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Here's what the nation's newspapers are saying:

Chicago Tribune

It is amusing to hear aging hippies groan and bristle that Woodstock '94 corrupts the memory of the original with crass commercialism. In fact, the original was also a commercial venture (or) at least, it was supposed to be. Its organizers . . . intended Woodstock to make money and lots of it . . . that collapsed when several hundred thousand more concertgoers showed up than were expected. Fearing chaos and disaster, concert workers threw profits to the winds. While the bands played on, Woodstock workers stopped collecting tickets and started giving away food and drink. And so, a legend was born. It took the first Woodstock organizers more than a decade to pay off their debts.

The New York Times

The late A. Bartlett Giamatti, commissioner of baseball in the days when baseball's tycoons could tolerate a commissioner, once said the game was "designed to break your heart." What Giamatti had in mind was that games are often decided, and hopes crushed, by the narrowest of margins and the weirdest of breaks. Yet his phrase applies just as well to the charade known euphemistically as the "negotiations" between the players and owners. The (owners') suggestions for a "salary cap" . . . really means a restriction on a player's right to sell his services to the highest bidder, fully consistent with the market principles the owners profess to worship. (But) the players do not invite sympathy. The lowest makes $109,000 a year . . . and they charge little kids $7 for an autograph.

The Wall Street Journal

The long autumn of the world's dictators continues, while each awaits the winter of cold exile or colder death . . . and now the choice appears to have arrived for Fidel Castro. There is a sense spreading among the community of Cuba watchers that the dam of repression is bursting around Castro. As Cuban specialist Jarifeli Perez-Stable (says), "We are a step closer to the point where the Cuban government will have to take a decision to fire against the masses." If Cuba is a powder keg, then lifting the (U.S.) embargo would sensibly benefit Cuba's people. But if the dollar flow merely paid for Fidel's political resuscitator, "Do Not Resuscitate" seems the more humane course.

Los Angeles Times

A federal appeals court has ruled that the 1990 census somehow lost count of about 5 million Americans, primarily minority members who live in Los Angeles, New York and other big cities. The court held that the Bush administration had failed to justify (its) refusal to accept the Census Bureau's correction of an undercount. That refusal deprived millions of citizens of their fundamental right to equal representation in Congress. The Clinton administration should correct this injustice by accepting the ruling - forgoing an appeal - and adjusting the 1990 census upward before any more harm is done.

Dallas Morning News

During last year's epic debate over whether Congress should approve the North American Free Trade Agreement, all kinds of dire scenarios were presented. Ross Perot predicted a "giant sucking sound" of U.S. jobs going to low-wage Mexicans. Not only were they wrong, but they missed a key point: The greatest impact would be on Mexico. With Mexico's exports to the United State growing at a slower rate than its imports, the pact is beginning to stoke resentment . . . as Mexican businesses are forced to compete in terms of price and quality. Mexico always faced pain if it hoped to create an advanced economy. Still, Americans ought to acknowledge which country has gone the furthest to achieve a unified North American market.