drink and pay homage to some unseen party god. No, you're not at some oddball ceremony. You're at a keg party. Keg parties are now a social institution at A&M. When people want to party, limit brain cell usage to mere metabolic functions or seek any type of diversion from discrimination policy discussions, they go to keg parties. Every Monday, the general buzz around campus focuses on the past weekend's frolicking. It seems more and more of us have chosen keg parties over such lively pasttimes as dancing, renting videos or mastering Wednesday night bingo. But what's the attraction? Why do we do it? I took an informal and extremely unscientific poll of keg party practitioners to learn more about this growing social phenomena. It seems that a good keg party is not based on quality socializing through various exchanges between interesting people. Often, a seasoned keg party Todd Stone Managing Editor atrol-person knows the quality of a eg party by merely counting the number of kegs on hand. A party with seven or more kegs most would be considered a "kick ass" party. Two to six is pretty good, and just one keg is a mere scrabble-fest, not worth more than an informal hello while filling a few pitchers of beer before making a quick getaway. Indeed, many proud males claim to be members of the "A&M Babe Patrol," and Aggie women gather to form the "A&M Beefcake Appreciation Society." Both groups gather at keg parties, but neither generally socialize successfully because the men tend to drool excessively after too many beers. For some reason, women have a problem with excessive saliva. But a good keg party needs more than just kegs or flesh groups, it needs good partiers. According to my informal poll, a good partier is not someone who is the most entertaining to be around, rather, a person who can consume the most beer and stay conscious long enough to talk about it. Most partiers admit that a keg party has become a laboratory for sharpening partying skills, mainly drinking beer. The smaller the group of partiers that float (empty) a keg, the greater the artiers. Of course, if just one person oats a keg in an evening, he or she is a party god. People who drink high quantities of alcohol without passing out are more revered. Folks that partied with pride should be throwing up the next day. Many of the passionate party people told me proud stories of their daring partying feats of greatness with alcohol. "I was partying hard," one partyperson boasted, "I drank a case of beer by 10 o'clock, fell down two flights of stairs and I didn't feel anything. "I just got out of traction last week," he said. “Many of the passionate party people told me proud stories of their daring partying feats of greatness with alcohol." Pro-partiers are also rugged individualists. Partiers distinguish themselves by the vessel from which they drink. This ranges from a typical beer pitcher to a motorcycle helmet. One proud partier partakes from an ostrich-skin boot. At least that's what he has been told. It seems he can't remember. My conclusion: Many go to keg ? arties to become professional partiers. hey drink high quantities of alcohol within extremely uncomfortable surroundings, and inevitably, they call everybody "dude" by the end of the evening. When I presented this conclusion to those polled partiers, they were shocked. They said keg partiers are for light-hearted fun and meeting new and exciting people. At least that's the reason they were told. It seems they can't remember why they bothered. Todd Stone is a grad student in business. Correction Tuesday's edition of the Battalion incorrectly identified the author of a Reader's Opinion column about the Persian Gulf War. Mark A. Fletcher was the author of the Reader's Opin ion. The Battalion regrets the error.