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The Prism

Letters   Government Budgets
G105's "Big Shindig"

To the editor,

The reality behind a recent Oliphant cartoon in the [Durham] Herald-Sun showing President Clinton celebrating the passage of Newt Gingrich's budget (8/11/97) must gladden the hearts of wealthy conservatives everywhere.

Now that Durham has been redistricted to the 4th Congressional District, Durham conservatives, Democrat and Republican alike, may have even more reason to celebrate. If 4th district Rep. David Price, a nominal Democrat, wins the Democratic primary election in the spring, conservatives will be represented by one of their own regardless of whether Price or a Republican candidate wins the general election.

Rep. Price has long been a stalwart of the conservative Democratic Leadership Council and votes that way in the House. In the week ending August 1, for example, Price voted for HR 2266, which appropriated $248 billion for military spending in fiscal 1998, $4.3 billion more than the corresponding 1997 figure.

Those billions will pay for submarines that the Navy says it doesn't need; for bombers that the Air Force says it doesn't want; and for military bases that the Pentagon says it doesn't need and would like to shut down.

During the same week Rep. Price voted in favor of the conference report on HR 2015, which slows Medicare spending growth and restrains spending in such areas as veterans benefits and vocational education.

It is only fair to note that the 100 or so liberals in the House voted against the increase in military spending, and against the cuts in Medicare and veterans benefits.

Now, according to the August issue of Roll Call Monthly, 37 super-conservative Democrats in the House have formed a group they call the New Democratic Coalition to defend and promote even more-conservative legislation. Rep. David Price is listed among the dozen "core" members of this group.

To have a choice between a Republican candidate and perhaps an even more conservative Democrat-what more could a conservative ask for?

But preaching to the converted, as liberals are prone to do, is not going to change either David Price or the Congress. What will bring about a change is for a progressive Democrat to run against David Price in the Democratic primary, and become the next US representative to Congress from North Carolina's 4th District. It's either that, or continued representation by either Republicrat David Price, or his Republican counterpart.

Albert Sawyer
Chapel Hill

To the editor:

With regard to the nine-hour "Big Shindig" by G105 at Walnut Creek Amphitheater a few months ago, I would like to make a few comments. The event would have been more appropriately named the "Big Corporate Gouge" since the purpose of the show was not entertainment but entrapment and price gouging.

A corporately laden amphitheater, a few mediocre bands, and a radio station combine to create the perfect atmosphere for adrenalized youths to part with money. As far as the food policy goes (a company spokeswoman) said "no coolers or food could be taken in to the amphitheater - only sealed bottled water."

You can't take any food in to the show with you, you can't leave to eat a tuna sandwich out at your car and not pay to get back in, so what are you left with? Extremely inflated food and drink prices for whatever reason at the "Hardee's Food Court."

Some examples of prices:
-cup of french fries $2.00
-bottle of water $2.00
-20 oz. soda $3.00
-ear of corn $2.00
-beer $5.00-$6.00

It would be slightly less absurd to charge these prices if people had the option of bringing their own food and drink (alcohol excluded). They didn't. Sealed bottled water was the only exception.

The final tactic to keep the money flowing inside the gates was to lock them; no re-admission without new ticket. A policy especially unpleasant in the event of rain.

Ahhh, the perfect plan.

Stephen J. Zulkolsky


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