Notícies i Política

Reason June 2020

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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6 min.
the seen and the unseen of covid-19

THE CORONAVIRUS HAS broken everyone’s windows, and the glazier cannot leave his house to fix them. In his classic essay, “That Which Is Seen, and That Which Is Not Seen,” Frédéric Bastiat describes a pane of glass smashed by a shopkeeper’s careless son. He imagines a crowd gathered around. “It is an ill wind that blows nobody good. Everybody must live,” the gawkers mutter comfortingly, “and what would become of the glaziers if panes of glass were never broken?” Bastiat’s great contribution to popular economics was to succinctly and memorably ask his readers to look beyond the obvious, or seen, economic activity—the reglazing of the broken window—and consider also what has been foregone, the unseen. “As our shopkeeper has spent six francs upon one thing,” Bastiat patiently explains, “he cannot spend them…

1 min.

IN 2009, WISCONSINITE Todd Bol created the first “Little Free Library”: a free-standing book pantry, little bigger than a birdhouse, where passersby can take and leave books at will. The nonprofit Bol founded estimates that in the decade since, fans of the idea have independently constructed 100,000 little libraries in more than 100 countries. During the coronavirus pandemic, those libraries are serving a new purpose: People have started replacing books with nonperishable foods and toiletries for their needy neighbors…

3 min.
in praise of pointy things

TO JUDGE BY conversations with friends and acquaintances over the years, my family isn’t the only one to treat the gifting of a knife as a rite of passage. It’s an acknowledgment that the recipient has passed a milestone, having become sufficiently familiar with spatial relationships and mortality to avoid severing anything too terribly important from themselves or others. It’s also the entrusting of a reliable tool, perhaps the most useful one that humans have invented and can own. I no longer have the first knife I received—a somewhat unwieldy device that included a fork and spoon—but I still own the Colonial Forest Master camp knife that I bought on an elementary school field trip to Bushkill Falls (“the Niagara of Pennsylvania”). My classmates and I pretty much cleaned out a…

2 min.
did louisiana enact a bogus health law as a pretext for banning abortion?

ANOTHER ABORTION CASE is now in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court. At issue in June Medical Services v. Russo is the constitutionality of a Louisiana law that requires physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. According to the state, the law serves a valid health and safety purpose and should be upheld as a legitimate exercise of government power. According to the legal challengers, the law is a bogus regulation whose only purpose is to drive lawful abortion providers out of business. The Supreme Court decided a nearly identical case in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt (2016), striking down a Texas law requiring physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at local hospitals on the grounds that the law conferred no “medical benefits sufficient…

2 min.
a new synthetic opioid is killing american drug users

A NEW CULPRIT has surfaced in America’s seemingly endless game of opioid Whac-A-Mole: the research chemical isotonitazene. The drug, which has no approved clinical uses, began appearing in autopsy reports in the U.S. within the last year, likely as a result of efforts to curtail the importation of illicit fentanyl. “Isotonitazene is the most persistent and prevalent new opioid in the U.S.,” forensic toxicologist Barry K. Logan told Vice in March. Logan is now reportedly seeing “40 to 50 isotonitazene-related deaths per month in the U.S.compared to about six per month last summer.” In the November 2019 issue of Drug Testing and Analysis, Peter Blanckaert and his team at the Belgian Early Warning System on Drugs identified isotonitazene as a highly potent analog of a pain reliever called etonitazene, which was developed…

2 min.
two billionaires demonstrate the limits of money in elections

TWO AND A half weeks after Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) slammed Michael Bloomberg for trying to “buy this election,” the former New York City mayor left the presidential race, having spent $570 million of his own money to win 58 delegates—3 percent of the number needed to secure the Democratic nomination. Tom Steyer, the other billionaire in the race, did even worse, abandoning his campaign after spending more than $250 million and earning zero delegates. Those spectacular failures should give pause to the politicians and activists who think money poses such a grave threat to democracy that the Constitution must be amended to authorize limits on campaign spending. Bloomberg and Steyer—who outspent former Vice President Joe Biden by factors of more than eight and nearly four, respectively—demonstrated that no amount of…