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Reason Alert: What If the Government Takes Over BP?

Does President Obama hate the brits? And why libertarian literature is better than conservative lit

June 24, 2010

- A Government Takeover of BP Won't Help the Oil Spill's Victims
- Does President Obama Hate the Brits?
- Why Do Libertarians Produce Better Literature Than Conservatives?
- Cops vs. Dogs
- New at Reason

A Government Takeover of BP Won't Help the Oil Spill's Victims
"The reality is that the spill's victims have been dealt a bad hand in a game that they didn't choose to play. But anyone who thinks that the government can be their knight in shining armor ought to be sentenced to six months of community service cleaning up the Gulf. There are no good guys in this drama." - Reason Foundation's Shikha Dalmia examines what a government takeover of BP would mean in her new column
Jacob Sullum: Executive Power and the BP Oil Spill

Does President Obama Hate the Brits?
Reason magazine Senior Editor Michael Moynihan writes, "Sarah Palin’s lame attempt at vilifying 'foreign' BP, or Barack Obama’s subtle attempt to underscore the company’s non-American roots, is little different than former BBC reporter Andre Gilligan complaining that London is 'owned by Americans,' with its streets 'lined with New York Bagel shops, Manhattan Coffee Company outlets.' The stakes are different, of course, but the sentiment is much the same; if the city goes to pot, if the oil well explodes, it ain’t our fault. Obama is a blame-passing protectionist. Palin is an attention-seeking populist. And the poor British columnists are giving me reflux, that fashionable and incredibly painful American disease."

Why Do Libertarians Produce Better Literature Than Conservatives?
"Why is libertarianism more fictionally attuned than conservatism? Conservatives have had, especially in the past generation, more real-world accomplishments in politics and media for adherents to glom onto for inspiration. Perceiving themselves as closer to worldly power than libertarians can, young Republicans can locate living heroes. Who needs the emotional support and intellectual stimulation of the literary imagination when you can see the world you want either in the near pre-Obama past or in a future that’s just a GOP electoral victory away? While traditional conservatism is historically rooted in many literary traditions and themes from the Greek and Roman classics to Shakespeare to the New Humanists and Southern Agrarians of the early 20th century, modern conservatism has become too much of politics to think much of art...The major reason libertarianism has a firm base in literature—even popular literature—that conservatism lacks comes down to a purity of ideas and goals. Libertarianism is still a project, essentially, of the moral imagination, and one with a unity of purpose. Conservatism, meanwhile, has become a project of electoral wrangling...Conservatism is no longer about a subtle and coherent understanding of the human soul, but about running the modern state and winning influence for that purpose. Governance ought to require a great deal of refined moral imagination. But those most obsessed with gaining power are least likely to have a sense of humane width or even to understand its importance. That’s the sort of irony about which any number of nuanced and enriching works of literature could be written." - Reason magazine's Brian Doherty

Cops vs. Dogs
Reason magazine Senior Editor Radley Balko highlights three more cases of over-aggressive police raids that killed family pets: "The point here is not that all cops are trigger-happy dog murderers. But there does seem to be an attitude that an officer is justified putting a few bullets into a dog if he feels even the slightest bit of discomfort around the animal. Mere fear of a bite, not even an actual bite, is justification for gunfire. Subsequent complaints about dog killings are usually dismissed with little consideration. The lack of training is especially troubling. A spokesman for the Humane Society told me last year that his organization offers free training to any police department that requests it. He could only think of a few that had taken advantage of the offer."

Balko: Another Marylander Arrested for Recording the Police

New at Reason

Steve Chapman: Obama Didn't Have to Fire McChrystal

John Stossel: Guns Save Lives

Taking State Parks Off the State's Books

“Behavior Placement” in TV Programming Isn't New or Alarming

Ronald Bailey: Plastic Brains, Femmebots, and Aliens Watching TV

Is the "Year of Conservative Women" Bad for Women?

Video: Nick Gillespie on Judge Napolitano's New Fox Show

Video: Sweden - A Supermodel for America?

Video: Former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker on the Federal Fiscal Crisis

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