Reason Magazine Articles
In "Generation Independent" (page 22) Reason Foundation Polling Director Emily Ekins, joins reason.com Editor in Chief Nick Gillespie to discuss the July Reason-Rupe Public Opinion Survey, which focuses on millennials' political attitudes. It's the 14th poll she has conducted for the Reason Foundation since joining the organization in May 2011.
Ekins' work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Time, and Fox News. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. at the University of California, Los Angeles, and has performed quantitative analyses of the Tea Party movement for the Cato Institute. The Reason-Rupe polls stand out, she says, because unlike most other surveys they consistently ask respondents about trade-offs.
"Most polls present policy questions to respondents as if they are costless, benefits-only propositions," says Ekins, "and thus find inflated support for nearly every government program under the sun." For Ekins, 30, the goal of the Reason-Rupe poll is to ask the questions that other pollsters leave out. "We design our poll questions to at first match what other pollsters are doing, but then we ask follow-up questions to gauge how the public makes trade-offs."
What she often finds is that the tradeoffs make all the difference. "The truth is, Americans would be willing to pay more in taxes and make the necessary tradeoffs for the government to do some things," she says. "However, across a number of important issues they aren't willing to pay the price."
"Many things have been said about me, said to me in the course of all my campaigns. This is the first time I've ever been accused of being a body double or a robot."
-Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), after his primary challenger suggested he had been replaced by a look-alike, KFOR-TV, June 27
"I think there are, like, gnomes, and elves, and hobbits, and people with spikes coming out of the sides of their faces."
-former congressman and current MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, explaining the HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones to co-host Mika Brzezinski, MSNBC, June 18
"Let me first assure you we do not have a plan on the shelf for the invasion of Canada."
-Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, during a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, June 19
Thai police arrested a man in Bangkok for reading 1984 in public. The arrest was part of a crackdown on protests of the May 22 military coup.
When Jennifer Lohss got her Arizona driver's permit, everything looked fine. Well, except for the fact it had someone else's photograph and signature. After a local TV station asked the state's Motor Vehicles Division about the flawed permit, officials discovered they had issued at least eight permits with the wrong photo.
When jazz bassist Christian McBride arrived in Canada for a concert, he discovered his bow was missing from his luggage. It turns out the U.S. Transportation Security Administration had seen the bow when it searched his bags and confiscated it because agents believed, wrongly according to McBride, that it contained ivory.
Thomas Mathieu, 70, says he recalls feeling a low blood sugar incident coming on, so he pulled his car over into the turn lane and parked. That's the last thing Mathieu, who is diabetic, remembers until he awoke to being beaten by San Antonio, Texas, cops. The beating left him with three broken ribs and cuts and bruises over his body. Cops say he refused multiple orders to step out of his car.
Bertram Dahl says city officials in Beebe, Arkansas, originally supported his plans to open a church in a building behind his home. Then they found out it was a pagan church, not a Christian one, and he got a cease-and-desist letter from the city code officer. The town's mayor refused to talk to a local TV station about Dahl's plans, and when a reporter tried to talk to Dahl's alderman, the alderman responded, "That man's god isn't my God."
San Marino, California, Mayor Dennis Kneier has been cited for littering after he was caught on video tossing a bag full of dog feces onto a neighbor's yard. The neighbor, Philip Lao, says he believes Kneier was upset by his opposition to a city dog park. Kneier faces a fine of $250 to $1,000.
Officials in Campbell, Wisconsin, have placed police chief Tim Kelemen on leave after he admitted using a Tea Party activist's name and email address to create accounts on pornographic, dating, and insurance websites from both his home and work computers. Kelemen was apparently upset that Tea Party activists have protested and filed a federal lawsuit over the city's decision to bar political protests on a pedestrian walkway on Interstate 90.
Some students from Utah's Wasatch High School and their parents are upset that some girls' photos were altered in their yearbook. The yearbook staff covered up the exposed shoulders and collarbones of females in some headshots, though not in all of them. They also covered up one girl's visible tattoo. Wasatch County School Superintendent Terry E. Shoemaker defended the alterations but said staffers should have been more consistent.
Miracleman, a 1980s comic written by Alan Moore, set the tone for the darker and more literary superhero stories to come. Now it's back in print-a victory over lengthy copyright squabbles.
Moore's series, published in America by Eclipse Comics, deconstructed the 1950s hero Marvelman who was himself essentially a renamed Captain Marvel, who D.C. Comics killed in the 1950s for being a Superman ripoff. After Moore left the comic, Sandman scribe Neil Gaiman picked up the story. But things got complicated in 1996 when artist-publisher Todd McFarlane bought the rights to Eclipse's creative properties. Gaiman filed suit, and a long legal battle ensued.
In 2009, McFarlane's purchase of the Eclipse character line was judged illegitimate because Eclipse didn't truly own the rights anyway. Marvel Comics bought the rights from Marvelman's creator Mick Anglo, and began the practically miraculous process of bringing the series back to print.
A show about a woman serving a 15-month prison term for one-off nonviolent drug charges (courtesy of mandatory minimum sentencing) piqued libertarian interest. The second season of Netflix's Orange Is the New Black delves deeper into anti-statist themes: Employees at the fictional Litchfield Correctional Facility are shown to be jaded, callous, and corruptible at their best. The villainous assistant warden, a serial embezzler and wife to a crooked politician, is a worse criminal than many of the inmates she supervises.
Meanwhile, we see a portrait of a black market economy-first in cosmetics, then in drugs. The administrators inadvertently demonstrate how prohibition backfires: After they institute a crackdown on contraband, prices and tensions rise, causing violent confrontations between rival dealers. But the underground economy is a rare bright spot for the show's inmates. As one entrepreneurial character notes, "The bathroom may be segregated, but the market be free."
"When you make a picture, you must not respect the novel," filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky says in Jodorowsky's Dune, a documentary that chronicles his failed attempt in the 1970s to adapt Frank Herbert's classic science-fiction novel.
Jodorowsky's Dune shows how the director assembled a team of artists he described as "spiritual warriors" to make a movie he hoped would be "messianic." They produced a screenplay, with storyboards and designs, for a 12-hour-plus film. It began with a long shot that covered the universe and ended with the death of the hero and his consciousness diffusing throughout humanity.
The documentary makes the case that the director who took credit for helping break the film unions in Mexico in the '60s—"I need to take the permission to make art?"—had a vision so powerful he changed the essence of sci-fi cinema with a movie that was never made.
"By the nineteenth century, vodka had become the principal source of tax revenue for the Russian government, as much as 46 percent of the budget." Vodka: How a Colorless, Odorless, Flavorless Spirit Conquered America (Lyons) opens with a brief, bleak history of government attempts to control sales of the purest liquor known to man.
But the book, by The Weekly Standard's Victorino Matus (with whom I have enjoyed more than one cocktail), is really an account of the miracles wrought by good marketing, which converted a nation of brown liquor enthusiasts to deeply loyal devotees of Absolut, Ketel One, and Grey Goose.
Along the way, we get the true story of how James Bond's drink altered (ruined?) the way Americans order martinis, why mid-century businessmen preferred vodka (hint: clients can't smell it on your breath), and a pleasingly snippy account of the anti-vodka backlash among high-end modern mixologists.