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Preview: Nick Gillespie: Reason Magazine articles.

Nick Gillespie: Reason.com articles.





Updated: 2017-04-23T00:00:00-04:00

 



James Altucher Found Himself by Losing Everything (and You Can Too!)

2017-04-21T12:15:00-04:00

James Altucher has rebounded from personal catastrophe so many times in his 49 years, it's hard to imagine a more qualified evangelist for personal reinvention. During the dot-com boom of the 1990s, Altucher made millions designing corporate websites, only to squander it all on gambling and a string of disastrous investments. "I was probably losing about a million [dollars] a week for an entire summer," he tells Reason's Nick Gillespie. "I just made every stupid decision in the book."(image)

With $143 left in his bank account, Altucher contemplated suicide. "I equated my self-worth with my net worth," he says, "and I just figured there's no way I'm going to dig myself out of this hole."

Instead of self-destruction, Altucher created himself anew. He dedicated himself to learning about finance, reading over a hundred books about investing. He built a new career as a hedge fund manager, earning writing gigs at TheStreet.com and The Financial Times.

The real estate crisis of 2008 wiped the slate clean. Finding himself with nothing to lose yet again, Altucher began blogging about his riches-to-rags-to-riches-again life story, eventually writing books—18 of them so far—for an audience that had felt the sting of the recession.

Crawling out of the abyss a few times has made Altucher wary of the American Dream. A Cornell and Carnegie Mellon graduate, he scorns higher education as an overpriced luxury. Home ownership is great for the banks, but a lousy deal for home owners. Hedge funds are a scam. He's never had credit card debt because he's never had a credit card.

In keeping with his philosophy of radical self-creation, Altucher's latest identity is a 21st century urban ascetic. He has pared down his possessions, discarding every item he doesn't need. He is determined that nothing get in the way of his chosen life, his best self. Today, he lives in AirBnB rentals and owns fifteen things that he carries in a small canvas bag.

Altucher's self-published book about the art of self-creation, Choose Yourself! Be Happy, Make Millions, Live the Dream, charts his life story, detailing how he bounced back, time and again, from disasters personal and financial. Equal parts self-help manual, cautionary tale, and tell-all autobiography, Choose Yourself! challenges us to create the best version of ourselves through a constant process of optimism, authenticity, and hard work.

Edited by Todd Krainin. Hosted by Nick Gillespie. Cameras by Jim Epstein and Krainin.

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'I'm Not Willing to Sacrifice Freedom of Expression on the Altar of Cultural Diversity'

2017-04-11T06:00:00-04:00

In 2005, while an editor at the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, Flemming Rose commissioned a series of cartoons about the prophet Muhammad. His goal was to highlight the dangers of self-censorship in an age of political correctness. The response was explosive: Islamic terrorists greeted the cartoons with violence, riots, and attacks on western embassies that left at least 200 dead, according to The New York Times. Rose has been under threat ever since, frequently traveling with bodyguards. Yet he remains one of the planet's most committed and articulate defenders of free speech, the open society, and the enlightenment values of tolerance and universal rights. Rose sat down with Reason TV's Nick Gillespie in February to talk about his book The Tyranny of Silence (Cato), a defense of his decision to publish the cartoons and a guide to unfettered expression in the 21st century. Reason: Since the Muhammed cartoons came out, we've seen any number of violent reprisals against free speech, most catastrophically the gunning down of a good part of the staff of Charlie Hebdo in Paris. We've also seen the continuing rise of hate speech laws in Europe and a stultifying climate on college campuses. Are things good for free speech right now or not? Rose: If we take the long-term historical view, free speech is in better shape than in the 17th century or the 18th century or even the beginning of the 20th century. No doubt about that. But if we look in a shorter-term perspective—let's say the past 20, 30 years—I think free speech is in worse shape. You can see it when you check out statistics. Freedom House puts out a report every year; Reporters Without Borders in Europe does the same thing. And the trend is the same all over. For the past approximately 10 years, freedom of the press and freedom of speech are in decline. I think that is the new thing. We know China. We know Cuba. We know North Korea, Russia, where things usually are in bad shape. But the new trend is that freedom of expression is in decline even in Western Europe. What forms does it take, say, in Western Europe? Are there legal actions against reporters, or is it a chilled atmosphere where people just don't talk about certain things? It's both. In the first half of 2015, France—of all countries in the world—was the most dangerous place to live for a journalist. That's, of course, not the case anymore, but a couple of years ago, I interviewed the most famous French cartoonist, Plantu, who works for Le Monde. I asked him when was the last time a cartoonist was killed in Europe, and he couldn't recall. The only name he came up with was a Palestinian cartoonist who was killed in London in 1987, by either the Mossad or the [Palestine Liberation Organization]. Even Honoré Daumier, the most famous French cartoonist who worked in the 19th century—he was sent to jail several times but he came out and he continued mocking the king. He was not killed. He was not physically threatened. Where are the threats coming from? Are they exclusively coming out of religious intolerance? Is it Islamic jihadists? It is broader than that? It's far broader than that. It has to do with our ability to manage diversity in a world that is getting increasingly globalized. The debate of free speech is going on in a qualitatively new situation driven by migration, the fact that people move across borders in numbers [and] at a speed never seen before in the history of mankind. The consequence being that almost every society in the world right now is getting more and more diverse in terms of culture and religion. That's one factor. The second factor is digital technology. The fact that what is being published somewhere is being published everywhere and people can react to speech across cultures, but in a situation where speech loses context and can be manipulated and exploited and political, and so that's what happened to me. "Tolerance is not a demand that you put on the speaker. It's not a demand that you put on somebody who publishes a cartoon or w[...]



Trump's Syria Strike Won't Solve Any Problems But Could Make Everything Worse

2017-04-07T15:10:00-04:00

"It is in the vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the use of deadly chemical weapons," said President Donald Trump in explaining a U.S.-missile strike on a Syrian airbase. That might sound good and even noble in theory, explains Emma Ashford of the Cato Institute, but the plain truth is that he's wrong. What's worse, it's far from clear what either the United States or other countries in the region will do next.

The essential lesson that George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and now Donald Trump keep forgetting is that military interventions, especially in other countries' civil wars, often makes things worse, Ashford tells Nick Gillespie.

Produced by Austin Bragg. Cameras by Todd Krainin and Mark McDaniel.




Dave Rubin's Political Awakening

2017-03-29T15:01:00-04:00

In an era of daily internet outrage, Dave Rubin stands out for his willingness to engage a wide spectrum of political opinions with a civil tone. His show, The Rubin Report, has hosted the likes of alt-right gadfly Milo Yiannopolous, crusading atheist Sam Harris, and ex-governor-turned-conspiracy-theorist Jesse Ventura, all in a spirit of non-partisan intellectual inquiry. Chatting with political adversaries has affected Rubin's politics in unexpected ways. As his beliefs turned towards individualism, he broke with the progressive show The Young Turks over the issue of identity politics. Rubin explains his ideological shift in his influential video, Why I Left the Left, which has racked up 1.7 million views in just a few months. Today, Rubin describes himself as a classical liberal. "I do believe that the state has some use," he explains. "Now I don't want a huge state. I firmly believe in individual liberty more than anything else. And that you have to live the life you want for yourself." The one-time progressive even cast a vote for Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson in the last presidential election. Although his even-keeled approach to dialogue hasn't changed much, he now sees value in the outrageous style of internet punditry. "Sometimes there is use in laying out bombs that are going to upset people, because out of the chaos of that, you can actually build some bridges, you can actually find some people waking up," he says. Edited by Alex Manning. Cameras by Zach Weissmueller and Austin Bragg. Subscribe to our YouTube channel. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. Subscribe to our podcast at iTunes. INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT: This is a rush transcript. Check against video for accuracy. Rubin: Sometimes there is use in laying out bombs that are going to upset people because out of the chaos of that, you can actually build some bridges, you can actually find some people waking up. Reason: Hi, I'm Nick Gillespie with ReasonTV, and today we are talking with Dave Rubin of the Rubin Report. It's an online talk show that is extremely well regarded for it's civil tone, and depth, and breath of topics. Dave Rubin, thanks for talking to Reason. Rubin: Nick, it's good to be with you. Civil tone. I'm not bringing that here. Reason: No, no. That's on your show. Now we're doing this. Rubin: I'm going to be doing something completely different. Reason: A lot of cursing and below-the-belt shots. You've hosted people ranging from alt-right rockstar, Milo Yiannopoulos to Sam Harris, the atheist, anti-Islam crusader, and we'll talk a little bit about him. Jesse Ventura, Reason contributing editor Deirdre McCloskey, the economic historian [Ian Herseley 00:00:55]. A lot of people, a lot of different types of people. You also talk about the regressive left a lot. What do you mean by that term? The regressive left? Rubin: Yeah, well first on the guest portion of it, it's funny, people say, "You talk to people from all over the political map," as if that's something so special or inventive, or I'm doing something that is so wild. It's like, "When did sitting down with someone that you might disagree with become so rare?" It's actually kind of sad. I cherish that. I love doing that. I hope in the course of this we'll find some things that we disagree on. Reason: I think we already have. Rubin: That right there. I would say the regressive left, I considered myself a progressive. I was far on the left, I worked at the Young Turks Network, they're an online news network, progressive, and what I realized is that these ideas, they're all based in collectivism, basically, that we should judge as a group, usually on immutable characteristics, so we're judging everyone on their color, on their religion, on their sexuality, on all of these things, and yet they're telling you that everyone else is the bigot, and the racist, and all of that stuff, when really we should all be judged as individuals. Now I know you guys at Reason are all about this. Thi[...]



Jonathan Haidt on "the Coddling of the American Mind" and How We Should Address It

2017-03-17T17:00:00-04:00

The suppression of free speech on college campuses isn't a new thing, says Jonathan Haidt, a psychologist at the New York University Stern School of Business and author of The Righteous Mind: Why good people are divided by politics and religion. In the past, however, it was usually done by professors and administrators rather than students. Haidt says student-driven speech suppression is a relatively new phenomenon. "It was after the Yale protests that everything really spread, and that was only 13 or 14 months ago," says Haidt, referring to an incident in which students protested potentially offensive Halloween costumes. For Haidt, students calling for speech codes, trigger warnings, and the like is a reversal of what we had come to expect on college campuses in the wake of the Free Speech Movement of the 1960s. "The thing people were not expecting was that the students are the ones who are demanding [political correctness] now," he explains. "Before, it was typically the students who were demanding more freedom." This can have a chilling effect on speech even as it pushes students to opposite ends of the political spectrum. "At schools," says Haidt, "men feel they can't speak and then they go and vote for Trump." Reason TV's Nick Gillespie sat down with Haidt at the International Students for Liberty Conference to discuss the rise of political correctness and its cultural implications. They also talk about Heterodox Academy, a website that Haidt helped start that discusses the need for viewpoint diversity within the university system. Produced by Mark McDaniel. Cameras by McDaniel, Joshua Swain, and Todd Krainin. Graphics by Meredith Bragg. Subscribe to our YouTube channel. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. Subscribe to our podcast at iTunes. Subscribe to the print edition for just $15 a year! This is a rush transcript—check all quotes against the audio for accuracy. Jon Haidt: What Greg was beginning to see was that it's the students themselves who are saying, "You can't say that. Stop her from saying that. We need rules to stop him from saying that," and that's what was new. Nick Gillespie: Hi I'm Nick Gillespie with Reason TV. Today we're talking with Jon Haidt. He is a social psychologist at the NYU Stern School of Business. Jon, thanks for talking to us. Jon Haidt: My pleasure, Nick. Nick Gillespie: You obviously have a fantastic academic reputation which proceeds anything we're doing here, but also along with Greg Lukianoff, the Director of FIRE, Foundation for Individual Rights and Education, a couple of years ago you wrote "The Coddling of the American Mind" which really brought a lot of the issues you're interested in to a much broader audience. Let's talk about campus PC and where it comes from, because this is the world we live in, it helped empower Donald Trump, he ran for presidency saying, "I was against PC." Define and quantify how we know that political correctness is getting bigger or worse on college campuses, that speech is actually being shutdown, thought is being shutdown. Jon Haidt: Right. It's hard to find. This is all so new. There's been, I believe, a kind of a moral revolution, a new moral culture emerging on campus but it really is only in the last two years. If any of your viewers graduated from college in 2013, they probably haven't seen it. There was a culture, we can talk about it in a moment, but it's organized around victims of oppression, it's a vertical metaphor of privileged and oppressor people, and victims. This idea that everything is power. It goes back a long way. Students were always at risk of being told, "Everything is power." No. "Everything is money." No. "Everything is sex." We've had these one dimensional moral cultures for a long time, but they were limited to certain departments on campus at certain schools. But something began happening in 2014-2015 where we just started hearing all these stories. When Greg and I wrote the article, it was[...]



Capitalism and Neoliberalism Have Made the World Better

2017-03-03T15:10:00-05:00

"People think the world is in chaos. People think that the world is on fire right now for all the wrong reasons," says author and Cato Institute senior fellow Johan Norberg. "There is a segment of politicians who try to scare us to death, because then we clamber for safety we need the strong man in a way."

But despite the political situation in Europe and America, Norberg remains optimistic. His new book, Progress: Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future, shows what humans are capable of when given freedom and the ability to exchange new ideas. "In the 25 years that have been considered neo-liberalism and capitalism run amok what has happened? Well, we've reduced chronic undernourishment around the world by 40 percent, child mortality and illiteracy by half, and extreme poverty from 37 to 10 percent," explains Norberg

Reason's Nick Gillespie sat down with Norberg during the International Students for Liberty Conference to talk about his book, the current political climate in the West, and how technology is creating a younger generation that will look past politics for answers to societal problems.

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Edited by Alex Manning. Cameras by Mark McDaniel and Todd Krainin.




Changing the Way We Talk About Libertarianism

2017-03-02T13:37:00-05:00

"Are we a chosen marginalized group that is going to be forever hanging around together? Is this just our social gang?," asks Jeffrey Tucker, director of content for the Foundation of Economic Education (FEE). "I think that is a problem."

When FEE was first founded in 1946 by Leonard Read, libertarianism was a little known concept. Thanks to regularly featured works by noted scholars like Ludwig von Mises, Milton Friedman, Henry Hazlitt, and George Stigler, the ideas of human liberty and freedom became more accessible and familiar to a larger audience.

The growing distaste for the current two-party system (both major party candidates set historic records for negative ratings in 2016) has increased the appeal of the libertarian perspective and the ideology has grown into a movement with real political momentum. Gallup Poll's 2015 Politcal Governance survey found that 27 percent of respondents could be ideologically classified as libertarian—the highest number recorded to date.

But Tucker warns that the growing popularity of libertarianism presents new challenges: "Because we have become a movement... it does give rise to—I think—certain temptations to speak in our own vernacular or our own really high liturgical language with each other. Then normal people can't understand."

Tucker states he has looked to the past as inspiration for revitalizing FEE's current mission.

"There weren't a lot of what we call libertarians around at the time," Tucker explains. "They had to speak in a way to everybody or to anyone who would listen. And I think that affected the way they thought and the way they wrote. Every piece had to make sense for anybody who happened to pick it up."

To reach a larger audience, Tucker has expanded FEE's editorial scope by including entertainment reviews of popular shows like HBO's The Young Pope and Netflix's The Crown in addition to policy and political coverage.

Reason's Nick Gillespie sat down with Tucker at the International Students for Liberty Conference to discuss the history of FEE and how popular culture can be used by libertarians to spread their ideas to a mainstream audience.

Edited by Alexis Garcia. Cameras by Mark McDaniel and Todd Krainin. Music by Podington Bear.

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Islam Without Extremes: The Muslim Case for Liberty

2017-02-28T10:10:00-05:00

"There is a tradition of Islam that actually values enterprise and free trade," says Mustafa Akyol, a New York Times columnist and author of Islam Without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty. "Islam was born as a very trade-friendly religion. Prophet Muhammad was a merchant himself."

Akyol says the current state of affairs in the Islamic world can lead people to feel pessimistic about its future and the prospect of a free society. But "to extrapolate this out to all Muslims and to say 'this is what Islam probably is,' would be the biggest mistake," Akyol says. "What Islam can be, and what Islam was in the past, is a different discussion."

While the historical basis for compatibility with the West exists, there are still many challenges that face the Islamic world. Akyol says a change to Islam along the lines of the Protestant Reformation isn't necessarily what's needed. "What we need is the Enlightenment...not Luther, but John Locke."

Reason TV's Nick Gillespie sat down with Akyol at the International Students for Liberty Conference to discuss the historical relationship between Islam and free trade, how Islamists reshaped the religion into political authoritarianism, and whether or not Islam needs a reformation or an enlightenment.

Produced by Mark McDaniel. Cameras by McDaniel, Joshua Swain, and Todd Krainin.

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Hey Donald: You Can Be a Citizen of America *and* a Citizen of the World!

2017-02-24T17:58:00-05:00

Donald Trump has promised to "Make America Great Again" by putting "America First."

Though he was speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), it must be said that he is no small-government conservative. In fact, his speech made clear that he represents the worst tendencies of conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats to limit our freedoms in the name of supposedly serving the greater good.

Trump is an economic protectionist and interventionist who wants to promote what he perceives are "our values" by building a wall to keep out immigrants, charging tariffs on imports, badgering U.S. companies to stay here, and making pipelines with only American steel. But all of that will only make everything cost more while reducing employment. He talks about bringing back manufacturing jobs, but they peaked as a percentage of the workforce in 1943 and are never coming back for a very good reason. Thanks to technological innovation, manufacturing output has doubled since the 1980s but with one-third fewer workers. Shutting down free trade or playing "CEO in chief" isn't going to change that.

At the heart of Trump's confusion is his belief that putting America First means keeping the world at a distance.

But you can be a citizen of America and a citizen of the world. In fact, if you believe in political, economic, and cultural freedom, you must always hold such dual citizenship. There's no more basic freedom than the right to live where you want and buy what you want. That's not anti-America. That is America.

In different ways over the years, Republicans and Democrats have tried to control where we can live, who we can marry, what we can eat, drink, and smoke, and so much more. Trump represents not a release from such thinking but a shotgun marriage of that worst impulse in each party.

"Where liberty dwells, there is my country," Ben Franklin is said to have written. In putting America First, Donald Trump will succeed only in leaving even more of us truly homeless.

Written by Nick Gillespie. Produced and edited by Meredith Bragg and Joshua Swain.

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How Trump Will Reshape Foreign Policy

2017-02-23T11:00:00-05:00

"I think [Trump] kind of has a zero-sum view of the world," says Cato Institute Senior Fellow Trevor Thrall. "'We're going to win, and we're going to beat people up hard to do it.'"

Reason TV's Nick Gillespie sat down with Thrall to discuss the Trump Doctrine, its potential effect on global stability, and America's role as an indispensable nation.

Camera by Todd Krainin, Joshua Swain, and Mark McDaniel. Edited by Austin Bragg.

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Police, Criminal Justice, and the Millennial Vote

2017-02-22T15:30:00-05:00

"We often focus a lot of attention on these big racial gaps and confidence towards the police. How well they do their jobs. Are they accountable? Do they use too much force? What the polling data suggests is that people are far more unified when it comes to what the police should be doing." says Cato Institute Director of Polling Emily Ekins, author of Policing in America: Understanding Public Attitudes Toward the Police.

"For instance, we asked people what they thought the top priorities of the police should be, and across racial groups and partisan groups it was the same. It was fighting violent crime, protecting you from being a victim of violent crime, and fighting property crime like robbery. The drug war was very low on that list."

Reason TV's Nick Gillespie sat down with Ekins at the International Students for Liberty Conference to discuss public opinion toward the police, criminal justice reform, and the millennial vote.

Produced by Joshua Swain. Cameras by Mark McDaniel and Todd Krainin.

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Reason Reflects on Four Decades of Libertarian Journalism

2017-02-22T15:15:00-05:00

Three Reason editors-in-chief arrived at the International Students for Liberty Conference to discuss four decades of reporting. Marty Zupan, who edited Reason in the 1980s; Nick Gillespie, editor in the aughts; and current magazine editor Katherine Mangu-Ward have all covered world events from a libertarian perspective.

Produced by Todd Krainin. Cameras by Josh Swain and Krainin.
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Flemming Rose Against the Worldwide Suppression of Speech

2017-02-10T12:11:00-05:00

Flemming Rose isn't going to watch the decline of free speech without a fight. In 2005, while an editor at the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, Rose commissioned twelve cartoons about Muhammad to encourage artists to overcome self-censorship. Extremists responded to the cartoons with attacks on western embassies and riots, resulting in the deaths of over 200 people. Now Rose has written The Tyranny of Silence, a defense of his decision to publish the cartoons and a guide to unfettered expression in the 21st century. "I'm not willing to sacrifice freedom of expression on the altar of cultural diversity," he says. As politicians across the world respond to the challenge of multiculturalism with censorship, campus speech codes, and the persecution of journalists, Rose explains why openness is the proper political response to a globalized world. Rose is no rogue provocateur. He is one of the planet's most committed defenders of free speech, the open society, and enlightenment values of tolerance and human rights. Edited by Todd Krainin. Cameras by Josh Swain and Mark McDaniel. INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT Nick Gillespie: Today we're interviewing Flemming Rose at the Cato Institute and the author most recently of The Tyranny of Silence: How One Cartoon Ignited a Global Debate Over the Future of Free Speech. In 2005, while an editor at the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, Rose commissioned a series of cartoons about the prophet Mohammed as an exercise to stop self-censorship. Eventually, terrorists and extremists responded to the cartoons with violence, attacks on western embassies and riots creating a death toll that reached at least 200 according to the New York Times. Rose is no rogue provocateur. He is one of the planet's most committed and articulate defenders of free speech, the open society and enlightenment values of tolerance and universal rights and that is why I'm particularly happy to have the opportunity to talk with him today. Flemming Rose, welcome. Flemming Rose: Thank you for those nice words, Nick. It's wonderful to be here. Nick Gillespie: Let's take the pulse of free speech in the decade since the Mohammed cartoons came out. Since then, we've seen any number of violent reprisals against free speech, probably most catastrophically the gunning down of a good part of the staff of Charlie Hebdo in Paris, France, but we've also seen the continuing rise of hate speech laws in Europe and a stultifying climate rise on U.S. campuses and other college campuses. Are things good for free speech generally right now or not? Flemming Rose: If we take the long-term historical view, yes, free speech is in better shape than in the 17th century or the 18th century or even the beginning of the 20th century. No doubt about that, but if we look in a shorter-term perspective, let's say the past 20, 30 years, I think free speech is in worse shape. Free speech is in bad standing. You can see it when you check out statistics. Freedom House puts out a report every year; Reporters Without Borders in Europe do the same thing in other institutions and the trend is the same all over. For the past approximately 10 years, freedom of the press and freedom of speech is in decline and I think that is the new thing. We know China. We know Cuba. We know North Korea, Russia, where things usually are in bad shape, but the new trend is the freedom of expression is in decline even in western Europe. Nick Gillespie: What forms does it take, say, in Western Europe? Are reporters being, if not put in jail, are there legal actions against them or is it a chilled atmosphere where people just don't talk about certain things? Flemming Rose: It's both. I mean, just to give you an indication, in the first half of 2015, France, o[...]



3 Reasons Trump Is Wrong to Oppose Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform

2017-02-09T17:37:00-05:00

Here are three reasons why President Donald Trump is wrong to oppose civil asset forfeiture reform.

1. Civil forfeiture lets law enforcement basically steal stuff from people.

Civil asset forfeiture allows cops and federal agencies such as the FBI to seize cash and property of suspected criminals but it doesn't require them to bring any charges against their targets or even show that they were in any way involved with wrongdoing.

In 2014, for instance, a Philadelphia couple had their house seized after police arrested their son for possessing $40 worth of heroin while living there. The parents weren't charged with any crime but in Pennsylvania and many other states, owners of seized property must prove their innocence to get their stuff back.

2. Civil forfeiture creates terrible incentives for police.

In many cases, the agency that seizes property and cash gets to keep a big chunk of it to fund purchases of equipment and pay personnel costs. In Mississippi, state narcotics officers alone seized $4 million in cash, cars, and even couches in 2015. In the Magnolia State, cops only get to keep 80 percent of the value of seized assets, but in 26 states law enforcement can keep 100 percent of their asset-forfeiture haul, giving them an incentive to grab as much as possible, especially since it's time-consuming and expensive for defendants to go to court.

3. Civil forfeiture is extremely unpopular.

Although most states do their best to hide how much civil forfeiture goes on, it is an increasingly unpopular practice because it so obviously contravenes basic notions of justice. Even in deep-red states—such as Ohio, Utah, and Mississippi—polls routinely show massive majorities in favor of reform once voters understand just how unfair and non-transparent the process is. In fact, when President Trump threatened to "destroy" the career of a Texas state senator, he could have been referring to any of four politicians, three Republicans and a Democrat, who were deeply involved in asset-forfeiture reform efforts.

Civil asset forfeiture reform is an idea that's time has come, in Texas and elsewhere, whether Donald Trump is ready or not.

Video written by Nick Gillespie. Graphics and editing by Meredith Bragg and Joshua Swain.

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Everything You Need To Know About Neil Gorsuch (Including Roe v. Wade)

2017-02-02T10:45:00-05:00

Georgetown Law's Randy Barnett sat down with Reason's Nick Gillespie to weigh in on Trump's nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme court.

Barnett said he was cautiously optimistic about Gorsuch. "Of all the people on [Trump's] list, he was certainly near the top," Barnett said. Gorsuch, he says, is well-read, smart, and a staunch defender of originalism like Justice Scalia.

"There's the old 'framers intent,' which people say if they don't know what they're talking about," Barnett said. "Gorusch says 'original public meaning,' which means he knows what he's talking about" when it comes constrained interpretation of laws.

Barnett said he believes the addition of Gorsuch to the Supreme Court could have a significant impact on whether or not a reinterpretation of abortion rights is in the future. "Roe v. Wade is not settled," Barnett said. "Could [a decision] happen? I think it could...in the sense that it's been contested since it was decided. As a result I can seem them undoing it and sending [the issue of abortion] back to the states."

Barnett's latest book is Our Republican Constitution: Securing the Liberty and Sovereignty of We the People. Go here for video and text of our interview with him about that.

Edited by Mark McDaniel. Cameras by Josh Swain and McDaniel. Music by Simon Mathewson.

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