Tuesday, May 21, 2013
• • Lessons from Pakistan to help
Pornpimol Kanchanalak, The Nation (Bangkok)
Atlas Shrugged |
As Ann Rand fittingly said in her “Atlas Shrugged”: “Power-lust is a weed that grows only in the vacant land of an abandoned mind.”
• The techie novels of Nevil Shute
Mark Frauenfelder, Boing Boing
Fun fact from Wikipedia: "Trustee from the Toolroom was voted #27 on the Modern Library Readers' list of the top 100 novels. The top ten in that poll, though, included four works by Ayn Rand and three by L. Ron Hubbard -- according to David Ebershoff, Modern Library's publishing director, 'the voting population [was] skewed.'"
• • Are online sales taxes only fair?
Jacob Sullum, Reason
The Marketplace Fairness Act, which Congress is expected to approve soon, sounds like something out of an Ayn Rand novel. But it reflects understandable complaints from brick-and-mortar retailers who believe their online competitors have been enjoying an unfair advantage for way too long, thanks to Supreme Court rulings that bar a state from requiring a business to collect sales tax unless the company has a physical presence in that state.
• Stanley Cup runneth over with political cash: NHL owners scored big for GOP
Louis Serino, Philadelphia Inquirer
Below are profiles of some of the NHL's more noteworthy political activists: [....] Ed Snider, Ayn Rand acolyte and CEO of Comcast Spectacor which owns the [Philadelphia Flyers], ponied up $42,500 for Republican candidates, including $7,500 to Romney, $5,000 to Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va; $5,000 to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and $2,500 to Texas Gov. Rick Parry.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
• Conservative Sex Obsession Hurts Both Boys and Girls
Amanda Marcotte, Slate - The XX Factor
Woe to the children of hard-line right wingers and religious fundamentalists! While plenty of kids born into this situation carry on their parents’ ideals exactly as instructed, many get screwed up by the inherent conflict between being a young person trying to figure your life out and claiming on the other side that God and Ayn Rand have given you all the answers.
• • Reality TV exposes the devastation of “virginity-obsessed culture”! (No, not really)
Calvin Freiburger, Live Action News
Meanwhile, in the continuing adventures of Amanda Marcotte and her never-ending war against “hard-line right wingers and religious fundamentalists,” our intrepid hero has taken to Slate to warn us about the “costs of growing up in a virginity-obsessed culture.” Spoiler alert: it’s even more insipid than you’re expecting: “While plenty of kids born into this situation carry on their parents’ ideals exactly as instructed, many get screwed up by the inherent conflict between being a young person trying to figure your life out and claiming on the other side that God and Ayn Rand have given you all the answers.”
That would be pretty confusing, considering conservative Christianity and Randian Objectivism are separate and contradictory worldviews, with the latter expressly hostile to the former. (Ironically, Rand’s answers on abortion would sound pretty much like Marcotte’s.) If Marcotte insists on stereotyping her enemies, could she at least pick one and stick with it?
• Wikipedia’s Separate “American Female Novelists” Category Is Way Sexist
Anna Breslaw, Cosmopolitan - Conversation Starters
Thanks to the diligence of an intrepid (read: bored) late-night Wikipedia user — who also happened to be a New York Times reporter — the massive info website is under fire for quietly moving the women in the “American novelists” category into a separate one, “American women novelists,” because apparently the uterus is its own genre. As the user pointed out in the Times, a whole range of female writers, the authors of iconic, amazing novels, no longer existed on the main American novelists page: Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ayn Rand, Ann Beattie, Aimee Bender, Amy Bloom, Judy Blume, Alice Adams, Louisa May Alcott, Mary Higgins Clark, Harper Lee, Anne Rice, Amy Tan and Donna Tartt, among 300 others.
• • Michael Pollan Riffs on Cooking, Fermentation, Gluten and Ayn Rand
Jamie Lee Rake, Express Milwaukee
By implication of [one] of Pollan's anecdotes in Cooked, the boxes of pre-made meals in supermarket microwave aisles constitute [a] kind of food porn, in that their visual lure far exceeds their reality. The author and his family, on the suggestion of his teenage son, made a dinner of nuke-able foods, only to discover the frustration of the samey taste from entrée to entrée and the individualistic nature of their preparation. Pollan received probably his biggest laughs of the night with his assertion that microwave ovens constitute the Ayn Rand of cooking appliances.
• Article: Libertarianism, the Republican Party, and Immigration Reform by Jacob Wolf
Jacob Wolf, Immpolicy
In approximately six decades, the Libertarian movement in the United States has grown from its origin in a number of isolated, Austrian-school economists into a broad, sweeping political movement. This is most clearly evidenced by Texas Congressman, and Presidential Candidate Ron Paul, who has risen in popularity to heights well-above other notable libertarian figures such as Murray Rothbard, F.A. Hayek, Milton Friedman, and Ayn Rand.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
• • In Bangladesh, a nightmare come true
Jay Bookman, Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Jay Bookman
In Bangladesh, almost 400 people have been officially declared dead in the collapse of an eight-story factory building housing five clothing operations. [....] This is what raw, unfettered capitalism looks like in the real world; [building owner] Mohammed Rana is what an Ayn Rand hero looks like when given flesh, unbound by any responsibility to others. Capitalism works, without a doubt. No system yet invented can challenge it for its productivity or its ability to provide the essentials of life to so many. But it works for all or most only when its excesses are restrained, when the search for profit is forced to accomodate other human goals, such as justice and fairness and compassion and basic decency.
• Sheldon Richman Talks About Bastiat, Left-Libertarianism, and (shudders) Jimmy Buffett
Matt Welch, Reason
Longtime libertarian thinker and Reason.com columnist Sheldon Richman was just interviewed by University of Wisconsin music student and WashingtonTimes.com "Business of Living" columnist Joseph S. Diedrich as part of his interesting "Libertarian America" series. It's a fun read, covering everything from Ayn Rand to corporatism to pipe-smoking to Pink Floyd.
• The Atheist Who Strangled Me
Graeme Wood, The Atlantic
[Sam Harris] said that the response to his first book, The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason, published in 2004, had led to concern for the security of his wife and, more recently, his daughter, who is 4 years old. He asked me not to say where he lives. “People’s craziness has no expiration date,” he said. “I don’t know when someone is going to discover that thing I said about Islam or Christianity or Ayn Rand on YouTube seven years ago and decide that it’s a killing offense.”
• Letters to the editor, April 30, 2013
Mary Thomas, Santa Fe New Mexican
A few thoughts in response to comments made by Santa Fe’s own Ayn Rand, Dorothy Klopf, in her column (“Are we building a safety net or a safety sofa?” April 21) regarding safety nets.
• • Today in History: April 30
Richmond Times-Dispatch (VA)
Thought for today “Upper classes are a nation’s past; the middle class is its future.” — Ayn Rand, Russian-born author (1905-1982).