The Great Fact


Roundup The Academics? Monsanto Verdict Raises New Troubling Questions About Professors Working Under Corporate Sponsorship


Roundup_herbicide_logoFor a growing number of critics, the breakthrough verdict against Monsanto for $289 million over its Roundup weedkiller is an indictment of the company’s corporate culture but also of academics who were used by the company to discredit scientific studies linking the herbicide to cancer.  Former groundskeeper, Dewayne Johnson, 46, reportedly has only months to live but he just delivered a body blow to one of the largest corporations in the world. It is not that $289 million is a crippling fine for Monsanto, but the verdict of guilt based on a finding of actions taken “with malice or oppression” will likely trigger tens of thousands of such claims.  Not surprisingly, Monsanto is now ditching its name in favor of Bayer after its recent acquisition.

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North Carolina Judge Fines Klansman For Littering In Troubling Free Speech Case


There is an interesting case out of North Carolina where Justin Adams was fined $1,000 for littering.  Adams is a KKK member who was distributing Klan literature on car windshield wipers.  Complaints followed and police were called.  Chief District Judge Mark Galloway imposed the fine, but there are serious questions raised about content-based discrimination of speech. Adams’ views are vile but it seems unlikely that others distributing literature would be subject to arrest. Indeed, Roxboro Police Chief David Hess seemed to confirm as much in his later comments.

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The War of 1812 by Carl Benn (2006)

Books & Boots

‘Free trade and sailors’ rights’ (American rallying cry for the 1812 war)

In June 1812 the United States, under president James Madison, declared war on Great Britain. The war lasted three years and fighting took place along the America-Canada border, around the Great Lakes, off the American coast, and in the Deep South, then called West Florida, now called Louisiana.

Why? Why did America attack Britain in 1812?

I read picked up the Osprey ‘Illustrated History’ of the war of 1812 in my local library, to find out.

Osprey Publishing publish a series titled ‘Essential Histories’, short illustrated texts describing the political and especially the military aspects of wars and conflicts, ancient and modern, ranging far and wide from the wars of Ancient Israel to Russia’s offensives in Chechnya.


The reasons American politicians gave were that:

  1. Royal Navy ships had been stopping and searching American…

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How Canada Tracked the US during the Great Depression

Notes On Liberty

Over the last few years, while I continued my research on other fronts, I started spending small amounts of time on a daily basis to read about the Great Depression and more precisely, how Canada lived through the depression.

Since the old adage is that Canada gets pneumonia when the US gets the flu, I thought that it was a worthy endeavor (although Pedro Amaral and James McGee have been working on that front) to try to see what insights we can derive from looking at Canada’s experience during the Great Depression (especially since it had a very different banking system).

In the process, I managed to collect in a datasheet, the Industrial Production Index of Canada (consisting largely of heavy industry with some light industries and utilities, making it a relatively well-rounded index). This is what it looks like.


Other than seeing Canada’s experienced mirrored in the US experience…

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The History of Austrian Economics, Part 1 | Dr. Israel Kirzner

White male privilege and entrenched patriarchy illustrated

Hirshleifer on the Private and Social Value of Information

Uneasy Money

I have written a number posts (hereherehere, and here) over the past few years citing an article by one of my favorite UCLA luminaries, Jack Hirshleifer, of the fabled UCLA economics department of the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Like everything Hirshleifer wrote, the article, “The Private and Social Value of Information and the Reward to Inventive Activity,” published in 1971 in the American Economic Review, is deeply insightful, carefully reasoned, and lucidly explained, reflecting the author’s comprehensive mastery of the whole body of neoclassical microeconomic theory.

Hirshleifer’s article grew out of a whole literature inspired by two of Hayek’s most important articles “Economics and Knowledge” in 1937 and “The Use of Knowledge in Society” in 1945. Both articles were concerned with the fact that, contrary to the assumptions in textbook treatments, economic agents don’t have complete information about…

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David D. Friedman with some thoughts on his new book

A little known fact in the Age of Enlightenment


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