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Friday, September 14, 2012

• • Conventional madness 
,
Paul Ryan  | Truth doesn't matter to today's Republicans, as was best expressed by Lyin' Paul Ryan, their vice-presidential candidate. He has been caught lying about everything from his time running a marathon (he shaved more than an hour off) to his devotion to nutball right-wing "objectivist" writer Ayn Rand.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

• • • Ayn Rand vs. LBJ 
,
Atheism  |Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |Capitalism  | Confession time: I too was once attracted to Ayn Rand's nutty philosophy, for maybe a week. I read The Fountainhead and slogged through Atlas Shrugged, and was impressed. What I admired about her novels — called “mesmerizing nutworks” by one forgotten reviewer — was that they celebrated self-reliance and believing in yourself. Like most teenagers, I found her attitudes toward religion and conformism compelling as well. [....] Then, however, I turned 17. I realized that in an Ayn Randian world lots of people would never have a chance to go to college, to get ahead, and most of the weak would be left to starve.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

 GOP’s appalling silence 
,
Atlas Shrugged  | Well, the presidential primary is over, and the various roving bands of locusts have left our state for the next tent show. The packs of journalists have gone too, trailing after the throngs of campaign functionaries and toadies. Rick “Man on Dog” Santorum, Former Mitten State Mitt and Ron “Atlas Shrugged” Paul took off too.

Friday, September 23, 2011

 Granholm’s world 
,
Book review: A Governor's Story, by Jennifer Granholm and Dan Mulhern.
The book [...] is so appallingly bad it is weirdly fascinating, starting with the weird, stilted dialogue it claims were real conversations, mainly between husband and wife. What they actually sound like are Ayn Rand characters who have learned a whole lot of psychobabble. (“His words finally pierced my hard, self-pitying armor. It was my ego that was sucking me down.” Finally, she told him “Thanks for caring so much.”)

 Granholm’s New Book, A Governor’s Story 
,
Throughout the book, [Jennifer Granholm’s] characters talk in this heavily stilted dialogue that is sort of Psychology Today meets Ayn Rand.

Friday, April 08, 2011

 Mackinac Center’s McCarthyism 
,
Capitalism  | The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is a sort of odd think tank based up in Midland, also known as Dow Chemical land. Normally they crank out “free-market” analysis and policy prescriptions, most of the sort that crazy old Ayn Rand would love, if she didn’t happen to be dead. This is all harmless enough, and occasionally they even have made some sense on an issue or two. But now they are selling out to the right-wing thought police.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

• • Screwing the future 
,
Today’s world is full of the ignorant, and of right-wing kooks clutching copies of Ayn Rand, people who think teachers don’t deserve a decent living, and that money spent on anything in the public sector is mostly wasted. Years ago, I myself spent time in places where their policies had been put into effect. They were called the Third World then, and nobody thought Michigan was likely to join it.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

 Snyder takes command 
,
The new governor [Richard D. Snyder] is facing a state budget deficit of at least $1.8 billion, and how he handles that will tell us a lot. If he does it by savaging education in this state, our one hope for a workforce that can compete in the future, we’ll know he is just another hypocrite, or a Tea Party, Ayn Rand-style wacko.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Now let us praise free minds 
,
Ayn Rand offers [a] system with all the answers, and so does Osama bin Laden, and so do various others of what George Orwell used to call “all the smelly little orthodoxies that are now contending for our souls.” What all these systems do is take parts of the truth and construct a brilliantly woven little system and substitute it for reality.