The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, June 19, 1991, Image 5
>age7 | Wednesday, June 19,1991 The Battalion Page 5
il Gas station prices fail
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reflect actual cost
n near i
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?s of info:
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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Parking vultures prey
on Northgate revelers
m a draft
s 15 re
t of the
3 ve tree
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
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
Sandy Dillard is a grad student
/ «: 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
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
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
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
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,"
“Many of the
people told me proud
stories of their daring
partying feats of
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
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
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
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.