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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

• • James Bond and the killer bag lady 
Atlas Shrugged  | If his name was no longer synonymous with the all-American vacation, [Nick] Deak emerged during the 1970s as a hero in an emergent libertarian gold-bug subculture. As Doomsday-obsessed gold hoarders built financial bomb shelters in the shadow of stagflation, Deak emerged as among the first proto-Libertarian gurus. A fawning profile in Reason magazine compared Deak to “Midas Mulligan or any other character ever conceived of by Ayn Rand.”

Monday, December 10, 2012

• • Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan care about poor people now 
Paul Ryan  | [A]nyone who buys that Paul Ryan is making a substantive change in his beliefs should be laughed out of the business of political journalism. The man is a product, top to bottom, of the conservative movement. As an avowed Randian, he should support income inequality as the natural order. A Ryan-led “war on poverty” would be an actual war, on the impoverished.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

• • Social security’s most media-friendly foe 
Atlas Shrugged  | For those familiar with Ayn Rand’s writing, the question “Who is John Galt?” is succinct shorthand to summarize conservatives’ ideological campaign against government. But to really appreciate how that crusade operates on a day-to-day basis in the most important political battles of the moment, the best question right now is, “Who is Maya MacGuineas?”

Friday, December 07, 2012

 Return of the 47 percent: The right’s latest tax lie 
If it were accurate, the sentence in the Heritage Foundation’s “Index of Dependence on Government” would read: The United States reached a milestone in 2012 — for the first time since World War II, half the population pays no federal income taxes. But this in itself undermines the recent right-wing talking point that the country is becoming a nation of moochers living off a dwindling number of heroic Ayn-Randian “job creators.” That is because, until recently, conservative Republicans were leading the campaign to remove low-income Americans from liability for federal income tax.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

 I got duped by Glenn Beck! 
Atlas Shrugged  |Paul Ryan  | As a genre, speculative fiction keeps one eye on politics, but its goal is not to preach. It’s to make up an entertaining version of reality — an augmentation of social truth, which is not the truth itself. A novel’s vision can scare us, inspire us, affirm our emotions, and articulate our fears. It shouldn’t, however, serve as a primary political agenda any more than Paul Ryan should be waving ”Atlas Shrugged” around on the House floor.

 Salon’s Sexiest Man of 2012: The interview 
Atlas Shrugged  | [Chris Kluwe:] I read all of Vonnegut’s stuff lately. I waded through “Atlas Shrugged” a couple days ago; that was pretty brutal. A lot of classic literature stuff that I’m reading now — like Vonnegut or Rand or Huxley — a lot of those I don’t think you can appreciate as a kid because you just don’t have the life experiences to realize what they’re talking about. But looking at it now as more of an adult I can look past the words and get to the deeper meaning. They’re a much richer experience now.

Friday, November 30, 2012

• • Was Ryan’s Social Security plan inspired by Pinochet? 
Capitalism  |Egoism  |Individualism  |Paul Ryan  | On February 2, 2005, at a Washington, D.C. celebration of the 100th anniversary of libertarian guru Ayn Rand’s birthday,held by the Rand-devoted Atlas Society, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan declared his fealty to the guiding principles of Rand, founder of a cultic school of thought known as Objectivism, which holds up selfishness as the highest moral virtue.

Monday, November 19, 2012

 Dear Mr. President: Please admit it — you’re a Jedi 
Methodically, with utmost precision and discipline, you caused your opponents to reveal their darkest and most unattractive secrets — dismissiveness toward the less affluent, cluelessness toward women, the valorization of Ayn Rand —  as you weaved around them a mental bubble of self-satisfied illusion that left them totally unprepared for the election outcome that was approaching. On some distant world, a spectral Yoda is smiling with approval.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

 Joan Walsh: “Angry older whites have to decide if they want to secede from our multiracial future.” 
Atlas Shrugged  |Paul Ryan  | The self-satirizing Ann Coulter declared “It’s over. There’s no hope if takers outnumber makers,” reprising the failed VP nominee Paul Ryan’s Ayn Randian depiction of the American divide.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

• • The coming debt battle 
[F]rom a moral point of view, it’s useful for the young to learn that we are a community, in which working people take care of those who can’t. And that is what the Objectivists in Congress cannot stand. Our sense of community is an obstacle to their power.  And what they are determined to destroy, we must defend.  There is much more to be said, about disaster relief, food assistance, housing and other threatened programs.  But to begin, Congress should leave Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid alone.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

• • The president criticizes one of Paul Ryan’s favorite writers 
Capitalism  |Individualism  |Paul Ryan  | GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan confused a lot of people when he credited writer Ayn Rand, whose books idealize fierce capitalism, individualism and a disdain for charity, for his foray into public service. In a new interview published in Rolling Stone, President Barack Obama commented on the writer, taking another jab at the candidate.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

• • • How Ayn Rand is wrecking football 
Capitalism  |Paul Ryan  | If you want to know who to blame for the surreal officiating fiasco that robbed Paul Ryan’s favorite football team of a win last night, the answer is Paul Ryan’s favorite political thinker.  As improbable as it sounds, Ayn Rand’s lunatic brand of Marxism turned on its head is to a significant extent responsible for Lingerie Football League castoffs  refereeing America’s most popular and profitable sport (with predictably catastrophic consequences).

Sunday, September 30, 2012

• • Biff from “Back to the Future” is in the “Atlas Shrugged” sequel 
Atlas Shrugged movie  |Atlas Shrugged  |Paul Ryan  |Image  | Is Biff going to be a huge jerk in “Atlas,” too? No idea, but seeing as he plays the chairman of the Taggart board — Rand’s insufferable heroine — the answer is probably yes. Does Paul Ryan have his ticket?

Friday, September 07, 2012

• • • Sean Hannity to make cameo in ‘Atlas Shrugged’ sequel 
Atlas Shrugged movie  |Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  | Apparently unfazed by the critical and box office failure of the first Atlas Shrugged movie, Sean Hannity announced that he is making a cameo in the sequel. Hannity posted on the blog for his radio show that he’ll be appearing in Atlas Shrugged Part Two, set to be released in October, and he “may be a character close to home.”

Sunday, September 02, 2012

• • Are job creators a myth? 
Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Paul Ryan  | Conservatives are in a rage after Obama suggested we add value to the economy together. In their version, only the rich do. [....] “The man at the top of the intellectual pyramid contributes the most to all those below him, but gets nothing except his material payment, receiving no intellectual bonus from others to add to the value of his time. The man at the bottom who, left to himself, would starve in his hopeless ineptitude, contribute nothing to those above him, but receives the bonus of all their brains.” -Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, required reading for Representative Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) staff.

Friday, August 31, 2012

• • The Right’s brittle heroes 
Capitalism  |Individualism  |Paul Ryan  | The contrast between (a) how Paul Ryan is depicted by worshipful Republicans and media figures alike — as a principled fiscal conservative and advocate of Randian self-sufficiency  – and the reality of what he’s done in his life is as stark as it is typical. The American Right has an amazing ability to lionize leaders whose lives are the precise antithesis of the political values that define their image. [....] Thus do we have Paul Ryan — Randian Super-Hero of Individual Self-Reliance and Working Class Warrior against government debt, waste, and intrusiveness — whose actual life is a testament to the precise opposite values.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

• • The four biggest convention stories you won’t hear about 
Capitalism  |Paul Ryan  | 2. Socialism for Objectivists: An anti-government, pro-free-market “We Built This!” celebration held in a publicly funded stadium. Hysterical jeremiads against “socialism” and for the “free market” are sure to pepper the Republican convention, if not from the dais then from the assembled rabble. Likewise, the collective assembly will no doubt hold up Huge Government Republican Paul Ryan as a supposed image of Randian small government conservatism – despite his record to the contrary. Through it all, you can expect the assembled media to loyally echo the themes — and barely notice that the paroxysm of anti-government hysteria is taking place inside a socialist enterprise.

Monday, August 27, 2012

• • When partisan politics stretch parent-child bonds 
Syndicated  | When David Burrows took on Barry Goldwater and Ayn Rand as "mentors" at age 14, his parents wanted to know what else he was doing that they might be ashamed of.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

• • • Ayn Rand vs. the Pope 
Altruism  |Atheism  |Anthem  |Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Egoism  |Individualism  |Paul Ryan  |Image  | Much has already been made of Rep. Paul Ryan’s libertarian pretensions and his failure to live up to them from across the ideological spectrum (here, here, here). Yet there’s a more disturbing inconsistency that deserves more scrutiny regardless of where you find yourself on the ideological or theological spectrum. The newly christened vice presidential nominee holds two deeply contradictory and inimical materialist and spiritual worldviews represented by the objectivist philosopher and novelist Ayn Rand and the Catholic Church.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

• • Paul Ryan: Randian poseur 
Capitalism  |Paul Ryan  | [G]uys like Ryan [....] somehow become the political face of the white working class when they never spent a day in that class in their life. Their only tether to it is their remarkable ability to tap into the economic anxiety of working class whites and steer it toward paranoia that their troubles are the fault of “other” people – the slackers and the moochers, Ayn Rand’s famous “parasites.” Since the ’60s, those parasites are most frequently understood to be African American or Latino – but they’re always understood to be the “lesser-than” folks, morally, intellectually and genetically weaker than the rest of us.