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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

• • • Blueprint for the Future: In Search of Global Economic Solutions (Part 1 of 2) 
Marco Rabinowitz, Benzinga Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  | From a free market, laissez-faire perspective, the current economic situation could hypothetically lead to a point where (in the spirit of Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged”) individuals and firms withdraw from the economy in sort of a “Galt’s Gulch” scenario. Akin to Ayn Rand’s or Francis Fukuyama’s perspectives, one might say that we are near the end of history whereby liberal democracy and capitalism make for the final stage of human civilization. However, there is nothing so constant as change. Whereas it may be fair for one to speculate (per Rand’s viewpoint) that “civilization is the process of setting man free from men” to the point where Galt’s Gulch laissez-faire camouflaged enclaves become the wave of the future, it is also true that on social levels no man is an island.

• • Right may yet be on wrong side of election result 
Jay Kuten, Wanganui Chronicle Representative Ron Paul, an OB/GYN, is something of a throwback in his Ayn Rand libertarianism. He’d axe the Federal Reserve, the nation’s monetary regulators. He wants to go back on the gold standard and legalise all drugs, two of the best non-starters in politics. His libertarianism would stretch to letting non-insured medically needy die for their “poor choices”. Humh? Where did I here those last two words?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

• • • Joyriding With Ayn Rand 
Jeff DeGraff, Huffington Post Atheism  |Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |Capitalism  |Individualism  |Personal life  | While ambling down Interstate 94 with the cruise control just a shade above the speed limit, a blood-red pickup truck the size of Philadelphia flew by like a fireball in one of those Armageddon flicks -- cue the impending disaster effects and tell the extras to start running. I didn’t get a good look at the driver but I did spot the unmistakable Ducks Unlimited decal and a bumper sticker that read, “Ayn Rand Was Right.” I wondered, “right about what?” Was this a country gentleman who dabbled in political zealotry while passing the time in makeshift blind with shotgun at the ready? Perhaps a wordsmith who found the double entendre of the word “right” a clever statement in itself.

• • The “On Your Own” Economy 
Yaron Brook and Don Watkins, Forbes - The Objectivist Capitalism  |Objectivist author  | The story of freedom is the story of how the individual escaped from ownership by the tribe. As Ayn Rand once observed, “Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage’s whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.”

• • • Resurrecting Ayn Rand: Hedge Fund Money Teams Up With Koch & BB&T 
Pam Martens and Russ Martens, Counterpunch Ayn Rand Institute  |Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Individualism  | Gary Weiss, the Wall Street writer who was ahead of his time with his comprehensive chronicle of Wall Street corruption in 2006 (Wall Street Versus America) charts a bold new course this week with the release of Ayn Rand Nation: The Hidden Struggle for America’s Soul. Thanks to Weiss, the nation might just escape the next wave of Ayn Rand’s radical capitalism and student brainwashing by corporate money vultures fanning out across U.S. campuses.

• • • Media manipulation: Why some ideas are more visible than others 
Danny Schechter, Al Jazeera English Alan Greenspan  |Atlas Shrugged  |Egoism  | Greenspan’s role in [the financial crisis] is well-documented. Not as widely known was his service as a loyal member of the Ayn Rand Cult that advocated a philosophy of “objectivism”, which translated into aggressive opposition to all regulation and social safety nets, Medicare, Medicaid, even public schools and public hospitals. His “mistake” was actually a core value in his belief system. Writer (and illegal immigrant) Ayn Rand’s paean to selfishness in books like Atlas Shrugged popularised the ideology that today drives the Tea Party, almost all of the Republicans’ candidates, and even the extreme austerity movement in Europe and parts of the US.

• • Beware, beware, but heed constitution 
William J. Papa, Pocono Record (PA) Most importantly, beware of those who preach sacrifice because (I quote Ayn Rand) “The man who speaks to you of sacrifice is speaking of slaves and masters, and intends to be the master.”

 ‘The Voice’ recap: Episode 5 
Sara Toth, Baltimore Sun - TV Lust That One Guy Who Was so Arrogant Even Ayn Rand Would Hate Him: Cameron Novack, the poor jerk no coach picked. Oh, but he’s a “real artist” – he told us all himself! You, with your douchey vocal warm-ups and switching from free-styling to opera at the drop of a hat, you do not impress me, and neither did your cover of Alanis Morrisette’s “You Oughta Know.”

• • • Ayn Rand Nation: The Hidden Struggle for America’s Soul 
Publishers Weekly Alan Greenspan  |Altruism  |Atheism  |Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |Capitalism  |Egoism  |Individualism  |Paul Ryan  |Image  | Book review: Ayn Rand Nation: The Hidden Struggle for America’s Soul, by Gary Weiss.In this riveting and disturbing inquiry into Ayn Rand’s widespread influence on American economics and politics, Weiss (Wall Street Versus America) tackles the history and the present of objectivism, emphasizing its paradoxical return to prominence in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Enshrined in Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, Rand’s philosophy spawned a cult following that included Alan Greenspan, and whose current purveyors include Glenn Beck, Paul Ryan, and members of the Tea Party.

• • Tea Party to meet Tuesday in Oglesby 
bcrnews.com (Princeton, IL) Ayn Rand Institute  | The next meeting of the Bureau-LaSalle Tea Party will be Tuesday at the Elks Lodge, 800 E. Walnut, Oglesby. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the meeting will begin at 7 p.m. This month’s speaker is Keith Knutter, chapter relations officer for the Ayn Rand Institute. He currently works with local and regional Tea Party organizations and other activist groups to help promote the institute’s national educational and policy development programs.

• • Gold and Silver Update 
Peter Degraaf, GoldSeek Capitalism  |Inaccurate  | “The fear of hard times leads to inflating the money supply and inflating the money supply leads back to hard times.” …Ayn Rand.

• • Excerpts From Hot New Sitcom: Leave it to Nietzsche 
Doug Lieblich, Huffington Post (Ethan timidly approaches his school crush, who is Libertarian philosopher AYN RAND.) ETHAN: (shyly) Thanks for coming to my show... AYN RAND: The savage’s whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men. NIETZSCHE: Man is the cruelest animal. The Übermensch organizes the chaos of his passions.

Monday, February 27, 2012

• • Beem is correct about the Republican right 
George R. Eaton, The Forecaster (Portland, ME) I would welcome the opportunity to take on in public debate anyone of the mindset displayed by Tom Crotty in his criticism of Edgar Allen Beem's critique of Ron Paul. I wish we had the kind of world where everyone could have the ultimate in freedom. But the problem is that there are those who want to be free to impose their conservative Republican values on all the rest of us, including those of us culturally literate enough to know that what Ayn Rand wrote was but fabulous fiction, much as was the laughable Laffer Curve economically.

• • • Ayn Rand: the Tea Party's Miscast Matriarch 
Pam Martens, Counterpunch Alan Greenspan  |Altruism  |Atheism  |Ayn Rand Institute  |Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal  |The Virtue of Selfishness  |Capitalism  |Egoism  |Essay Contests  |Individualism  |Nathaniel Branden  |Personal life  |Yaron Brook  | Gary Weiss, long time Wall Street reporter and author, has written a new book, due out this week from St. Martin’s Press, on the rising influence of Ayn Rand in modern politics. Titled Ayn Rand Nation: The Hidden Struggle for America’s Soul, the book removes the propaganda mask that has been so adroitly affixed to Alan Greenspan’s page-boy coiffed goddess of laissez-faire capitalism and the Tea Party’s mother ship.

 Epilogue: A drummer and a one-hit wonder 
Faiz Siddiqui, Journal Star (Lincoln, NE) Zager and Evans’ “In the Year 2525 (Exordium & Terminus)” eventually would sell millions of copies, topping the charts for six weeks in the summer of ‘69 [...]. The ballad, written by Rick Evans and based on Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World,” told of a future doomed by humankind’s dependence on technology -- a Randian dystopia where, in one instance, people’s actions, words and thoughts are preprogrammed into a daily pill.

• • The wheel of fortune: season finale 
José Manuel Pallí, Buenos Aires Herald A Paul may end up a winner, nonetheless. If not Ron, at least his son Rand, who is said to be courting the Romney camp to be his number two on the GOP ticket. If Rand had been a girl, it is even money that we would know her as Ayn, so deeply rooted in American libertarian tradition this family is. And I confess I tend to sympathize with them. But they must beware not to unnecessarily wave the Ayn Rand flag in these days of mind-altering teas and home-schooled morals. I am no authority on Ayn Rand, but I know she supported abortion rights. What if she is found to have been a member of the Girl Scouts of America?

 Former GOP Party Chair Keeps a Hand In 
Bill Rufty, The Ledger (Lakeland, FL) Atlas Shrugged  | Most Recent Book: Recently re-read "Atlas Shrugged."

 Office Space: Media, consumer researcher Scott Turner 
Kristin Samuelson, Chicago Tribune Atlas Shrugged  | Resting on the bookcase behind his desk is a framed photo of Turner’s auto mechanic father, Ed “Nitro” Turner, standing in front of a blue 1937 Ford he painted. [....] A copy of Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" is on the same shelf, but Turner is reading "The Daily You: How the New Advertising Industry is Defining Your Identity and Your World," by Joseph Turow, about online data collection.

• • Belding: Having a personal life provides solid foundation for social life 
Michael Belding, Iowa State Daily (Iowa State U) “The only man never to be redeemed is the man without passion,” the libertarian heroine Ayn Rand wrote. She was right.

 The Joystiq Indie Pitch: Burst! 
Jessica Conditt, Joystiq BioShock  | There are many people who didn’t know what Objectivism existed before BioShock, and I’d be willing to bet more than one person studying Greek Mythology in school first had their interest sparked by God of War.

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