Drug War

Reasons to Support Reason's Webathon, Criminal Injustice Edition


As Nick Gillespie mentioned this morning, we are on Day One of our annual week-long webathon, in which we are asking you to be one of at least 500 people donating to the 501(c)(3) nonprofit that makes all Reason-branded activities possible. Like every magazine of political opinion, Reason does not make enough money through subscriptions and advertising alone to pay its bills. But we think we offer some value propositions you cannot get elsewhere. For instance, our decades-long coverage of criminal justice issues.

Here's what the National Magazine Award-winning writer Jonathan Rauch said about the special issue to your right:

Hats off to Reason for its July special issue on criminal (in)justice. Strong journalism examining, among other things, the unaccountable "culture of misconduct" among gung-ho prosecutors (names are named); and the prevalence of wrongful convictions; an immigration detention system "that treats treats suspected illegal aliens like criminals, but with fewer rights." Special kudos to Jacob Sullum for a compelling and, in today's climate, brave takedown of politically sacred sex-offender laws.

I read the whole magazine with mounting admiration. Every article is solid and the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, on a subject about which Americans are too complacent. This kind of enterprise is why God invented magazines.


Regular readers of this website know that the July issue was no one-off. Reason is where you learned about the war on cameras and the asset forfeiture racket (in which your property can be considered guilty even if you're never charged with a crime), and it's where you watched unspeakable outrage after outrage after outrage.

The news isn't all grim, thankfully. In September of this year, Cory Maye, who had spent several years of his life on death row, was released from prison after a series of events that began with former Reasoner Radley Balko's great coverage of Maye's case. For his Reason work covering criminal justice, Balko was named in 2011 by the Los Angeles Press Club as Journalist of the Year for all of Southern California.

At Reason, we don't just cover criminal justice, we live it—as when Reason.tv producer Jim Epstein was arrested for filming a Washington, D.C., public meeting. We testify to Congress on criminal justice reform, and we use our growing perch in the broadcast media to make the principled case for freedom over needless incarceration. And the crew over at Reason.tv continues to make stellar documentaries about individual acts of injustice:

Go to our "Criminal Justice" topic page and just start scrolling down, then ask yourself what other magazine is as committed to covering the contested space between citizen rights and government guns. Then go to reason.com/donate, and help us keep doing this important work.

NEXT: Censorship-Advocating FCC Commissioner Michael Copps Announces His Resignation

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. But donations isn’t part of teh capitalism!!!1


    1. …North America into a prison.

      Libertards consider the prison walls, and plush private cells to be the “free market” and masturbate to “privatizing” the prison mess hall so the KOCH gang can plush up their private cells more.

      1. Hey, it feeds your fat face.

        1. You’ve spoken like a true city-Statist, Comrade heller; you’d make a great Soviet prison guard.

          1. Nom nom nom nom nom nom


            I’m fat.

  2. But we think we offer some value propositions you cannot get elsewhere.

    Like modding out the griefer trolls? Right? RIGHT?

    1. It must be Lobster Girl bait-and-switch week again.

    2. ya, would just a plain old slashdot-like modding system work here?

      another thought: use RSA to sign everything, and build that in to whatever reader people have been using. You could put it into “read only verified handles” mode, plus have white lists and black lists.

      1. That might be an improvement. But at this point, killing off comments entirely would be an improvement, too.

      2. “would just a plain old slashdot-like modding system work here?”

        that shit doesn’t work THERE, fuck no

        it just encourages groupthink, period.

  3. Do you suppose Dr. Mark Brittingham made two successive, separate donations or accidentally made the same donation twice. If it’s the latter, I hope he ponied up the $2,500. How cool would it look if he strolled into the office wearing two signed leather jackets?

    And I don’t know if touting Balko is legal now that you lost him to Huffington. Is Reason going to take him back when HuffPo goes tits-up?

    1. he’s a Siamese twin

  4. Is that what the thing was that appeared in my browser? I kind of x’d it reflexively and my brain never had the chance to process it in to anything other than a colorful blob.

    System took all my paper so I’m not really in a giving mood or financial situation.

  5. Do I get a tote bag and a FREE weather radio when I donate?

  6. reason – ck out the yeoman’s work ProPublica did on presidential pardons.

    short answer – to get a pardon, one must be white, wealthy, & well-connected despite controlling for type of conviction, age, etc

    1. That is unsurprising.

    2. So, you are naturally for more government power and discretion, right?

  7. I just made a donation.

    Reason represents me and my ideas better than anyone in Congress or the White House, that’s for sure. Love seein’ Gillespie and Welch, et. al. invading the airwaves–takin’ the message straight to the average Joe.

    Nobody else really does that–and certainly nobody else does it better.

    If the commenters around her got smart about treating visitor traffic to the site better–that Gillespie, Welch, et. al generate when they hit the airwaves?

    We might actually help their cause rather than shooting them in the foot.

    P.S. All the trolls who imagine themselves libertarians should give twice.

    1. Eh. Its like going on “good” behavior when your sister brings her fiance home for the holidays. Are we really doing anyone any favors by pretending to be something other than bitchy, foul-mouthed, argumentative and opinionated?

      1. Bitchy, foul-mouthed, argumentative and opinionated isn’t really a problem.

        Intolerance is a problem.

        1. I bet you’re intolerant of Non-State society lifeways, Ken.

          It would take too much personal responsibility to be a sovereign individual.

          Historically, people in non-state societies are relatively autonomous and sovereign. They generate their own subsistence with litde or no assistance from outside sources. They bow to no external political leaders.


          1. “I bet you’re intolerant of Non-State society lifeways, Ken.”

            I’m not an anarcho-capitalist, although I’m sympathetic to that, and I’m not an anti-technology anarchist either. But I think having an anti-technology anarchist about to debate with and–yeah–learn stuff from is good thing.

            I’m certainly willing to listen to other people’s ideas–so…I think that makes me pretty tolerant.

            Of course, I’m not perfect either–it just seems that way because Tulpa and Episarch are always talking about how perfect I am in every way.

        2. Intolerance is not a bug but a feature when dealing with the griefer trolls this site attracts.

          1. Why are you against personal responsibility, autonomous and sovereign individuals, and no external political leaders, John?

            1. I am only against fat, ignorant toads sitting in their basements making the same tired cut and paste points on every single thread.

              1. Since I’m neither fat nor sitting in a basement, we should get along famously, John.

        3. Ken, an ignorant remark says who they are but my problem is the use of my handle and link by spoofs; people like John are convinced it is me, and repeat it so often, that others assume it is true too.

          I’d like to see IPs published when a handle is stolen.

          1. Rather,

            You have very strange enemies. Why do they only post when you do?

            1. Don’t bother, John. Talking to her is of little more use than yelling at turds floating in a public park toilet.

              1. I’ve actually had some measure of success yelling at those floating turds.

                It’s the ones that sink to the bottom who are impossible to work with.

              2. Nice SF, I LOL’D at that. Folks walked by my office afterwards thinking I was watching George Carlin stand-up.

          2. “but my problem is the use of my handle and link by spoofs; people like John are convinced it is me, and repeat it so often, that others assume it is true too.”

            Yeah, that’s really lame when libertarian trolls do that to other people.

            It’s the lamest.

            There isn’t anybody who comes here who should be subjected to that for any reason. …certainly not just becasue they disagree with us for one reason or another.

            The worst part is that those trolls do it to their fellow libertarians, who disagree with them, too.

            That doesn’t really bug me personally so much, though. It bugs me that an awesome site like this that advances the cause of libertarianism–has some people damage its impact by griefing newcomers–for no good reason. …just because they don’t already agree with whatever those trolls imagine libertarianism is?

            Arguing that we should be more sensitive less calloused towards minorities, women, etc. shouldn’t be so controversial either. …if we’re libertarians who want women, minorities, etc. to buy into our program, anyway.

            Yeah, intolerance is a problem.

            1. So go somewhere else. I’d hate to force my ‘intolerance’ on you. What a load of pearl clutching.

              1. You don’t like my tolerance?

                You’re free to go somewhere else.

                    1. Speaking of vile trolls!

  8. Why is Obama on the airport CNN giving a speech? Wtf is he on about now?

    1. “Forget all that you have learned and re-elect me! Please!”

      1. “Now that I’m an American, you can vote for me again. I mean, have you seen that clown-dogg circus on the other side?!”

        1. None of those clowns presided over an economic disaster, laughing all the way.

  9. Yeah, first non-capitalized donor name!

    My life is now fulfilled.

    1. I had the first Aqua Teen Hunger Force reference name. Top that!

      1. Fuckers cut my name off. Maybe they’re protecting me by not letting people know I’m in California.


        1. LOL, as if we would believe that you’re the same person as “Poet Laureate sloopy.”

        2. Wait. That’s what the “inca” stood for all this time? I just thought you were Pre-Columbian.

          What’s the first part mean? Are you messy when you eat or have sexual congress?

            1. The real shame is that I couldn’t fit We don’t give a damn for the whole state of Michigan in the name box.

          1. What’s the first part mean?

            This wikipedia link will help you understand what Sloopy is all about.

            1. I thought that song was about the Peanuts character, but as spoken by an Asian caricature or something.

                1. Yeah, come to think of it, the stereotype would have him singing, “Sroopy, hang on,” so never mind.

                  And for the record, only four others got their name on the banner before me, and I’m pretty sure, unlike me, they’re all jerks. And my middle name is not capitalized. So I pretty much win.

      2. Yeah but mine was before yours, so… first!

        1. *slinks away defeated*

  10. Also, we should contribute so Ron can go visit the soon to be cloned Siberian mammoth and write about it.

    1. “Japan’s Kinki University”

      Only in Japan!

  11. Here’s some stoopid ass shit. Michael Buffer got elected to the boxing Hall of Fame. He’s a freaking announcer. Not a radio or TV announcer, but a guy who says the fighters’ names.

    No wonder the rest of the world hates us.

  12. So is the wrong set of dates in the donation banner now a meme, and so it can’t be fixed? ‘Cause it still says the Webathon is over.

    1. Well looky there.

  13. This is funny. I was never quite a member of the Calvin and Hobbes cult. But even I have to like this.

    Calvin and Hobbes discussion between Calvin and his father:

    Q. How come old photographs are always black and white? Didn’t they have color film back then?
    A. Sure they did. In fact, those old photographs are in color. It’s just that the world was black and white then. The world didn’t turn color until sometime in the 1930s, and it was pretty grainy color for a while, too.
    Q. But then why are old paintings in color?! If the world was black and white, wouldn’t artists have painted it that way?
    A. Not necessarily. A lot of great artists were insane.
    Q. But? But how could they have painted in color anyway? Wouldn’t their paints have been shades of gray back then?
    A. Of course, but they turned colors like everything else did in the ’30s.
    Q. So why didn’t old black and white photos turn color too?
    A. Because they were color pictures of black and white, remember?

    1. I love Calvin’s dad. He’s my role model.

      Happy Calvinmas!

      1. I hope to have children some day just so I can lie to them. What fun.

        1. It’s not lying. It’s training them to use critical thinking and to not rely on authority.

          I believe Steve Martin may have been the modern inventor of this theory, advocating that we teach our kids made-up words instead of the correct ones.

          1. I know a guy who trained his kids to say ‘armadildo’ in reference to the hard-shelled possum. Apparently, it caused some friction for them in elementary school.

            1. Sounds like good English to me.

          2. I used to tell my grade-school-aged kids blatant lies and force them to explain why they knew I was wrong.

            “Why is the sky blue?” could turn into half an hour of give and take.

  14. DAMNIT WELCH! Always with the extortion, first the innocent Lobster Girl and now the alt-text? Next you will reveal the Epi is you sock puppet.

    You have no soul sir.

  15. Nothing about lobster girl… I remain unconvinced.

    1. Oops, for the Calvin and Hobbes thread above. Great cartoon.

    2. It is. Thank you.

  16. And before some griefer troll comes along assuming art comes with city-Statism, I’ll add the following:

    Civilization, the progressivist then claims, is still of value for the art, music, and poetry it creates. Primitive cultures have no Beethoven, no Rembrandt, and no Shakespeare. Again, the progressivist case is predicated on an abysmal ignorance of what primitive cultures can boast. In fact, art is universal to all human cultures, not just including primitive ones, but especially primitive ones. Art is essential to human nature?and thus, it is always at odds with civilization’s basic, dehumanizing trends?and it is found wherever one finds humans.

    Thesis #24: Civilization has no monopoly on art.
    by Jason Godesky | 10 January 2006

  17. This is interesting.

    All the more surprising, then was the answer of CDU/CSU parliamentary spokesman on foreign policy, Phillip Missfelder, when asked about military options against Iran. “But I say very clearly that even those who want to put the focus on diplomatic efforts cannot entirely rule out a military option,” Missfelder told the German newspaper Die Welt. Nothing is off the table.

    Those are some of the strongest words about military action uttered by a ranking politician in Germany since the arrest of Admiral D?nitz liquidated the last remnant of the Third Reich.


    1. Now that the EU is breaking up, Germany likes war again. Just as expected.

      I’d avoid Paris for the next few years.

      1. I am actually going this week. Perhaps I will do a little goose stepping down the Chand de Lise in preparation for the future. I am sure French are practicing dropping their weapons as we speak.

        1. Isn’t it France’s century to be the badass?

          1. They never really recovered from the Napoleonic Wars. To their credit they fought pretty hard in the Franco Prussian war. But they were done in by incompetent leadership. They fought incredibly bravely in World War I. And that exhausted them completely. They just had no will to fight World War II. Maybe after 70 years they have the will again. But I doubt it.

            1. I say they do better this time. More like WWI than WWII.

        2. I watched an episode of “Borgia” last night where the french were invading the Vatican. There was a guy running down the narrow cobble-stone street yelling, “Run! The French are coming. Run!”. It was pretty funny.

          1. From Joan of Arc until Napoleon they were not someone you really wanted to fight. Hell, even through WWI. Actually, from the invention of the stirrup that allowed real cavalry charges through the time when the English figured out they could stand on a hill and deploy stakes to stop a charge, the French were the baddest army around. After that, they’ve been pretty good when led by a foreign-born general.

            1. There’s a continuum from Frank to French. At the Frank end, they can kill, kill, and kill again. At the French end, they surrender and serve you rich pastries.

    2. Now let’s see what he also said:

      “Ich glaube, eine milit?rische Option auszuschlie?en, w?rde unsere Verhandlungsposition zum jetzigen Zeitpunkt schw?chen”

      “Es ist ein Unterschied, milit?rische Optionen nicht auszuschlie?en oder damit zu drohen. Damit drohen sollte man nicht. Denn eine Drohung muss man irgendwann auch einl?sen.”

      “I think to rule out a military option would weaken our negotiating position at the present time.”

      “There is a difference between ruling out a military option or threatening with it. Because a threat has to be honored at some point.”


      I am sure that it is political suicide for any German administration to support an attack on Iran in the near future. Even then: the German military is controlled by our parliament not the administration. I see no parliamentary majority for German troops to be deployed a to new warzone. Statements as those of Mi?felder are pretty standard fare for CDU/CSU politicians. Their position is pretty much the same as it was during the inception of the latest war in iraq.

  18. It looks like Johnson & Johnson’s O.B. tampon brand has bowed to an outcry from loyal users of its Ultra product to return it to store shelves in Canada. And it’s doing so with this rather humorous, over-the-top personalized musical and video apology. There is nothing like seeing your very own name on a tattoo, greeting card and in sky writing to let you know that your tampon brand really does care and deeply regrets leaving you in the lurch.


  19. Why don’t you guys ask money from the Occupy protesters, since you love them so much?

    1. Because the Occupados don’t have any money to spare. Duh.

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