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Reason Alert: Stagliano Charges Dismissed, Teachers Block Online Education

Environmental disasters and watch Reason on TV tonight

July 22, 2010

- All Obscenity Charges Against John Stagliano Dismissed
Teachers Unions vs. Online Education
- Environmental Disasters and Property Rights
- Watch Reason on Showtime and Fox Business Tonight
- New at Reason

All Obscenity Charges Against John Stagliano Dismissed
Late last Friday a federal judge dismissed all obscenity charges against filmmaker John Stagliano. Reason magazine's Jacob Sullum writes, "Even Americans who don't object to the idea of imprisoning people for movies made by and for consenting adults should worry about the unavoidable arbitrariness of obscenity prosecutions. Like broadcasters operating under the threat of indecency fines, porn producers can never be sure what material will be deemed illegal. That kind of uncertainty should be unacceptable in a society that upholds the rule of law."
Reason's Interview With Stagliano After the Case Was Dismissed
The Stagliano Victory Party

Teachers Unions vs. Online Education
"State governments spend between $10,000 and $15,000 annually on each of the nation's 55 million school kids, making primary and secondary education a $1 trillion market. Under ordinary circumstances, that kind of money attracts entrepreneurs. But the uncertainties of politics, the powerful opposition of the teachers unions, and the astonishing technological backwardness of the education establishment discourage would-be entrepreneurs and, perhaps more importantly, potential investors. In the 2010 annual letter from his charitable foundation-the biggest in the United States, with a $33 billion endowment-Bill Gates listed online education as one of his top priorities. 'Online learning can be more than lectures,' he wrote. 'Another element involves presenting information in an interactive form, which can be used to find out what a student knows and doesn't know.' Hundreds of smaller contenders are proliferating, trying to figure out ways to exploit the new medium and answer concerns about what a nation of online learners might look like. Carnegie Learning uses artificial intelligence techniques to customize math learning to the individual. The Online School for Girls creates and administers advanced courses geared to female learning styles. The list is as large and diverse as the iPhone app store and growing every day...The existing offerings are making life better for hundreds of thousands of kids. But we're a long way from widespread access to genuinely innovative educational practices. Only 28 states allow full-time online programs right now. If you're a kid who lives in New York, you don't have access to any public online programs. In Virginia you have online A.P. courses, but nothing full time. If you're in California, you have access to full-time programs but not supplemental ones, unless you happen to live in a district that made an independent investment in online learning. We can't let state legislatures and federal grant programs pick winners. We can't let teachers unions allow only one version of online education to squeak by. But if online learning keeps growing, when that 3-year-old with the iPhone graduates from high school in 2025, education will be virtually unrecognizable, and thank goodness for that." - Reason magazine Senior Editor Katherine Mangu-Ward

Environmental Disasters and Property Rights
Reason magazine Science Correspondent Ronald Bailey examines a list of the world's worst environmental disasters and concludes: "Foreign Policy largely missed one of the central features of all of the ecological catastrophes it highlighted: defective or non-existent property rights. In the case of the BP and Nigerian oil spills, the resource is owned by the government which sets up the rules for how resources are managed. The Chinese coal seam fires and the draining of the Aral Sea took place under communist regimes where private property was outlawed. In the sad case of Haiti, lack of secure property rights means that few have any incentive to reforest land. And the absence of property rights in the ocean results in it being treated as a global dump. The lesson is that establishing clear property rights encourages resource exploiters to behave responsibly. And if they don't, property rights enable rest of us to hold resource exploiters responsible for the damage they do."

Watch Reason on Showtime and Fox Business Tonight
Reason's Nick Gillespie Will Discuss Immigration on John Stossel's Fox Business Show Tonight at 9 pm Eastern
Reason's Radley Balko Will Discuss Our Criminal Justice System on Penn & Teller's Bullshit! Tonight on Showtime at 10 pm Eastern

New at Reason

Video: Nick Gillespie, John Stossel, Judge Andrew Napolitano and Virginia Postrel Discuss Libertarians on Fox

Video: Adrian Moore on Out of Control Government Salaries on Fox Business

Video: Katherine Mangu-Ward Talking Food Police on Fox Business With John Stossel

John Stossel: Why America Should Let More People In

Economist Magazine Debate: Radley Balko on Gambling

Brian Doherty: Where Do Libertarians Belong?

It's Wrong to "Refudiate" the First Amendment

I Guess It Depends on the Meaning of "Absolutely Not a Tax Increase"

Who Is to Blame for Medical Marijuana Raids?

Day Two of JournoListMageddon: Not Very Convincing

The Big Implosion of Big Breitbart's Big Story

Mickey Kaus: Unions 'Own the Democratic Party'

Video: Steven Greenhut on Public Employee Paychecks, Perks, and Plunder

Video: Previews This Season of Mad Men

A Drug Raid Goes Viral: Radley Balko on the Missouri SWAT Raid Video

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