Monthly Archives: February 2010

Legalizing Drugs

Everyone believes in freedom — until everyone finds out what freedom actually means. Then almost no one believes in it. Freedom means you are left alone; you are neither helped nor hindered. And that’s all it means. Rightwing politicos and leftwing politicos don’t usually agree on specifics, but they do often agree on principle: namely,…

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Does Exercise Really Promote Weight Loss?

There’s an old joke lumberjacks still love to tell: “Why did the train stop?” Answer: “To let the lumberjack off.” This quip was coined around the same time that a famous study was conducted. It was a study that measured the caloric intake of lumberjacks, whose appetites are about as notorious as the size of…

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Metaphysics: Theory of Everything

Reality is existence, and existence is everything. Every theory of everything must start there. There’s existence, and there’s essence. These two things are separate but not separable. In the language of Thomas Aquinas, esse (or essence) is identity: To be, in other words, is to be something. The conclusion is inescapable because (as Aristotle noted)…

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Nuclear Waste Doesn’t Exist

There is no such thing as nuclear waste — and that’s just one of the many beautiful things about nuclear energy. A nuclear reactor is refueled by its waste. Quoting Dr. Pierre Guelfe, chief engineer of France’s main nuclear facility, in an interview he gave with William Tucker, author of an excellent book called Terrestrial…

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Is Charles Bukowski A Great Artist?

A reader writes: Dear Ray Harvey: Is Charles Bukowski a great artist? — Billy Badass Dear Billy Badass: No, he’s not. Bukowski is too sloppy to be a great artist. He lacks vision. He lacks depth and he lacks focus. Reading him, one is reminded of Truman Capote’s criticism of On the Road: “That’s not…

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Environmentalism: Cult Of Death

The following is excerpted from Chapter 10 of my book. Environmentalism, with its attendant army of politicos all armed to the teeth with environmental laws, is, let us make no mistake, the highroad to hell. Before going all the way green, I urge you to take a longer look into exactly what horse you’re backing…

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Is Shakespeare All That?

A reader writes: Dear Ray Harvey: Is Shakespeare all that? — Slo Readuh Dear Slo Readuh: No, he’s not all that. He’s all that and more. It’s impossible to overstate Shakespeare’s genius. Forget that his plots were largely borrowed; forget that he never created a major character who didn’t have significant flaws. None of that…

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How The American Healthcare Crisis Began

What is now termed modern medicine actually began in the early 1920s when science — in particular, germ theory — culminated to a point that sickness and disease were at last being treated reliably. It was then that doctors and hospitals got much better at the business of saving lives. This more highly developed service…

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WD-40

WD-40 is a uniquely American invention, created in 1953 by three technicians at the San Diego Rocket Chemical Company. The name WD-40 derives from a project the goal of which was to find a water displacement compound. It took them 40 tries. WD-40 stands for Water Displacement #40. Initially, the main purpose of WD-40 was…

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The Great Abraham Lincoln Myth

Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of the United States, and who on February 12th turned 201-years-old, was a devoted and life-long white supremacist — and remained so up until the day he died. Nor did he waver in his staunch advocacy of colonization — which is the deportation of black people from the United States.…

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Famine and Private Property

There’s never been a famine in the United States, and one thing alone is responsible for this: private property rights. Capitalistic societies are the wealthiest societies in the history of the world, and it is the absence of fully protected property that creates poverty. As the Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto puts it in his…

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The Great Overpopulation Myth

The population of the entire world could fit shoulder-to-shoulder in a space about the size of Jacksonville, Florida. Ninety-seven percent of the earth’s land surface is empty. If you allotted to each person 1,250 square feet (which is quite a bit), all the people in the world would fit into the state of Texas. According…

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How Did Slavery Ever Become A Legal Institution?

In the beginning, and for several decades afterward, slavery was not primarily a governmental institution, neither in Europe, nor the United States. Initially, the enslavement of Africans was almost all done privately. There were, to be sure, a handful of governmental charters, but in the early days, the preponderating number of slaves were traded by…

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Logical Fallacies

A reader writes: Dear Ray: I’ve always been told it’s better to be shot at and missed than shit at and hit. While getting shit on obviously does suck, getting shot at means someone doesn’t like you enough to want to shoot at you in the first place. So is it really better? Scatman Dear…

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Reader Mail

A reader writes: Dear Ray Harvey! You are a true friend to the workingman, such as me. Your book Leave Us Alone should be required reading in our schools. Don’t you get sick and tired of capitalism being everyone’s escape goat, like I do? The halls of congress are crowded with representatives of the “X”…

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