Massachusetts’ Tobacco Ban Went as Badly as You’d Expect

And now the state thinks it needs to crack down even more.

States that wish to avoid making the same mistake should view Massachusetts as a warning, not a role model.

Americans Worried about Housing Costs, Open to YIMBY

Policymakers across the country should marshal current public support for building more homes and make zoning reform a policy priority. Doing so would unlock opportunity for a wide variety of people.

How a Public Housing Project Became an Unplanned Neighborhood

favela in southern Brazil shows the upside of an “invasive” urban form—and offers lessons for U.S. housing policy.

Monte Cristo shows how this can flower into something more open and affordable: by avoiding excessive rules in the first place.

Generalizing the Lesson

I mean, maybe it should be okay for people to arrange and sell flowers to willing buyers without anyone being branded a criminal in the process, but how far can we take that lesson?  Anytime you take an option away, for some people, it will have been the best option they had available to them. Take that choice away, and they don’t substitute it with whatever you thought was better for them. It just leaves them with nothing. 

N.Y. Law Banning Gun Carrying in Churches (Including When Authorized by Church) Unconstitutionally Discriminates against Religious Institutions

“Plaintiffs are likely to prevail on the merits of their claims under the Free Exercise Clause….” That seems correct to me, given the facially discriminatory treatment of religious institutions. The court also concluded that the prohibition likely independently violated the Second Amendment, for reasons similar to those given in Judge Sinatra’s earlier decision in Hardaway v. Nigrelli; and the court also concluded that the law violates the Establishment Clause…

New York City’s Foie Gras Ban Once Again Deemed Illegal by New York State

The city has not yet announced whether it will fight the order in court.

The order blasts “the City’s effort to use its police powers and business regulatory authority to bar the sale of a lawfully produced farm product—not for reasons of the health, safety, or welfare of its citizens—but to change animal husbandry practices occurring on farms outside its jurisdiction to which it objects.”

The Myth of Wild Nature and Creating a New Form of Paradise

A review of the new book Tickets For The Ark, by Rebecca Nesbit

Nesbit hammers home the absolutely correct point that there is no objective scientific standard providing some kind of value-neutral ecological baseline toward which conservation should aim. Since there is no goal or end state toward which any particular ecosystem is heading, who is to say that landscapes and ecosystems modified by human activities are somehow inferior?