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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

• • Review: Brilliant ‘BioShock Infinite’ takes flight 
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BioShock  | No one in video games likes taking on big political ideas more than Ken Levine. In 2007's "BioShock," Levine and his team at Irrational Games tackled objectivism, building an undersea utopia-gone-bad from the theories of Ayn Rand.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

• • Pianist Yuja Wang knows her musicals 
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Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  | P.S.: Elaine Molinari, who volunteers at Friends of the Library in San Francisco, says that presently they have five copies of "The Fountainhead" and five copies of "Atlas Shrugged." "Are people in S.F. getting embarrassed to have Ayn Rand in their collections?" she asks.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

 ‘Oscar Nominated Shorts’ review: Lofty live action 
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"The Simpsons" short, featuring Maggie starting day care at an Ayn Rand-themed preschool, is cute but not very deep.

Friday, November 30, 2012

 Romney's Personality Shift 
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Paul Ryan  | Before [Paul] Ryan delivered an address at Georgetown University earlier this year, 90 Catholic theologians and staffers at the Jesuit institution wrote to Ryan saying that his budget “appears to reflect the values of your favorite philosopher, Ayn Rand, rather than the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” Ryan pushed back against such critics in his speech, saying, “There are some Catholics who for a long time have thought they had a monopoly of sorts - not exactly on heaven, but on the social teaching of our church. Simply put, I do not believe that the preferential option for the poor means a preferential option for big government,” he said in referring to the Catholic social principle that the interests of the poor should be primary.

Monday, November 19, 2012

 A critical consensus 

Atlas Shrugged movie  | An assessment of current motion pictures by major American film critics. Film criticism is rated on a scale of 10 (excellent) to 1 (poor). [....] Atlas Shrugged Part 2 [...] 2.2.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

 ‘Paranormal Activity 4’ earns $29M at box office 

Atlas Shrugged movie  |Syndicated  | The top 20 movies at U.S. and Canadian theaters Friday through Sunday, followed by distribution studio, gross, number of theater locations, average receipts per location, total gross and number of weeks in release, as compiled Monday by Hollywood.com are: [....] 15. “Atlas Shrugged: Part II,” Atlas Distribution, $613,889, 945 locations, $650 average, $2,859,980, two weeks.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

• • • ‘Atlas Shrugged,’ liberals whined 
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Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |Capitalism  |Paul Ryan  | Mitt Romney chose Paul Ryan to be his running mate. Since his teens, Ryan has been a big fan of Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged.” In 2005, he told the Atlas Society that the novel shaped his “values system” - and that speech has launched a number of recent columns by liberals aghast at Ryan’s taste in literature. “Almost everybody in the conservative movement has read Ayn Rand. She gives a moral dimension to defending the free-enterprise system,” alternate delegate Bill Evers of Stanford’s Hoover Institution told me Monday morning as the California GOP delegation gathered. Let me confess: I tried to read Rand’s “The Fountainhead” years ago and put it down twice. I found as I talked to other Republicans that I am not alone.

Monday, August 20, 2012

• • Who is Paul Ryan? 
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Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Paul Ryan  | Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan admires Ayn Rand, and if you believe Republican Party mythology, Ryan is a messianic John Galt who will save America from a secret socialist conspiracy. Thus, in Rand fashion, it’s worth asking: Who is Paul Ryan?

Monday, November 14, 2011

• • New DVD and Blu-ray releases, Nov. 11 
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Atlas Shrugged movie  |Atlas Shrugged  | Atlas Shrugged: Part 1 Amateurish in direction and confused in its writing (unless you’ve read the Ayn Rand novel you’ll be lost), this low-budget feature, though at times a preachy right-wing diatribe, benefits nonetheless from a good story, broadly drawn characters and a good performance by Taylor Schilling as the central character, railroad heiress Dagny Taggart.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

 4 Unexpected Things That Lower Your Credit 

Atlas Shrugged  | Instances of individuals having thousands of dollars of unpaid parking tickets, or months of unpaid gym dues from a forgotten contract, showing up on credit reports and subsequently lowering credit scores, have become more and more common. So don’t think that you can get away with not paying for that copy of “Atlas Shrugged” you borrowed from your local library and never ended up returning.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

 ‘House of Holes,’ by Nicholson Baker 
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Atlas Shrugged  | What’s most enjoyable, and I know this is going to sound like a cop-out, is the language. Of course Baker uses all the sexual words we’re familiar with, but he also comes up with some wonderful inventions of his own, and I hope that at least some of them find their way into common usage. It may be a while before people start referring to female orgasms as “Atlas-shrugged shudders,” but I’m ready to start referring to my, and every other man’s, “Malcolm Gladwell.”

Friday, July 01, 2011

 Tea Party eats itself 
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In Pennsylvania, some conservative legislators have proposed a school voucher program, which is always a cheaper substitute than actually improving schools. FreedomWorks, a large feather of the rich-guy wing headed by Dick Armey, is in favor of the school voucher program and is urging its friends to get onboard. [....] But the libertarians in the Tea Party don’t like the voucher program. It’s more big government; specifically, it is big government taking money from one person (a citizen taxpayer) and giving it to another (a poor parent). In the Ayn Randian world of Tea Party libertarians, the poor mother should just grab her own bootstraps and pull.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

• • Ask Mick LaSalle: Liz Taylor films finer than face 
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Atlas Shrugged movie  |Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  | Dear Mick LaSalle: I read your review (of “Atlas Shrugged: Part I”), and I am curious: Have you read the book “Atlas Shrugged”? It is commonly thought of as one of the greatest works of the 20th century. Jerome Lewis, Houston. Dear Jerome Lewis: “Atlas Shrugged” is thought of as a great book by people who have only read “Atlas Shrugged” and then talk to each other about it. The book’s problem isn’t its objectivist philosophy, which, if anything, propels it forward. “The Fountainhead” has the same philosophy, and it’s a very good book. The problem is that “Atlas” is wildly overwritten at 1,200 pages - it should have been 700 - and it’s too schematic: Every villain is ugly or has a weak chin, and every good person is beautiful or has a square jaw, and so, as soon as characters are introduced, we know all we need to know about them. It becomes silly.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

• • • ‘Atlas Shrugged Part 1’ review: A dystopian tale 
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Atlas Shrugged movie  |Atlas Shrugged  |Image  | Adapted from the novel by Ayn Rand, “Atlas Shrugged Part I” is a low-budget film with more than a whiff of amateurism in its writing and direction. The story (unless you know the book well) is almost impossible to follow, and often you can feel both the presence of the camera and the director’s abandonment of the actors. Yet the story, a dystopian tale with heroes and villains and lots of triumphs and reversals, is so busy and so inherently interesting that the movie is entertaining until the finish - or the sort of finish. As only the first part of the story, “Atlas Shrugged” doesn’t end, it stops.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

 Brooksley Born foresaw disaster but was silenced 
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Alan Greenspan  |Capitalism  | Responding to growing evidence of manipulation and fraud in unregulated derivatives trading [...] [Brooksley] Born suggested the [Commodity Futures Trading Commission]. [....] But this was the age of Ayn Rand acolyte Federal Reserve Board chairman Alan Greenspan, and a Democratic administration that unquestioningly embraced his markets-can-do-no-wrong ideology. should perhaps be given some sort of oversight. [....]

Thursday, November 04, 2010

 Carey Perloff’s ‘Higher’ readings at Yud Gallery 
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The Fountainhead  | American Conservatory Theater Artistic Director Carey Perloff is fascinated by architecture - both aesthetically and dramatically. “It’s such a hugely juicy field right now with such outsized personalities,” she said in response to why her new work “Higher” takes on the profession best personified by Howard Roark. “Higher” tells the story of a high-powered Jewish architect who discovers that his rival in a competition to design a memorial in Israel is the woman he madly loves.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

 Rubicon: I always feel like somebody’s watching me 
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Atlas Shrugged  | Atlas MacDowell is the name of the mysterious company that has ties to Mrs. Rhumor, Mrs. Professor and this Roy fellow. Atlas, of course, is the Titan from Greek mythology who was condemned to hold up the heavens (not the Earth, as is commonly believed) after he and some other Titans went to war with the Olympians and lost. He’s come to symbolize strength, endurance, and to some degree, control. He is, after all, lifting all of us upon his back -- which is the meaning that Ayn Rand was alluding to in her novel Atlas Shrugged: this idea that those who produce the most in society are somehow holding everyone else up. In Rubicon’s lexicon, Atlas could be being used in the sense of actually controlling the world in some fashion. Eh, we’ll see.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

 Cypress CEO not green for green’s sake 
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Capitalism  | If you think cap and trade, and therefore California’s AB32, is a bad idea, a carbon tax is probably worse, and man-made global warming is unproven, can you still be considered a good eco-citizen? Yes, if you’re T.J. Rodgers, CEO of Cypress Semiconductor Corp. and chairman of SunPower Corp., both headquartered in San Jose. Dressed in red, white and blue, the professed laissez-faire disciple of Ayn Rand used the July Fourth weekend to stage a media eye-catching ceremony at Cypress headquarters in San Jose, where he signed “the unanimous declaration of independence from the electrical grid”

Saturday, June 05, 2010

• • California bill would increase rules on rifles 
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Atlas Shrugged  | Lawmakers in the California Assembly have evoked “Joe the Plumber,” Japanese internment and the late novelist Ayn Rand as they battle over a gun control bill that would extend the same reporting requirements and regulations that govern hand guns to rifles and other long guns. [....] “There seems to be an assault again on gun rights,” said Assemblyman Ted Gaines, R-Roseville. “It makes me think about Ayn Rand and (her novel) Atlas Shrugged, and the movement of government to the point where it’s stifling individuals.”

Friday, May 28, 2010

 Teach your children not so well 
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The America [the Texas Board of Education] want[s] to bring back has gone, like so many other things of the past. (Actually, the America they want to bring back never existed; it's just some loopy construct of cowboy movies and Ayn Rand and nice poor people who knew their place.) In the nostalgic America, you learned what your parents wanted you to learn, and not what was actually true. It's ignorance enshrined.