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OTHER VIEWS

Here's what newspapers around the nation are saying:

The Washington Post

One of the most eagerly awaited decisions of the current Supreme Court term was handed down Monday, and the six justices who formed the majority had no trouble at all coming down to their conclusion. At issue was a provision of the Colorado Constitution (that) invalidated laws passed by some counties and municipalities barring discrimination against homosexuals. The ruling does not invalidate criminal laws relating to conduct . . . nor does it require states to enact laws protecting homosexuals as a class. But the court decided that the state of Colorado had classified homo-sex-uals "not to further a proper legislative end, but to make them unequal to everyone else." Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority with understated authority and bedrock conviction, correctly concluded, "It is not within our constitutional tradition to enact laws of this sort . . . ."

The New York Times

The Clinton administration's decision to issue indexed bonds - government bonds that protect the purchaser from inflation - is welcome news for investors, taxpayers and the overall health of the economy. Indexed bonds would, in effect, pay an investor a fixed rate of return, probably around 3 percent, above the rate of inflation . . . (and) would not carry the risk of default. Taxpayers would gain . . . because government borrowing costs, and therefore the need to raise taxes, would likely fall. (And) indexed bonds will make it easier for the Federal Reserve Board to control the economy by giving it a good barometer of investor expectations about inflation. Bureaucratic inertia and opposition by Wall Street dealers have blocked issuance of indexed bonds in the past. It took a former investment banker, Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, to blow the whistle on his former colleagues. Indexed bonds are a victory for good government.

Los Angeles Times

Philip Morris USA wants to cut a deal. The nation's largest cigarette-maker says it's ready to support legislation to ban vending machine sales of all tobacco products and to accept some limits on cigarette advertising aimed at young people. In exchange it wants Congress to prevent the Food and Drug Administration from regulating tobacco products, ever. . . . The offer is not even worth serious discussion. Cigarette smoking over time sickens and kills people, contributing to half a million deaths a year in the United States. It is the nation's foremost controllable public health danger. Taking the strongest possible action to limit smoking's malign effects, and especially to try to dissuade young people from smoking, is a public policy imperative on which compromise is out of the question.

The Boston Globe

The latest on sweat in the Journal of the American Medical Association says less is more; that the plain old treadmill is better at burning calories than contraptions that look like medieval torture devices. People may think they're getting a better workout on that hulking, hissing stair-climber, a cross-country ski device with a grip for every limb or a deluxe stationary bike that inflicts similar pains with the arm-exercise bars and pedals, but none of that stuff measures up to the rubber ramp going 'round and 'round. Even in a light workout, the equipment many people consider to be the most boring in the gym came out ahead, eating up between 7 percent and 38 percent more calories. Probably the best news coming out of the study is that people can ignore the whole thing and just go for a brisk walk, which will give them about the same benefits as a session on the treadmill.