Newspaperman Steve Chapman considers Cold War lessons and nuclear proliferation in "Learning to Love the Bomb" on page 54. The 48-year-old father of three grew up in defense-base-heavy Texas but doesn't remember any childhood fear of Mutual Assured Destruction. Though his house in Austin was actually outfitted with a bomb shelter, he and his friends used it to play in. "'Nuclear war' was a game that got old pretty quick," Chapman recalls. "It was a small, empty, windowless room." These days, Chapman faces a far more anxiety-inducing threat: coming up with two pieces per week for his popular Chicago Tribune column. How does he do it? "Pure genius," he deadpans.

"There really is no such thing as the Republican Party," insists reason Contributing Editor John J. Pitney. "Nationally, the party is fragmented." Pitney, who once ran the Republican National Committee's research department, reviews The Rise of the Southern Republicans in this issue ("Gone with the Vote," page 57). For more than 15 years, he has taught government at Claremont McKenna, a small liberal arts college 45 minutes from Los Angeles. He also has authored several books, including The Art of Political Warfare (2000). Pitney's own take on the Southern elephants? "I give them an A for organizational effort," he says, "but a B- for philosophical consistency."

"Technology is great," Barb Burch, Reason's art director since 1993, says with a laugh. When she first joined the magazine, she encountered what might charitably be called a primitive situation. "We had to paste every page onto cardboard and make corrections with an exacto knife," she recalls. Burch computerized the magazine's layout, helped marshal it through a comprehensive redesign, and persisted through three versions of PageMaker before switching to another layout program. Enabled by e-mail, fax, and FedEx, Burch works from Phoenix, 400 miles from Reason's Los Angeles offices.