Reason Aug/Sept 2021

Reason is the monthly print magazine of "free minds and free markets." It covers politics, culture, and ideas through a provocative mix of news, analysis, commentary, and reviews. Reason provides a refreshing alternative to right-wing and left-wing opinion magazines by making a principled case for liberty and individual choice in all areas of human activity.

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Reason Magazine
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11 Edições

nesta edição

6 minutos
darkness at dawn

AS A MATTER of astronomical fact, it is not actually darkest just before the dawn. The brightness of the night sky is largely determined by the phase of the moon, a famously fickle celestial body. In the middle of the lunar month, for instance, it’s darkest right after sunset. It is not darkest before the dawn in politics either. There is a temptation among certain types of ideologues—I count myself among them—to assume that once things get bad enough, the political classes or the general public will have a collective eureka moment, at which point everyone adopts the ideologue’s worldview, policy prescriptions, and cultural preferences. The appeal of this notion is obvious. Perhaps the suffering imposed by our messy politics will be worth it, we think, if it means triumph in the end. I recently…

2 minutos
scotus revisits gun control

IN THE 2008 case District of Columbia v. Heller, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Washington, D.C.’s handgun ban was invalid because it violated the constitutional right to armed self-defense. Two years later, in McDonald v. Chicago, the Court said states also are obligated to respect that right. Because both Heller and McDonald addressed laws banning handguns within the home, the Court left unresolved how the right to keep and bear arms applies in public. In April, the Supreme Court announced it would consider that question when it hears arguments in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Corlett. At issue is New York’s requirement that anyone seeking a license to carry a concealed handgun in public satisfy a local official that he has “proper cause” to do so. What counts…

2 minutos
covid power proves tough to kick

“ONE STEP FORWARD, two steps back” is both a phrase that describes the pace of reopenings in America’s most COVID-averse jurisdictions and a dance move that was, for a brief time, illegal at weddings in Washington, D.C. Beginning in May, Democratic D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser allowed the city’s various venues and event spaces to host “special non-recurring” events for up to 250 people, including weddings. As a condition of allowing these large indoor gatherings, however, the mayor required that attendees remain seated and socially distanced. Wedding dances were explicitly prohibited. Fortunately, a lawsuit from an irate bride-to-be led to the re-legalization of father-daughter dances later the same month. The short-lived restriction was nevertheless part of a trend. The most cautious cities and states tended to slap seemingly arbitrary rules on whatever activities…

3 minutos
america’s forever war sputters out

WITH TROOPS FINALLY scheduled to withdraw from Afghanistan after two decades of conflict, America’s intervention there will go down in history as an accidental forever war. After the initial invasion, it was only peripherally part of the country’s policy debates, rarely occupying the attention of Americans who did not have relatives involved in the fighting. While polls indicate broad public support for withdrawal, the end to years of bloody struggle approaches with little fanfare in the U.S.—and plenty of wreckage left behind. “They destroyed our country, and now they are giving us their garbage,” junk dealer Hajji Gul told the Associated Press in May as he surveyed equipment deliberately wrecked by departing American troops so it cannot be used by locals. “What are we to do with this?” Also destined for the…

2 minutos
biden’s justice department goes after police misconduct

THE DEATHS OF George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky, figured prominently in last year’s nationwide protests against police abuse. In April, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced investigations into the police departments of both cities. The announcements signaled that the Justice Department under President Joe Biden was revving up its Civil Rights Division to investigate systemic police misconduct. That effort represents a sharp turnaround from the DOJ under President Donald Trump, which insisted that the problem with American policing was limited to a few bad apples. The Obama administration launched 25 of these “pattern-or-practice” investigations, meant to determine whether a police department routinely violates federal law or the Constitution. The Civil Rights Division issued scathing reports on widespread misconduct, excessive force, and unconstitutional policing in cities such as…

3 minutos
how many union members does it take to operate a train?

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN’S proposed $2.25 trillion infrastructure spending bill is more than just a huge barrel of federal cash for road, bridge, and rail projects. It is also a vehicle for reauthorizing America’s surface transportation laws, providing an opportunity for special interests to write new rules and mandates into federal policy. While most of those niche fights are unremarkable, the one shaping up between the railroad industry and its labor unions presents an interesting conundrum for the Biden administration, and it could have significant ramifications for the economy and even for efforts to reduce carbon emissions. At issue: How many people does it take to drive a train? Labor unions such as the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers have been lobbying federal regulators to mandate that all freight trains operate…