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Reason Foundation

Reason Alert: Christopher Hitchens, RIP

The Best Books, Music and Movies of 2011

December 16, 2011

- Christopher Hitchens, RIP
- The Best Books, Music and Movies of 2011
- Writing Rules to Stop Congress from Spending
- Reason's Presidential Election Coverage
- Facebook, Twitter and Self-Knowledge
- New at Reason

Christopher Hitchens, RIP
"I'm saddened to write that the great essayist and writer Christopher Hitchens is dead at the age of 62. He had been weakened by the cancer of the esophagus that he disclosed publicly in 2010 and the treatments he had undertaken to fight his illness. Reason extends its condolences to his wife, family, and friends. As is clear to anyone who has read even a sentence of his staggeringly prolific output, Hitchens was the sort of stylist who could turn even a casual digression into a tutorial on all aspects of history, literature, and art. As a writer, you gaze upon his words and despair because there's just no way you're going to touch that. But far more important than the wit and panache and erudition with which he expressed himself was the method through which he engaged the world." - Reason.com Editor Nick Gillespie
Video: Hitchens Sings Tom Lehrer's "A Christmas Carol" at Reason

The Best Books, Music and Movies of 2011
Judge Andrew Napolitano, Kurt Loder, Nick Gillespie, Matt Welch and a host of others recommend their favorite books, movies and music of 2011.
Friday Funnies: The TSA Is Coming to Your Car

Writing Rules to Stop Congress from Spending
"This year, for the first time in modern history, the Senate failed to pass a budget. That sounds dramatic, but last year the House failed at the same task. A few years before that, the House and the Senate each wrote their own budgets, but failed to agree in conference. Each time, the president ended up signing massive omnibus spending bills—at ever-increasing expense to taxpayers. The budget process is broken, and public interest in reforming it is keen. But changing the budget rules alone is unlikely to fix our fiscal woes. Even properly designed constraints, in order to be effective, would require credible external and internal enforcement backed by public opinion. Good luck with that...Until lawmakers are truly committed to cutting spending, they will design rules that fail to adequately constrain them—and they will find ways to evade even the toughest rules. The bottom line is that until they have no choice, Congress will continue gorging on our tax dollars." - Reason magazine Columnist Veronique de Rugy goes on to detail the most problematic budget rules and why they almost always lead to more spending.
John Stossel: The Job Creators Fight Back

Reason's Presidential Election Coverage
Ron Paul
Fox's Chris Wallace: If Ron Paul Wins the Iowa Caucus "It Won't Count"
Nick Gillespie Discusses Ron Paul on NPR's "On Point"
Andrew Sullivan Endorses Ron Paul
David Frum Accuses Ron Paul of Openly Preferring "the slaveholding cause"
National Review Accuses Ron Paul of "vile conspiracy theories about September 11"
Mitt Romney
Health Care Expert Mitt Romney Says He Didn't Understand Differences Between Medicare and Medicaid
Newt Gingrich
Nick Gillespie and Judge Andrew Napolitano on Gingrich and Jon Corzine
Nick Gillespie Talks Gingrich, Cronyism and Solyndra on "Cavuto"
Newt Gingrich vs. Newt Gingrich on Comparative Effectiveness Research
Newt Gingrich Is a Profligate Authoritarian
"Love Boat's" Gopher Endorses Gingrich
Gary Johnson
Gov. Johnson Is Not Republican Enough for the GOP

Facebook, Twitter and Self-Knowledge
In his Reason magazine column, Greg Beato says the web and social media are giving more power than ever to consumers and examines what we are going to do with all the information we are compiling about ourselves: "We treat even our most mundane lunches as if they were corpses at a crime scene. We photograph them from every angle, update friends, family, and intimate strangers on Facebook with the most salient facts about the chipotle remoulade, then file more detailed reports at Yelp. Instead of just hollering at our TV, we share our jokes about Mitt Romney’s debate attire with the rest of the world on Twitter. We review our friends’ reviews about the latest newspaper headlines on Tumblr. All of this over-sharing helps marketers, potential bosses, and sometimes even our loved ones know us a little more intimately. But how much of the data we carpet bomb the universe with daily actually comes back to us in the form of self-knowledge?...What will life be like when every quantifiable aspect of your existence is as easy to access as the latest Lady Gaga single? Traditionally, our faulty perceptions and memories have had their own kind of utility. Forgetting is the highest form of forgiving, and our inability to pinpoint exactly how we deploy our energies and resources allows us to live comfortably in the face of our own mediocrity. We may never achieve quite what we want to achieve, but at least the reasons underlying our failures aren’t constantly triggering our cellphones to send us messages telling us to shape up. In the future, when you contemplate why you’ve never quite gotten around to writing that novel, you’ll know exactly how you frittered away your life. And because we’ll be sharing much of the information we collect on ourselves, you’ll also know that it took Stephen King exactly as many minutes to write his latest novel as you spent playing Angry Birds over the last three years."

New at Reason

Robert Poole's Surface Transportation Newsletter

Robert Poole's Air Traffic Control Newsletter

Kurt Loder Reviews Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Nick Gillespie on Fox News' Red Eye With Greg Gutfeld

Latest Climate Change Vows Were Made to Be Broken

The EPA vs. the Constitution

The Solyndra Story

Medicare Whac-A-Mole

Paul Ryan’s Medicare Compromise

New Poll Finds Concerns About Big Government Near All-Time High

Vladimir Putin's Divided Russia

Weed Wars on Reality TV

Ending the Global Drug War: Voices from the Front Lines

The University of Kentucky Is Smart to Look Into Privatizing Its Dorms

Criminal Justice Reform Is on the Docket In Florida

Despite Its New Diet, Virginia State Government Is Fatter Than Ever

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