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Thursday, May 31, 2012

• • Summer Reading: Friendsourcing a reading list 
Jan Uebelherr, Journal Sentinel - Recommended Reading (Milwaukee, WI) Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  | I asked my Facebook friends. “Bookish friends, a question: “What is the one classic that must be read? “Classic is … anything you think it is…” [....] From my friend Al, a product designer: “Fountainhead” for the tortured architect in me... He quickly followed up: And “Atlas Shrugged” (on my nightstand) so that I can understand the philosophy of the 1% better.... My pal Vic approved: OHHHHHHH!!!!! Thanks Alan! “ATLAS SHRUGGED.” Definitely --- “Atlas Shrugged.” A long and exhausting book but in my top 5.

• • • Hack fantasist Ayn Rand's pathetic followers 
David Adams Murphy, Providence Journal (RI) Alan Greenspan  |Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Personal life  |Inaccurate  | Ayn Rand’s sophomoric sci-fi/ political tract/porn novel [Atlas Shrugged] is a sacred text for semi-literate intellectuals and self-styled Masters and Mistresses of the Universe everywhere -- most of them still dwelling, alas, in trailer parks or their parents’ basements.

• • Alice Losasso: 'Hack fantasist,' continued 
Alice Losasso, Providence Journal (RI) Alan Greenspan  |Capitalism  | What exactly is the point of David Adams Murphy's vitriolic rant in his May 24 letter, "Hack fantasdist"? Is he trying to prove his intellectual superiority or that he hates Ayn Rand, Scientologists and people who live in trailer parks or their parents' basements? Does he hate free markets and believe that socialism/communism or a totalitarian state are the way to go?

 Next on the endangered species list: the middle class! 
Homer M., Standard-Examiner (Ogden, UT) Nobel Prize-winning economist, Paul Krugman, recently called Ryan's budget, "the most fraudulent budget in American history." On May 8, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote a letter to Congress condemning his budget for proposing deep cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, veterans' aid, education, food stamps and women's health benefits. Ninety faculty members from Catholic-affiliated Georgetown University wrote in a separate letter to the House that Ryan's budget "appears to reflect the values of your (Ryan's) favorite philosopher, Ayn Rand, rather than the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

• • We can't afford to marginalize exceptional people 
Nevada Appeal, Nevada Appeal (Carson City) Atlas Shrugged  | All this reminds me of Ayn Rand's last novel, “Atlas Shrugged,” where many of society's most productive citizens start refusing to be exploited by increasing taxes and regulation. The most productive minds of the world essentially go on strike and disappear. These minds of the world hope to demonstrate that a world where a person is not free to create is doomed. Civilization cannot exist if every person is a slave to their government.

• • Alabama Fights a UN Land Grab 
Justice Gilpin-Green, Townhall.com Individual Rights  | Individual rights must take a backseat to community interests. Sound familiar? That’s probably because it’s been the ideology that American presidents have been agreeing to since 1992. Enter Agenda 21, the 40 chapter document from the United Nations that establishes environmental “principles” at local, national, regional, and international levels-and the object of Ayn Rand’s nightmare.

• • • Ayn Rand Revises the Sermon on the Mount 
Robert Arend, OpEdNews Atheism  |Capitalism  |Image  | And seeing the rabble of the great unwashed useless eaters, the goddess Ayn Rand appeared in her temple that is FOXNEWS, and when she was well-miked, she informed her disciples she had materialized to present a new New Gospel that revised Christ's outdated Sermon on the Mount.

 E3 Preview: Tomorrow's Video Games, Briefly Teased Today! 
Dan Ackerman and Libe Goad, SPIN - Geek Show BioShock  | [T]he Bioshock games are truly unique, mixing retro settings with political commentary and satire. The first two games played off of Ayn Rand's writing and the philosophy of Objectivism, while Bioshock Infinite, from the previous demos of the game we've seen, tackles early 20th century American themes of exceptionalism versus isolationism -- while sending you running around in a floating steampunk city filled with killer cyborgs and time rifts, of course.

 The Hollywood hustle : Correspondents 2012 : Chortle : The UK Comedy Guide 
Yianni Agisilaou, Chortle I guess promoters can demand whatever the market will bear but to me it’s not what comedy is about. Ayn Rand might have been a good businesswoman, but I bet she wasn’t very funny.

 Peter Foster: Last tango in Argentina? 
Peter Foster, National Post That Argentina is being hauled before the World Trade Organization by the European Union for its beggar-thy-neighbour trade and investment policies at the same time as it is being hailed as a model for Greek salvation confirms that we live in interesting times. That Argentina’s policies — in particular the recent expropriation of YPF, the local subsidiary of Spanish oil giant Repsol — are ostensibly being guided by an academic with Elvis sideburns who combines Che Guevara with John Maynard Keynes suggests a stranger-than-fiction narrative somewhere between Gabriel García Márquez and Ayn Rand.

 What It Do: Praising Caesar 
Alex Benson, Aquarian Weekly [Paul] Ryan spent the Bush era quoting Ayn Rand and voting for every single budget busting policy put forth by the White House, from the tax cuts to the Medicare prescription drug benefit. It was only when a Democrat took up residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue that he discovered the existential threat posed by federal deficits.

• • Read all of 'Atlas Shrugged' 
Alice Losasso, Providence Journal (RI) Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  | I could not believe my eyes when I saw Kevin Vealey’s April 29 letter, “R.I. should buy businesses”. His plan looks as if was lifted from Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged,” except that he missed the point! [....] Mr. Vealey, I suggest that you read “Atlas Shrugged” to the end.

• • Relativity, Netflix Sued Over ‘Atlas Shrugged: Part 1′ License Fees 
Deadline New York Atlas Shrugged movie  |Image  | Maker of Atlas Shrugged: Part 1 Atlas Productions filed suit today in Los Angeles Superior Court against Relativity Media, RML Acquisitions and Netflix over failure to pay license fees and alleging copyright infringement.

• • SEC Network Given Super Awesome Code Name 
Jason Kirk, SB Nation Atlas Shrugged  | So the impending SEC Network's secret insider name is reportedly Project X, which is the same name as about a million other things, but most interestingly a doomsday device in Atlas Shrugged.

• • • Criticizing Bain isn't attacking capitalism 
Berkshire Eagle (Pittsfield, MA) Ayn Rand Institute  |Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |Capitalism  |Yaron Brook  | (A copy of the now-archived article is available here.)The message from Mitt Romney and his supporters is that while it is fine for the Republican presidential candidate to campaign on the strengths of his career as a businessman it is hitting below the belt for President Obama and his supporters to campaign on the weaknesses of Mr. Romney’s career as a businessman. It seems that to attack Mr. Romney is equivalent to attacking free enterprise itself, which of course makes the attacker -- a socialist!For further enlightenment on this subject we go to the Ayn Rand Institute, the right-wing think tank named after the Libertarian high priestess whose tomes like "The Fountainhead" and "Atlas Shrugged" are read eagerly by sophomore English majors. In a helpful email release entitled "How to Talk About Bain Capital," institute director Yaron Brook makes arguments his mentor would admire.

• • GOP Veepstakes: Ryan’s Budget Plan Gets New Scrutiny 
Eric Pianin, The Fiscal Times Capitalism  |Egoism  | [Paul] Ryan, 42, a graduate of Miami University of Ohio and an admirer of “objectivism,” the rational self-interest economic views of the late author Ayn Rand, has been one of his party’s most influential voices on economic policy since first winning election to the House in 1998.

• • A Man and Some Woman: Enjoy the claustrophobia 
J. Kelly Nestruck, Globe and Mail (Toronto) [Playwright Githa] Sowerby, the program notes remind us, was a Fabian and a socialist, but I don’t imagine Ayn Rand would find A Man and Some Women objectionable. Jessica urges Dick to ignore familial ties and follow his bliss, while the play in general seems intent on illustrating how not working for a living and being reliant on others can turn women into useless gossiping nags.

• • T-SPLOST ‘extraordinarily wasteful’ 
Tom Sabulis, Atlanta Journal-Constitution Capitalism  | [Lance Lamberton, founder of the Cobb County Taxpayers Association:] Basic economic rule of thumb: A “subsidy” is the marketplace’s way of saying that a project is inefficient, wasteful, cannot be justified and diverts capital away from wealth producing investments. It takes, by force, money from productive citizens and puts it in the hands of those who wish to live off the efforts of others — what author and philosopher Ayn Rand would describe as the moochers and looters.

• • Mike Lux: Kevin's Gift 
Mike Lux, Huffington Post Paul Ryan  |Inaccurate  | [My brother] Kevin is one of those people who followers of Ayn Rand’s philosophy would call a leech on society -- Rand believed that people with disabilities were leeches and parasites on society, and that the “parasites should perish.” Kevin’s birth father broke a chair over his head and gave him brain damage, making him developmentally disabled and making it hard for him to speak clearly. [....] A government that would cut support to middle-class families trying to support their disabled children so the wealthy can get more tax breaks -- a government that actually decides to help the wealthy and powerful more than the poor and disabled -- would be a government with no decency. That is what Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and the Republicans are proposing for us. Their hero Ayn Rand would be proud.

• • 11 Ways Mitt Romney Shows His Rich-Guy, Ayn Randian Cluelessness 
Adele M. Stan, AlterNet Capitalism  | I've collected a smattering of evidence of Romney's Ayn Rand game plan, listed below, which actually wasn't all that hard, since former Romney primary opponents Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry did much of the work for me.

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