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Thursday, March 31, 2011

• • • Atlas needs help 
Atlas Shrugged movie  |Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Individualism  | True confessions: Dagny Taggart is the only fictional character I ever fell in love with -- or at least, when reading the first third of Ayn Rand’s book Atlas Shrugged some two decades ago, I was so smitten with the heroine that I wished somebody like her would show up in real life. All of which explains how high was the hurdle standing in the way of the movie version of Atlas Shrugged if it wanted me to “buy in” to its representation of the novel so iconic for individualists everywhere. To a surprising degree, the new movie, which opens at theatres April 15, cleared that hurdle. What’s so disturbing, though, is that the frightening dystopia it portrays seems all too real a possibility in today’s Obamaworld.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

• • • “Atlas Shrugged” the movie… And musical? 
Atlas Shrugged movie  |Atlas Shrugged  | The producers of the upcoming motion picture, Atlas Shrugged: Part 1, have some tricks up their sleeves to entice the crowds. The film, based on Ayn Rand’s iconic (and very long) novel, will be followed by two more installments to conclude the story, and the conclusion just might have the audience singing.

Friday, February 25, 2011

• • Prerequisites to true freedom in the Middle East 
Individual Rights  | Human rights are inextricably connected with property rights. As Ayn Rand observed many years ago, “Just as man can’t exist without his body, so no rights can exist without the right to translate one’s rights into reality--to think, to work and keep the results--which means the rights to property…. Without property rights, no other rights are possible. The man who has no right to the product of his effort has no means to sustain his life.”

Saturday, February 12, 2011

• • • CPAC bloggers given sneak peak of new “Atlas Shrugged” film 
Atlas Shrugged movie  |Atlas Shrugged  | Last night, along with other bloggers at the Freedom Works’ CPAC party, I got to see several scenes from the upcoming adaptation of Ayn Rand’s classic novel Atlas Shrugged. The showing was part of the producers’ effort to generate grassroots support for the film to help distribute it into theaters nationwide. As a long-time fan of the novel and a very discriminating movie viewer, I’ll admit that I’ve had my doubts about this project all along, given its low budget and rushed production schedule. Viewing the scenes that I did – albeit a small sample size – did not assuage my early concerns.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

 Some stray thoughts on the Giffords shooting 
We The Living  | Among [Jared Loughner’s] favorite books: Mein Kampf, the Communist Maniefesto, Animal Farm, and Ayn Rand’s We the Living. Unless he’s the first Nazi Randian communist, it’s hard to identify him with any political movement.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

• • Here comes trouble 
Atheism  | Jonathan Chait of the reminded">New Republic [...] reminded us that [Rand] Paul liked Ayn Rand, which made him “exactly tantamount to a candidate whose worldview was shaped by Karl Marx.” Chait further suggested that this proves Paul “harbors a private contempt for Christianity.” Well, his name is Rand! [....] The reality, of course, is that most of Congress's new recruits will quickly acclimate themselves to Washington and revert to the depressing Republican norm of talking constitutionalism while voting for big government.

Monday, December 20, 2010

 The mega-selling Christian and conservative novelist 
Koontz’s Odd Thomas novels featuring a character by that name lay open Koontz’s philosophy wide for all to see, not in the Ayn Rand style where suddenly the main character is giving a big speech, but rather by taking advantage of the opportunities that arise in the natural rhythm of the story.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

• • Evangelicals and the Tea Party 
Atheism  |Atlas Shrugged  | Jim Wallis blasted the Tea Party in a recent news release and devotes the November issue of his Sojourners magazine to a Tea Party critique. [....] Wallis’s desire to identify the whole Tea Party with an extreme, soulless, Ayn Rand-style libertarianism that exalts the strong and disregards the weak is a stretch. Not all Tea Partiers are libertarians, much less clones of Ayn Rand. And many Christians believe in limited government for moral reasons -- because human fallibility makes centralized political power dangerous, and because big government can displace religion, family and other human institutions with divine purpose.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

 Shut up, New Republican weenies! 
Ron Paul is a churchgoing non-Randian whose leadership team includes veterans of Pat Robertson’s 1988 presidential campaign.

• • A religious test for Rand Paul 
Atheism  |Individualism  |Rand Paul  | Jonathan Chait opined that “Rand Paul harbors a private contempt for Christianity” based on really little more than college-era letters Paul wrote about Ayn Rand. But there are lots of people who have imbibed the objectivist thinker’s individualism and libertarianism without embracing her anti-Christianity, probably in greater numbers than radical liberation theologians who square Marxism with Chrisitianity. [....] It’s also worth noting, as Chait compares Ayn Rand to Karl Marx, that while Whittaker Chambers envisioned Rand issuing the command “To a gas chamber -- go!,” Marx’s disciples actually sent people there in large numbers.

Monday, September 13, 2010

• • Will they remember in November? 
Atlas Shrugged  | Brianna Aubin stood in the front row of the rally on the West Lawn of the Capitol, holding aloft a sign hand-lettered in green: “Because my life is mine by right and will not be used to maintain a world that doesn’t know it.” That slogan was paraphrased from a monologue spoken by Francisco d’Anconia in Ayn Rand’s classic libertarian novel Atlas Shrugged. “I read it in high school, but it wasn’t until the past year that I realized how accurate it was,” said Aubin, a 25-year-old who had traveled from Illinois to D.C. for the event. Aubin was among the thousands who turned out for the second “9-12 Taxpayer March on Washington” organized by FreedomWorks.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

 Slippin’ and a-slidin’ 
Capitalism  |Egoism  | Why do we have a warning on ladder shelves and not on the high-moisturizing soaps, the latter probably causing way more falls per day? I think it’s because the warning on the ladder shelf doesn’t deter sales or usage, or profits. Ayn Rand was right. It’s all about self-interest. But that’s why people in the capitalist countries smell the best.

Monday, May 17, 2010

 Rand Paul and medicare physician payments 
Rand Paul  | By the way, “Rand” is short for “Randall.” Rand Paul was not named after Ayn Rand.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

 The man with the plan 
Paul Ryan  | A native of Janesville, Wisconsin, Paul Ryan developed his political philosophy reading the works of free market authors including Milton Friedman, F. A. Hayek, and Ayn Rand.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

 No more ‘New England Republicans’ 
As [Rob Simmons] declared at a recent debate, he's fiscally conservative "because it's your money" and socially moderate "because it's your life." This has always been his philosophy, he promises. Trust him. If that were true, New England would be in the midst of a decades-long libertarian renaissance and Logan Airport would have been renamed after Ayn Rand. The reality is that New England Republicans like Simmons are usually politicians who want to enact the Democratic agenda at a slightly slower pace than Democrats.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

• • Health care rebellion: Lessons from Martin Luther King 
Atlas Shrugged  | "The road is cleared. We are going back to the world." -- John Galt in Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. Enough is enough. It's time to put government tyranny out of business, and put health care justice in business.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

 Tinseltown nostalgia 
[Frank] Capra, a naturalized American citizen who fought in two wars for his adopted country, was famous for his optimism and his emphasis on the value of the individual versus that of powerful interests; sort of a cinematic Ayn Rand.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

• • The lady and the Tiger 
The Fountainhead  | There will be no more role models in America unless they are deemed by the media to be absolutely perfect. Ayn Rand, writing in The Fountainhead, has the unctuous socialist Ellsworth Toohey explain the method: "Don't set out to raze all shrines -- you'll frighten men. Enshrine mediocrity, and the shrines are razed." One cannot help thinking of our current president when reading these presciently chilling words.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

• • Pinkerton redefines conservatism 
Atheism  |Capitalism  |Going Galt  | Commentary on an article by James P. Pinkerton.
The “libertarian heroes” Pinkerton mentions all played an influential role in conservatism. Hayek and Friedman are revered within the conservative movement, and Friedman’s economic ideas formed part of the foundation of Reaganomics. Due to her extreme atheism, Rand is more controversial among conservatives, but her moral defense of capitalism has been influential too. And this year, all of the talk of “going Galt” as well as the anger at the tea parties directed at government bureaucrats mooching off of their productivity is Randian in nature.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

• • California nightmarin’ 
Capitalism  | As Ayn Rand noted long ago, laws such as [those mentioned in Eric Peters' Magical Thinking in California] aren't meant to be obeyed. They are composed precisely so that NOT breaking them is impossible.