We're in the middle of Reason's annual webathon, during which we ask our readers to support our efforts to bring the best in libertarian news, views, and analysis. We're hoping for 500 donations and you can give as little as $10 to see your name scroll across the top of Reason.com. A donation of $100 gets you a year's subscription (a $14.97 value) and a t-shirt and bumper sticker. Go here for a list of swag associated with different giving levels.
We know it's a tough economy, but we can also assure you that whatever you can spare will be used effectively and efficiently to make the case for "Free Minds and Free Markets," for a world in which all of us are freer to live however we want to.
Here are three reasons to make a tax-deductible donation to Reason:
1. Our coverage of science issues is unparalleled. Reason's longtime science correspondent Ronald Bailey is currently filing dispatches from the United Nations meeting on climate change in Durban, South Africa (read his work here). There's nobody on this planet or any other (including newbie Keppler 22b) that comes close to matching Bailey's expertise on biotech, climate change, self-directed evolution, the singularity, you name it. In an age where conservatives denounce evolution and liberals shun genetically modified organisms and vaccines, Reason is the one place where you can turn to find science reporting that's all about rationality and facts, not ideological presumptions. Take a look at Bailey's recent interview with the great Steven Pinker. This is the sort of stuff your money helps us produce:
2. The Brickbats, people. And the Nanny of the Month. And the "3 Reasons" video series. Penned by Charles Oliver, our Brickbats are daily outrages and #facepalms, served up from relentless skimming of the nation's news sources for ridiculous and frustrating abuses of power. Consider this entry from November 24:
Transportation Security Administration agent Nelson Santiago has been charged with stealing $50,000 worth of electronics from passengers as they passed through Florida's Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Santiago was caught after an airline employee caught him taking an iPad out of a suitcase and stuffing it down his pants.
Read all our Brickbats here. Then there's our popular "3 Reasons" video series, which has taken on topics ranging from "3 Reasons We Shouldn't Bail Out Student Loan Borrowers" to "3 Reasons Not to Sweat The Citizens United Decision" to "3 Reasons Obama Should Kick His Own Ass." These are timely, concise arguments suitable for cocktail parties that give a libertarian take on the most pressing issues of the day. Watch 'em all here.
And then there's one of the great franchises of Reason.tv: The Nanny of the Month. For a few years now, Ted Balaker has been shining a harsh light on the biggest buttinskys in the world and making fun of them. They can all be viewed here and below is the most recent "winner":
3. The Best is Yet to Come! Reason was founded in 1968 by Lanny Friedlander (who passed away this year; read his Reason obit here and his NY Times one here). As a nation, we're in a tough patch, for sure, with what Hayek called "the socialists of both parties" beating the body politic like a pinata. Yet what was once a modest magazine is now a multi-dimensional media source, with print, web, video, and public-policy arms, and more accolades and influence than you can shake a stick at.
This past year, Matt Welch and I published The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong with America, to strong notices. George Will declared, "These incurably upbeat journalists with Reason magazine believe that not even government, try as it will, can prevent onrushing social improvement." And Forbes' ED Kain said, "The book is uplifting, optimistic and full of energy. This is no pessimistic rant about how awful the “other guy” is - it's a cheerful dismissal of tribalism and monopolistic thinking, in life and in politics." NY Times' columnist and Marginal Revolution blogger Tyler Cowen dubbed it "the up-to-date statement of libertarianism."
As I write, Reason staffer Jesse Walker is working on a book-length treatment of "the paranoid center" for HarperCollins, and Brian Doherty has finished up his biography of Ron Paul that's due out in May 2012. Those are major works and they are supplemented every day of the year by thousands of articles, blog posts, op-eds, media appearances, videos, and more coming from Reason folks. This is what your donations make possible: The constant creation of libertarian content that boldy goes where no other media outlet has gone before. Or has plans to.
So those are three reasons (good ones, I hope) for you to give to Reason this year. The details are here and all donations are tax-deductible. And just for good measure, I'll throw in a fourth reason gratis: Through it all, we maintain a sense of humor about politics, culture, and ideas, that hopefully makes this life we're living a little more bearable and a little more interesting. To wit: