Read Reason’s Complete November 2013 Issue

Reason November 2013Our entire November
issue is now available online. Don’t miss: Jacob Sullum on what the
end of pot prohibition looks like in Colorado; Steven Greenhut,
Shikha Dalmia, Eric Boehm, Scott Shackford, and Ed Krayewski on how
to break an American city; an interview with neuroscientist Carl
Hart on the fundamental ignorance that shapes our national
conversation about drug policy; plus our complete Citings and
Briefly Noted sections, the Artifact, and much more.

Click here to
read Reason’s complete November 2013 issue.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/05/read-reasons-complete-november-2013-issu
via IFTTT

Eric Boehm and Kathryn Watson on Libertarian Gubernatorial Candidates Looking to the Future

Robert SarvisLike
other third parties, Libertarians have never won much of anything
in American politics.  But as they have since the party was
founded in the 1970s, their candidates keep pressing on with a
message of limited government, lower taxation and limited
regulation. The Libertarian candidates in Tuesday’s gubernatorial
elections in New Jersey and Virginia represent the two sides of
third-party politics in America. On one hand, they are principled,
committed and willing to forge ahead despite virtually no chance of
success. On the other hand, write Eric Boehm and Kathryn Watson, in
a nation growing more dissatisfied with the two traditional
political parties, with Democratic promises that never seem to be
delivered and Republican ideals that seem rooted in the 20th
century, they represent a new way forward.

View this article.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/05/eric-boehm-and-kathryn-watson-on-liberta
via IFTTT

Central Connecticut State University Locked Down After Campus Shooter “Scare” That Could’ve Been a Halloween Costume; Campus Police Chief Says There Was No Real Threat to Anyone, Charges Likely

college 2013Central Connecticut State University declared a
state of emergency and ordered a
campus lockdown
after reports of a possibly costumed armed man
on campus also carrying what looked like a sword. “Somebody was
seen either with a gun or was thought to have a gun,” a university
spokesperson told the press. The lockdown
ended
after police took three people, including at least one
student, the primary suspect, into custody. They recovered no
weapons, and the Hartford Courant
reports
that the campus police chief said there was never a
threat to anyone.  Nevertheless, even while acknowledging the
incident “possibly could have been a Halloween costume,” the campus
police chief insisted it “wasn’t a prank because there was concern,
there was alarm.”

for the camerasThe Courant has a
photo gallery
illustrating the overwhelming police response,
which included cops from several local towns and state police
sending two SWAT teams to the school. The first photo, of a couple
embracing, is captioned “A man hugs his girlfriend as they reunite
on Manafort Street as students and faculty were finally released
Monday afternoon,” a caption worth a thousand words.

Police say charges are likely in the incident, according
to the Courant’s David Owens.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/04/central-connecticut-state-university-loc
via IFTTT

Don't Track Me, Bro! Glenn Reynolds on Mileage-Based Gas Tax

Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit comes out against
replacing the gas tax with a mileage-based levy, which would likely
be assessed via a GPS-style “black box” installed in cars. The
irony behind the reform idea? People are burning less gasoline,
which is one of the goals of transportation policy. But that means
government collects less money from the gax tax.

From Road & Track:

The response in many places — from Oregon to New
Jersey
 and points in between — has been to propose taxing
people based on the miles that they drive rather than on the gas
that they burn.  There are even test programs going on in
several states in which GPS trackers are being used to collect
drivers’ mileage.  Needless to say, this sort of thing has
people worried about privacy, especially in the wake of the recent
scandals involving government spying and abuse of data.  It
also raises the question of whether, by moving to a mileage tax,
we’re giving up on trying to get people to save gas….

After noting that tracking drivers in this way creeps out
privacy advocates, Reynolds further notes:

Simpler still, of course, would be an increase in the gas tax.
 Politicians don’t like that, because tax increases are never
popular, and gas is already expensive enough.  But, of
course, the mileage tax would be a tax increase
too,
 since the whole reason it’s being proposed is
because the highway administrators want more money than they’re
getting now.  If you’re going to pay more anyway, why give up
your privacy to boot, just so that politicians can pretend
something else is going on?  And the gas tax is still a pretty
good proxy for road use:  The heavier the vehicle and the more
it drives, the more gas it burns and the more tax its owner pays.
 Hybrids get better mileage (though often no better than
diesels) but that’s not enough to undermine this much, and
pure-electric cars are a tiny fraction of those on the road, and
that isn’t likely to change any time very soon.


Read the whole thing here.

The federal gas tax hasn’t increased in about 20 years and,
unlike most levies, is more clearly designed as a user fee – the
money collected is supposed to be used for highway and
infrastructure upkeep (though
it’s often diverted
 to other purposes). Note that Adrian
Moore of Reason Foundation favors trying out the black boxes. He
believes that privacy concerns can be addressed while getting more
accurate tallies. From an LA Times story:

Wonks call it a mileage-based user fee. It is no surprise that
the idea appeals to urban liberals, as the taxes could be rigged to
change driving patterns in ways that could help reduce congestion
and greenhouse gases, for example. California planners are looking
to the system as they devise strategies to meet the goals laid out
in the state’s ambitious global warming laws. But Rep. Bill Shuster
(R-Pa.), chairman of the House Transportation Committee, has said
he, too, sees it as the most viable long-term alternative. The free
marketeers at the Reason Foundation are also fond of having drivers
pay per mile.

“This is not just a tax going into a black hole,” said Adrian
Moore, vice president of policy at Reason. “People are paying more
directly into what they are getting.”


More here.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/04/dont-track-me-bro-glenn-reynolds-on-mile
via IFTTT

Don’t Track Me, Bro! Glenn Reynolds on Mileage-Based Gas Tax

Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit comes out against
replacing the gas tax with a mileage-based levy, which would likely
be assessed via a GPS-style “black box” installed in cars. The
irony behind the reform idea? People are burning less gasoline,
which is one of the goals of transportation policy. But that means
government collects less money from the gax tax.

From Road & Track:

The response in many places — from Oregon to New
Jersey
 and points in between — has been to propose taxing
people based on the miles that they drive rather than on the gas
that they burn.  There are even test programs going on in
several states in which GPS trackers are being used to collect
drivers’ mileage.  Needless to say, this sort of thing has
people worried about privacy, especially in the wake of the recent
scandals involving government spying and abuse of data.  It
also raises the question of whether, by moving to a mileage tax,
we’re giving up on trying to get people to save gas….

After noting that tracking drivers in this way creeps out
privacy advocates, Reynolds further notes:

Simpler still, of course, would be an increase in the gas tax.
 Politicians don’t like that, because tax increases are never
popular, and gas is already expensive enough.  But, of
course, the mileage tax would be a tax increase
too,
 since the whole reason it’s being proposed is
because the highway administrators want more money than they’re
getting now.  If you’re going to pay more anyway, why give up
your privacy to boot, just so that politicians can pretend
something else is going on?  And the gas tax is still a pretty
good proxy for road use:  The heavier the vehicle and the more
it drives, the more gas it burns and the more tax its owner pays.
 Hybrids get better mileage (though often no better than
diesels) but that’s not enough to undermine this much, and
pure-electric cars are a tiny fraction of those on the road, and
that isn’t likely to change any time very soon.


Read the whole thing here.

The federal gas tax hasn’t increased in about 20 years and,
unlike most levies, is more clearly designed as a user fee – the
money collected is supposed to be used for highway and
infrastructure upkeep (though
it’s often diverted
 to other purposes). Note that Adrian
Moore of Reason Foundation favors trying out the black boxes. He
believes that privacy concerns can be addressed while getting more
accurate tallies. From an LA Times story:

Wonks call it a mileage-based user fee. It is no surprise that
the idea appeals to urban liberals, as the taxes could be rigged to
change driving patterns in ways that could help reduce congestion
and greenhouse gases, for example. California planners are looking
to the system as they devise strategies to meet the goals laid out
in the state’s ambitious global warming laws. But Rep. Bill Shuster
(R-Pa.), chairman of the House Transportation Committee, has said
he, too, sees it as the most viable long-term alternative. The free
marketeers at the Reason Foundation are also fond of having drivers
pay per mile.

“This is not just a tax going into a black hole,” said Adrian
Moore, vice president of policy at Reason. “People are paying more
directly into what they are getting.”


More here.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/04/dont-track-me-bro-glenn-reynolds-on-mile
via IFTTT

Obamacare: Coming to Your Favorite Primetime Show?

Maybe they can sell the success of the program on "Once Upon a Time" along with the other fairy tales.Will Mike and
Molly
soon be browsing HealthCare.gov to find coverage for
their diabetes treatments? Will Tyrese on The Walking Dead
lament that the zombie apocalypse has ended any possibility of
getting the mental health assistance he would have been able to
access had the world not ended? Will CSI investigate the
murder-suicide of an elderly couple who had their insurance
policies canceled because they weren’t good enough, according to
the Obama administration?

Maybe. A California-based foundation is dangling
hundreds of thousands of dollars
in front of television shows
to see if anybody bites. From the Associated Press:

The California Endowment, a private foundation that is spending
millions to promote President Barack Obama’s signature law,
recently provided a $500,000 grant to ensure TV writers and
producers have information about the Affordable Care Act that can
be stitched into plot lines watched by millions.

The aim is to produce compelling prime-time narratives that
encourage Americans to enroll, especially the young and healthy,
Hispanics and other key demographic groups needed to make the
overhaul a success.

“We know from research that when people watch entertainment
television, even if they know it’s fiction, they tend to believe
that the factual stuff is actually factual,” said Martin Kaplan of
the University of Southern California’s Norman Lear Center, which
received the grant.

Read the whole piece
here
.

A Republican strategist quoted thinks it’s way too late in the
game to attempt using television shows to help recover the
Affordable Care Act’s ailing image and will be perceived as
partisan. 

It’s much more interesting to imagine what the outcome would
have been had ACA supporters had been prepared, and pro-Obamacare
stories were showing up on television shows right now as the
disaster was unfolding. Imagine patients at Seattle Grace Hospital
being earnestly encouraged to visit HealthCare.gov and sign up for
coverage in just minutes and have a good laugh.

Follow this story and more at Reason
24/7
.

Spice up your blog or Website with Reason 24/7 news and
Reason articles. You can get the
widgets
here
. If you have a story that would be of
interest to Reason’s readers please let us know by emailing the
24/7 crew at 24_7@reason.com, or tweet us stories
at 
@reason247.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/04/obamacare-coming-to-your-favorite-primet
via IFTTT

Poll: Majority of Brits Want Rail, Energy Companies Nationalized

Here is part of a write-up on the latest
terrifying poll from the other side of the Atlantic (from
YouGov
):

The majority of the British public – including the majority of
Conservative voters – support nationalising the energy and rail
companies

Labour’s plan to freeze energy prices for 20 months has
re-ignited the debate over the role of the government in markets,
with Conservatives arguing intervention is a ‘con’ while Labour
claim the state should ‘reset’ the market. Shadow transport
secretary Mary Creagh has even suggested Labour are open to
re-nationalising train services.

However, YouGov research for the Centre for Labour and Social
Studies finds voters of all politics united in their support for
nationalisation of energy and rail.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that most Labour Party
supporters, who are
unashamedly socialist
, want rail and energy companies to be
nationalized. However, it is frightening that more than half of
Conservatives polled agree with Labour supporters on the issue:


The graph above not only shows that the nationalization of rail
and energy companies has majority support across the British
political spectrum, it also highlights that UKIP members are hardly
the supporters of limited government and free markets
some seem

to think they are
. In fact, UKIP members support the
nationalization of rail and energy companies more than Liberal
Democrats, who are oftentimes described as center-left.

Below is another terrifying graph from the same poll. It turns
out that over a third of the British public believe that the
government should have the power to control the price of food:


Read the full results of the poll
here

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/04/poll-majority-of-brits-want-rail-energy
via IFTTT

The Only Political Party in New York That Uses Lines of Coke to Advertise its Candidate Slate

My wife was doing some voting research in advance of tomorrow’s
sure-to-be-depressing election in New York City, and came upon this
gem of a Libertarian Party candidates video:

 

Reason on the doomed libertarianish Republican mayoral candidate
Joe Lhota here.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/04/the-only-political-party-in-new-york-tha
via IFTTT

Get a Free Copy of J Neil Schulman's The Heartmost Desire!


Novelist and filmmaker J. Neil Schulman is
offering free Kindle editions of his book The Heartmost Desire
through November 5.

From the Amazon description:

The Heartmost Desire is author/filmmaker J. Neil Schulman’s most
personal book, containing his manifesto for why liberty is
necessary for human self-realization and happiness, and his
autobiographical description of the experiences that led him from
atheism to God, but still relying on reason and rejecting religion,
scripture, and faith. 

More info on the book, including link to Amazon page, after the
jump.

From the preface and foreword by fellow Prometheus-award-winning
novelist, Brad Linaweaver: 

Over the years many fans of J. Neil Schulman have said they want
another book by him. Sometimes you get what you ask for … but
it’s not always what you think you want. 

Neil Schulman is one of those writers who doesn’t just write the
same book over and over and over. He writes a book when he has
something to say. 

Neil crams more into single paragraphs than other libertarians
put into entire boring tomes. He can rattle off more limitations on
our supposed free speech that most of us ever consider. He can
recite a list of cultural taboos to frighten the staunchest social
conservative. Neil is a libertarian. So why is he so often in hot
water with other libertarians, the natural audience for this book?
… 

A libertarian defends the right to be wrong. It takes a lot of
effort to initiate force or fraud. Short of that, the libertarian
is tolerant of actions that liberals and conservatives cannot
understand. But a libertarian also has the right to judge the value
of values. 

A libertarian can have common sense. He can weigh the good and
the bad in the shadowlands where ideas have yet to be put into
practice. There is one kind of libertarian who will derive no
benefit from the words that follow. That is someone who has no
heart. 

“The Lord ain’t my shepherd Cause I ain’t no sheep. I’m a god in
a body Not Little Bo Peep.” 
By Steven Vandervelde on September 4, 2013 
Review of J Neil Schulman’s new book, The Heartmost
Desire 

“The Lord ain’t my shepherd 
Cause I ain’t no sheep. 
I’m a god in a body 
Not Little Bo Peep.” 

What is the essence of the individual human identity? We might
call it the personality or the ego, that which makes me, me. Is it
any less real to call it the soul, the spirit or the divine spark?
I do not see why it should be, if we are talking about the same
thing. Thus, the above poem could be misleading to anyone who
decides not to read further. 

Schulman is a philosopher, not a theologian. He writes about his
own personal experience and his interpretation of that experience,
and never demands that we accept his view on faith. He is not
trying to create a cult following. He is attempting to open a
reasoned discussion. Basically, his is telling us a story, a story
about what happened to him, and what he thinks it means. We are
free to take it or leave it, to accept the possibility that he
believes what he is saying and not trying to fool us, or to refuse
to understand and misrepresent his intention, as, unfortunately,
many have done. 

In the end, it does not really matter if Neil’s personal
understanding of his experience is true or false. It is his
experience, not ours. What matters is how we chose to understand
what he is telling us. No understanding will be gained by a swift
and superficial reading of his thoughts. 

It is crystal clear to anyone who has written poetry, to anyone
how has written fiction, or told a story, that there are other
forms of communication besides solid logic and hard
reason. 

Imagination.


Get yer free copy here.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/04/get-a-free-copy-of-j-neil-shulmans-the-h
via IFTTT