Thursday, May 16, 2013
• Conservative Sex Obsession Hurts Both Boys and Girls
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)
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
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
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
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
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
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
[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
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
Thought for today “Upper classes are a nation’s past; the middle class is its future.” — Ayn Rand, Russian-born author (1905-1982).
• Psychedelics And Technology: Albert Hoffman Five Year Anniversary
Albert Hoffman, the discoverer of LSD died at the age of 102 on this day five years ago. LSD has been more influential in Silicon Valley than Ayn Rand.
• A&E highlights: Opening Day, Chick Corea, Paul Havas show
Mike Daisey. The monologuist who made news last year with a controversial set of interviews on “This American Life” returns to Seattle with the West Coast premiere of two pieces, “American Utopias” and “F***ing F***ing F***ing Ayn Rand,” performed on separate nights.
• • The High Cost of Opportunity
When discussing poverty and the distribution of wealth, two views typically emerge. Conservatives, fond of both Randian self-accreditation and those proverbial bootstraps we're all supposed to use as leverage, tend to hold the single individual responsible for their own destiny, regardless of where they started. Liberals, fond of blaming the system and clinging to the "entitlement programs" that seek to alleviate the stresses of said system, are more likely to forgive the personal missteps that often hold individuals in poverty.
• • Does Mike Lee have the formula for a GOP resurgence?
While much of the mass media has focused on Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Jeb Bush, and other prominent names, an interesting contribution has come from a figure largely unknown to national audiences: Utah Senator Mike Lee. [....] Framing the vision of America as “not an Ayn Rand novel, [but] a Norman Rockwell painting, or a Frank Capra movie: a society of ‘plain, ordinary kindness, and a little looking out for the other fellow, too,’” Lee said that although the “great obstacle to realizing this vision today is government dysfunction,” Republicans must change the way they talk about the dangers of big government to better connect with the problems people face in their day to day lives.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
• • Don't Give Up on Green Tech Yet
We don't live in a Randian fantasy world where government can just abstain from any involvement in the market, and thank goodness for that. The question isn't whether government will have an impact on the private sector, it's whether the decisions it makes as it does so are as wise as possible.
• • ASUCD Senate passes resolution against Islamophobia
Elan Journo |
SR 21, authored by Kriti Garg, was first presented to Senate April 11. It condemns the rhetoric that was expressed during an April 11 Ayn Rand Society at UC Davis event, titled “Islamists Rising in the Middle East: Where Next for America,” featuring guest speakers Daniel Pipes, Elan Journo and Larry Greenfield. [....] During discussion of the resolution, members of the public were given time to speak, during which time Jonathan Bomberg, president of the Ayn Rand Society at UC Davis gave, what he declared to be their only official statement, stating that the event was not targeted toward Muslims.
• • Mark Sanford’s Coming Defeat
Atlas Shrugged |
An Ayn Rand devotee, [Sanford] exited the governor’s mansion in disgrace a year and a half after his “hiking the Appalachian Trail” story fell apart.