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Saturday, August 04, 2012

• • • Ayn Rand in Space 
,
Atlas Shrugged movie  |Ayn Rand Institute  |Atlas Shrugged  |Going Galt  |Image  | At the Atlas Summit, a conference for libertarian devotees of Ayn Rand, the question is inescapable. It is scrawled in black magic marker on the plain white T-shirt of the white-haired man I pass on the way into the ballroom. It is printed on the green button on the corduroy blazer of the man who wants to share his thoughts on "the envy-driven wizards at NASA." It is emblazoned on the limited-edition gold coins advertised in the special three-ring binder given to all attendees. It is hanging, really, over the heads of all of us who have convened at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown DC in early July to celebrate Ayn Rand's sacred scroll of objectivism. The question, parroting the catchphrase of Atlas Shrugged, is "Who is John Galt?" The answer, apparently, is Elon Musk, the billionaire cofounder of the California-based galactic transport company SpaceX.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

• • “If Paul Ryan Knew What Poverty Was, He Wouldn’t be Giving This Speech” 
,
Altruism  |Atheism  |Paul Ryan  | On Thursday, [Ryan] went on record denouncing Ayn Rand, who believed altruism is evil, brushing off his well-documented obsession with her as a teenage romance. Ryan told the National Review’s Robert Costa: “I reject her philosophy. It’s an atheist philosophy. It reduces human interactions down to mere contracts and it is antithetical to my worldview. If somebody is going to try to paste a person’s view on epistemology to me, then give me Thomas Aquinas. Don’t give me Ayn Rand.”

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

• • What’s happening in Egypt explained 
,
Ayn Rand Center  |Elan Journo  | Elan Journo, a fellow at the Ayn Rand Center, cautions against pinning our hopes on political moderates. In Egypt, he writes, “the political spectrum is far narrower than you may think: whereas Islamists want religion to be the all-encompassing principle of government, a typical ‘moderate’ still acknowledges that Islam has some…role in government. True secularists are scarce and marginal. So could “moderates” in government prevent the Islamists from taking over? Ultimately, no.”

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

• • • Best press release ever? 
,
Altruism  |Ayn Rand Center  |Atlas Shrugged  |Don Watkins  | Last week, Facebook titan/world’s youngest billionaire Mark Zuckerberg joined a group of other super-rich individuals (including Bill Gates and Warren Buffett) who are promising to give at least half of their money to charity. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that most people probably think this was a good and praiseworthy development: the super-rich have benefited enormously from our society, and it’s nice of them to give back. But not everyone thinks that way. Take the Ayn Rand Center, which is dedicated to promoting the memory and Objectivist philosophy of the famed novelist. The center’s Don Watkins was horrified by Zuckerberg’s decision.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

• • Christian lobbyist: “We have feminized the medal of honor” 
,
If Ayn Rand were a Christian fundamentalist, she’d be Bryan Fischer. As the public face of the American Family Association, Fischer has cornered the market on crazy invective that sounds neither Christian nor pro-family, but more like the golden-calf worshiping of Rand and her cult followers.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

• • Rand Paul wins: What does it mean? 
,
Atlas Shrugged  |Rand Paul  | It may not be be easy to be Rand Paul. And maybe that’s why it’s fitting that he’s named Rand. Like Ayn Rand’s John Galt character, he could prove too rigid to operate in an ideologically mushy world. But even if he finds it tough to get his bearings in the Senate, Paul is unlikely to follow Galt’s lead and move to an isolated mountain valley and invent a perpetual motion machine.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

 Courses at Glenn Beck’s new U. 
,
Have you heard the exciting news? Apparently appalled at the paucity of solid learnin' in America (excepting, of course, Texas), media maestro and renowned art historian Glenn Beck has announced the opening of his own great patriotic hall of academe. [....] [J]ust in time for the Independence Day weekend, the MoJo staff has produced a list of course offerings we hope to see at Beck U. next fall. [....] Intro to Theology: Ayn Rand.