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Articles from Vol. 39, No. 10, March

Ad Lib: Free Speech Fight
SPEECHNOW.ORG wants to criticize politicians who support restrictions on political speech. But first it has to get permission from the government. Last fall the Federal Election Commission agreed to decide whether SpeechNow.org, an independent group...
A Secular Fantasy: The Flawed but Fascinating Fiction of Philip Pullman
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] THE CONTROVERSY surrounding The Golden Compass, the recently released screen adaptation of the first book of Philip Pullman's bestselling fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials, was not exactly unexpected. Pullman, a 61-year-old...
Litigating for Liberty: The Institute for Justice's Chip Mellor on Campaign-Finance Reform, Eminent-Domain Abuse, and Licensing Laws Gone Wild
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] IF YOU'VE SEEN a case of state-on-citizen injustice become a mainstream outrage from coast to coast, chances are Chip Mellor had something to do with it. Mellor founded the Institute for Justice, arguably the most effective...
Make Mine Mormon: If Only Mitt Romney Were as Colorful as His Faith
THE PROBLEM WITH Mitt Romney is that he isn't Mormon enough. His unusual, unpopular religion is the one part of his public image that doesn't feel like it came out of a focus group. Naturally, he does everything he can to minimize, marginalize, and...
Myths of Sexual Slavery
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The U.S. State Department has long claimed that between 600,000 and 800,000 women are trafficked worldwide every year. But in a 2006 report, the Government Accountability Office concluded that estimate was riddled with "methodological...
Neither Gods nor Goo: Avoiding Both Utopian and Apocalyptic Forecasts for Nanotechnology
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] BY THE MIDDLE of the century, the inventor Ray Kurzweil suggests in his 2005 book The Singularity Is Near, human beings will live in perpetual clouds of nanobots, molecule-sized robots that spend each moment altering our microenvironments...
Petty Cash: Immigrant Injustice
MORE THAN two years ago, Pedro Zapeta tried to board a plane home to Guatemala from the United States. He carried a small blue duffel bag filled with what he says were his savings from seven years of working as a dishwasher in Matin County, California:...
See You at Reason.TV
HERE'S SOME news that will (hopefully) disappoint some readers and (surely) delight others: After eight years at the top of the masthead, this is my last issue as editor-in-chief of the print edition of reason. I started with the magazine back in...
Sex Flaws: Database Mistakes
HARRY BERLIN has never committed a crime in his life. But each time the TV news mentions Las Vegas' online registry of sex offenders, the 71-year-old is harassed and threatened by his neighbors. As the Las Vegas Sun reported in December, Berlin's address...
Slippery Slope: Subsidized Campaigns
LAST APRIL, Wisconsin had the most expensive Supreme Court election in the state's history. Candidates and third-party groups spent more than $5.8 million on a campaign that ended with the election of Justice Annette Ziegler, who received 58 percent...
Spycatchers: Press Freedom Overseas
THE LARGEST newswire in the Netherlands knew something suspicious was going on when a government official lodged a complaint about an interview that hadn't been published yet. According to reports in the Dutch news media, members of the government's...
The Cost of a Free Lunch: David Cay Johnston on How the Government Protects the Privileged
DAVID CAY JOHNSTON, a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter, is the author of Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You With the Bill) (Portfolio). The heavily reported book takes on eminent...
The Golden Age: How Americans Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Workplace Drug Testing
IN THE INCREASINGLY divided American landscape, where language, faith, and prime-time television no longer unite us as they once did, a thin golden line holds the nation together. It connects entities as disparate as Britney Spears, the Miami Dolphins,...
They Said What? A Happy History of Lies and Propaganda
Here's a history test no currently breathing American citizen should fail: Name a president whose "only reading materials were government documents and Bible scriptures" and whose tenure was linked to an increasingly unpopular war started under geopolitically...
Whatever Happened to Tax Cuts? in the GOP, Free Markets Are Losing to Huckanomics
MIKE HUCKABEE WAS supposed to be dead right now, politically speaking, and the Club for Growth was supposed to be standing over the corpse holding the knife. The Club--an eight-year-old coalition of supply-siders that helped elect such anti-tax politicians...