Wednesday, May 22, 2013
• • The shortest Tennessee legislative session: the good, the bad and the ugly
Richard Locker, Commercial Appeal (Memphis)
Less than a month after the Sandy Hook massacre, there were scores of Tennessee bills to arm teachers, nullify federal gun laws, criminalize federal officers enforcing gun laws and prohibit employers from banning guns from their parking lots. There were bills to outlaw college diversity programs, ban programs and scholarships based on race, gender or ethnicity, and dock welfare payments to families whose children don't make satisfactory progress in school. [....] Those were the kinds of bills, a continuation from last year, that prompted liberal Mother Jones magazine to call Tennessee's legislature the worst in America and progressive writer Les Leopold to call Tennessee "Ayn Rand's vision of paradise" in a Salon.com article.
• • For the rare and unusual, head to the Times Colonist book sale’s collectibles corner
Katherine Dedyna, Times Colonist (Victoria, BC)
Atlas Shrugged |
Every year, Donna Davis chooses to spend two weeks enmeshed in “the cage”— also known as the collectibles corner of the Times Colonist book sale. The wire-enclosed section in the Victoria Curling Club separates the long rows of books priced at $1 to $3 at this weekend’s sale from those rated as especially attractive, valuable, rare, fun or fascinating. [....] The volunteer staff has been funnelling their best bets to the cage for nearly two weeks now and there are hundreds if not more that rate special consideration. One of the most noteworthy is a first edition of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, still with its tattered 1957 jacket. A pristine and autographed copy can be had for $17,500 online, but here, the 1,168-page tome is a lot less.
• The White Wall
Ben McGrath, The New Yorker
While training in the past twelve months, [Dallas Seavey] burned through nearly fifteen hundred dollars' worth of audio books: nonfiction (biographies of Thomas Jefferson, for example) during the day, and fiction (Hemingway, Cormac McCarthy, Ayn Rand) at night.
• ‘Wanderer’ falls flat
Callie Sutton, The Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
Atlas Shrugged |
Novels focused on dystopian societies have been around for ages. Many have become famous for their depictions of what society could become in the future. “Atlas Shrugged,” “1984” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” are only a few among the many classics. Though the first dystopian novels were written centuries ago, their popularity for both novelists and readers has skyrocketed in the past 15 years.
• • My summer of so-so movies
Scott Dickensheets, City Life (Las Vegas)
The setting for Elysium (Aug. 9) — an Earth in which the super-rich live on a luxe space station while everyone else slags it out on the trashed planet below — is so damn Ayn Rand that I guarantee Mitt Romney will cream his jeans if he sees it. Into the film’s lofty paradise barges Matt Damon, a poor man with a condition that can only be cured by rich people’s medicine, which, in a completely unbelievable twist, the rich aren’t willing to share. Unlike the 1 percenters of our own time, who indulge a haughty animus toward the poor, I indulge an utterly reasonable animus toward the rich, so this is a must-see.
• Game Review: ‘Bioshock Infinite’
Carl Lyon, FEARnet
2007’s Bioshock was a once-in-a-lifetime title, a game that revitalized the long-stagnant FPS genre with deeper mechanics and one of the most compelling and original stories ever coded. Ayn Rand-inspired objectivism was folded deftly into an introspective narrative that explored identity, destiny, and free will.
• • Rats, Student Blocs and Solidarity Swarms: What to Expect on May Day 2013
Sarah Jaffe, In These Times - Uprising
Atlas Shrugged |
This year's Immigrant Worker Justice Tour, like last year's, departs from Bryant Park at noon and will stop at locations around the city where immigrant workers and others are fighting for their rights. Stops will include Atlas Media, where workers have been waiting over two years for a contract after winning their vote to organize with the Writers Guild of America East (the company's named after Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, which might explain the delay) [...].
• • Hard Times and Huge Profits
Graydon Carter, Vanity Fair
In the decade-long run-up to the mortgage crisis, hedge-fund traders came to embody the glittering new age of Wild West capitalism ignited by Ronald Reagan’s and Margaret Thatcher’s initial moves to deregulate the financial markets in the 1980s. At the time, nobody seemed to notice or care that these heirs of Ayn Rand were the prime beneficiaries in the dismantling of safeguards that had been put in place during the Great Depression, when a huge swath of the population was made destitute by the follies of Wall Street. These were the very regulations that, tightly enforced, had made Western capitalism so safe and productive during its golden age of the 1950s and 60s.
• • Phyllis Schlafly: Bible's compassion mandate does not apply to immigrants
Michael Ross, The Examiner
[T]he dilemma is that so many Republican politicians are trying to pretend that [...] it's possible for them to indulge in the selfishness praised by Ayn Rand while still declaring themselves to be good Christians.
• • What Republicans will never acknowledge
Chris Swindell, Charleston Gazette (WV)
Atheism |Paul Ryan |
What Republicans and West Virginia red state Democrats will simply not admit is that we are, in fact, our brother's keeper. However, unlike Roosevelt, Eisenhower and Reagan, that motivating principle is no longer our North Star.
We cannot agree because we no longer share a vision for America's poor, sick and elderly. Budget negotiations are fruitless as long as Ayn Rand is guiding Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan. That the Tea Party supports the notion of independent gain, luck of one's own making, and other disincentives to collective welfare, simply proves my point.
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.