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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The Melting Glaciers

About a decade ago, Doctor R.J. Braithwaite wrote an article that appeared in Progress in Physical Geography. In that article, which was peer-reviewed, Doctor Braithwaite tells us how he analyzed 246 glaciers, sampled from both hemispheres and latitudes, between the years 1946 and 1995. This “mass balance analysis” he conducted found that “some glaciers were…

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Depression Before the Great Depression

The following is Chapter 21 of Leave Us Alone: Before the Great Depression of the 1930’s and 1940’s, there were a number of depressions and recessions in this country, two of the most notable being the Panic of 1819 and the depression of 1837. In every instance prior to the Great Depression, the government policy…

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Natural Resource and Goods Theory

The two essential claims of the environmentalists, which I take for granted are already well known to everyone, are (1) that continued economic progress is impossible, because of the impending exhaustion of natural resources (it is from this notion that the slogan “reduce, reuse, recycle” comes), and (2) that continued economic progress, indeed, much of…

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Dr. William Gray and Dr. Kevin Trenberth Debate Global Warming — Part 2

Editor’s Note: this is Part 2 of a two-part debate. Read Part 1 here. Part 2 — The Debate Rages On: We Are Not In Climate Crisis Dr. Gray’s rebuttal to Dr. Trenberth: Kevin Trenberth has given the standard response that human-induced global warming advocates always give to their critics. He cites the large number…

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Dr. William Gray and Dr. Kevin Trenberth Debate Global Warming — Part 1

The following, which took place before ClimateGate, is a written debate between Dr. Kevin Trenberth — head of the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder — and Dr. William Gray, Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University. This debate originally appeared in the Fort Collins Forum and…

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Howard Zinn: Freedom Versus Equality

Howard Zinn was born on August 24, 1922. He died January 27, 2010. Zinn taught Political Science at Boston University from 1964 until 1988; he was an American historian, of sorts, a self-proclaimed Marxist who, by his own admission, did not believe in objective history: I wanted my writing of history and my teaching of…

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Peak Oil?

From the moment oil first made it into the mainstream, peak oil and the imminent depletion of fossil fuels have been vehemently predicted. A by-no-means exhaustive list of those predictions might run something like this: “I take this opportunity to express my opinion in the strongest terms, that the amazing exhibition of oil which has…

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George W. Bush

Under President George W. Bush, who was the Herbert Hoover of his day, appropriated government programs grew from $298 billion to $613 billion. Under President George W. Bush, Social Security spending went from $406 billion to $662 billion. Under President George W. Bush, Medicare spending went from $216 billion to $425 billion. Under under President…

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