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Friday, June 07, 2013

• • Like Christie and Obama had any choice but be nice to each other 
The primary victim of Obama’s increasingly sad attempts at seeking common ground hasn’t been his party, it’s really been himself. Because he’s just been making his own job — governing the country — harder, by promoting the notion that Republicans are reasonable. (He’s obviously dialed back on this notion since 2010.) Chris Christie isn’t James Inhofe, and he’s not an Islamophobe and he’s not a Randian, but the more politically successful he is, the better it is for his political party, which is made up in large part of James Inhofes, Islamophobes, Randians, and worse.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

• • • The truly worrying thing about Mark Sanford’s win 
Atlas Shrugged  |Egoism  | [M]aybe what “Weird Objectivist Creep Mark Sanford Wins Election” means is not anything about the state of the 2014 or 2016 race, but rather about the Republican Party as a whole in the post-Bush era. The truly disturbing thing is not that Mark Sanford won a special election in 2013, but that he was ever considered a viable running mate option in 2008 or a 2012 presidential hopeful. There’s really no hope for us, if the country insists on dividing its votes almost equally between the center-left party and the party of people who still think there’s any redeeming quality in “Atlas Shrugged.”

Saturday, April 13, 2013

• • Organic Eden Foods’ quiet right-wing agenda 
Atlas Shrugged  | Eden Foods — an organic food company with no shortage of liberal customers — has quietly pursued a decidedly right-wing agenda, suing the Obama administration for exemption from the mandate to cover contraception for its employees under the Affordable Care Act. [....] John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods, has publicly campaigned against the Affordable Care Act, including recently referring to it as “fascism.” And Lululemon’s executive adulation for Ayn Rand became famous when the yoga products company printed bags asking, “Who is John Galt?” But while those companies have been raked over the coals, Eden Foods’ efforts have largely gone unnoticed.

Monday, April 08, 2013

• • Reagan aide disqualifies himself from the conversation 
Alan Greenspan  |Capitalism  | I hope I’m not being narrow-minded, but it seems to me there is a small number of enthusiasms that immediately disqualify those who indulge them as serious thinkers or policymakers.  When you learn that your Federal Reserve Chairman was an acolyte of Ayn Rand, for example, or that someone in Congress involved with budget policy remains a Rand devotee, you know instantly something’s gone terribly wrong.  You might even begin wondering whether this isn’t some monstrous financial equivalent of Caligula’s appointing a horse to the Roman Senate – or a ‘Rand’ to the American one. [....] This is hard – I don’t want to ‘otherize’ Stockman altogether. But when you hear ‘austerity’ during a debt deflation you hear an idiot. And when you hear ‘gold standard’ you’ve heard as bad as ‘Ayn Rand.’ And when you hear ‘divorce of “the market” from “government”’ you’ve heard … Ayn Rand. You have heard nonsense – complete, utter nonsense.

Friday, March 29, 2013

• • • Ayn Rand film franchise “ Atlas Shrugged ” to get a second sequel 
Atlas Shrugged movie  |Atlas Shrugged  |Image  |Video  | Libertarian icon Ayn Rand’s 1957 novel “Atlas Shrugged” tells the story of a group of productive citizens going into hiding and refusing to support civilization any longer. It’s likely a story that rings truer than ever for the team behind the film adaptation, who have seen a seemingly huge prospective audience of Rand readers refuse to come out and see their two-part opus. (“Atlas Shrugged: Part I” made $4.6 million, on a budget of $20 million, in 2011; “Part II” made $3.4 million in 2012.) But the team behind the films, producers John Aglialoro and Harmon Kaslow, have announced that they will be funding a third installment, scheduled for release in 2014.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

• • 11 heinous lies conservatives are teaching America’s schoolchildren 
Atlas Shrugged  | Lie #11: Ayn Rand’s books have literary value. Idaho state Sen. John Goedde, chairman of the state’s Senate Education Committee, has introduced a bill that would require students not only to read Rand’s ponderous novel “Atlas Shrugged,” but also to pass a test on it in order to graduate. Goedde claims to mostly not be serious about this bill, but instead is using it as a childish attempt to piss off the liberals, but it’s still the sort of item parents need to watch out for.

After all, Texas textbook standards require that an obsession with the gold standard be taught as a legitimate economic theory instead of the mad ravings of cranks that it is. We live in an era where no amount of right-wing lunacy is considered too much to be pushed on innocent children like it’s fact. Anyone who doubts that should just remember one word: dragons.

Friday, March 15, 2013

• • • Terrible reviews will not stop Atlas Shrugged 3 
Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Image  |Video  | If you missed the first two big screen adaptations of Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” (which judging from their box office performances, you did), have no fear: You still have part three to look forward to in 2014.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

 What to wear (and not to wear) to CPAC 
Cardigans? A must. Pearls? But of course. Rompers? Ayn Rand would not approve.

Monday, March 11, 2013

 Michael Penn: “Part of me thinks Hannah’s really more the voice of MY generation” 
The Fountainhead  | Michael Penn: [I]n the first episode of the [Girls] season, there’s a long section that sort of ends that episode, that goes from Jessa after her honeymoon in the cab to Marnie and Charlie, Marnie coming to Charlie’s apartment, and then to Hannah arriving at Donald Glover’s character’s apartment. It really sort of builds to this point at the end of the episode where Hannah asks if she can borrow his copy of “The Fountainhead,” and he knows that it’s a booty call, and he walks away, and she starts to go to bed. And I knew it had to feel like … OK, Hannah’s back, this is the season, and I just kind of ramped this up to this foreign melody at the end, and I felt really good about it.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

• • What happened to Orson Scott Card? 
Atlas Shrugged  | There’s something almost refreshing about Peter [in Ender’s Game], little genius sociopath who wants to rule the world. He’s what happens if John Galt decides to conquer the world instead of withdrawing from it.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

• • Creationism, Ayn Rand and gun control: Actual laws proposed this month 
Atlas Shrugged  | 4. Read Ayn Rand or stay in high school The chairman of the education committee in Idaho’s Senate introduced a bill earlier this month that would make students read — and pass a test — on “Atlas Shrugged” as a requirement for a high school diploma. Then he backed away from the bill, saying he was just trying to make a point.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

• • Former congressman Tom Allen: GOP speaks a different language 
Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  | The inability to compromise is primarily driven by the growing ideological rigidity of Republicans, which has become hostile to almost any form of government action across a wide range of disparate subjects. The sources and power of that ideological rigidity are worth further examination. The set of ideas that led American conservatives into what is essentially a libertarian camp were not much in evidence for the 25 years after the end of World War II. Then they grew, promoted by thinkers like F. A. Hayek, Robert Nozick and, perhaps most significantly, Ayn Rand, whose two novels about heroic individuals captivated many Americans.

Monday, February 11, 2013

• • “Identity Thief” stole my brain, and now I hate everything 
The Fountainhead  | I remember laughing at an Ayn Rand joke early on, which suggested that Craig Mazin’s screenplay once contained some vague political ambitions. Trying to explain to Sandy why the brass at his financial firm are receiving six- or seven-figure bonuses while the regular schmoes get diddly-squat, his jerkass boss tells him, “I’ll get you a copy of ‘The Fountainhead.’ Then you’ll see why this is good for everybody.”

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

• • Bill would write Ayn Rand into curriculum 
Atlas Shrugged  |Image  | A Republican state senator in Idaho introduced a bill on Tuesday that would force students to read and pass a test on Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” in order to graduate from high school, though he said he did it to make a point and doesn’t intend to push forward with the legislation.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

 Pick of the week: Is the golden age of short films upon us? 
None of this year’s animated films contain any noticeable dialogue, not even my other favorite, the five-minute “Maggie Simpson in ‘The Longest Daycare,’” in which the youngest member of the Simpson clan is consigned to the brutal world of an Ayn Rand-inspired daycare.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

 John Boehner doesn’t need our money 
Paul Ryan  | [W]hy should we reward Harry Reid and his crew for shirking their responsibilities while House Republicans have been keeping their noses to the grindstone and dutifully passing Paul Ryan’s Ayn Rand fan fiction?

Friday, January 25, 2013

• • • Ayn Rand is for children 
Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |Capitalism  |Individual Rights  |Individualism  |Image  | Since I was in college and first met a few Objectivists (read: fancy word for libertarians), I’ve had a theory about people who claim to be Ayn Rand acolytes or who brag that their favorite book is “Fountainhead Shrugged” (they are the same book written twice in order to double Rand’s profit, so for brevity, let’s just use one name). This Unified Theory of Rand Groupies posited that they all probably fit into at least one of three groups: those who 1) never grew out of the usual “world is persecuting me and doesn’t see my true genius” phase that momentarily afflicts the typical high schooler 2) think saying “Ayn Rand” in any context makes them sound intelligent, even though they never actually read her work or 3) have read Rand’s work, don’t genuinely believe in her ideology as evidenced by their lifestyle/politics, but still say they love her because it serves to make them feel good about their own avarice.

 Glenn Beck wants to build an Ayn Rand-inspired utopia 
Reference in tile only.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

• • Right-wing dreams of demented utopias 
Capitalism  | As the neoconservative utopia faded, it was followed in turn by the libertarian utopia. This time, the utopian social engineering project was not rebuilding America as a theocracy or bombing foreign nations into democracy. This time the utopia was that of the libertarians. Ron Paul went from being a marginal figure to a folk hero for young people in search of gurus, and the works of mid-20th-century prophets of the free market like Ayn Rand and Friedrich von Hayek enjoyed a revival.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

 Obama’s Great Society 
Paul Ryan  | Roosevelt once said, “no damn politician can ever scrap my Social Security program.” The same goes for Medicare, outside the Randian salons frequented by Paul Ryan and his friends.