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Thursday, May 31, 2012

• • Kevin Vealey: Command and control 
,
Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  | I read with interest Alice Losasso's May 14 letter, "Read Atlas Shrugged". When Ayn Rand published her books in the middle of the last century her ideas on the beauty of pure capitalism had already been discredited decades before!

• • • Hack fantasist Ayn Rand's pathetic followers 
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Alan Greenspan  |Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Personal life  |Inaccurate  | Ayn Rand’s sophomoric sci-fi/ political tract/porn novel [Atlas Shrugged] is a sacred text for semi-literate intellectuals and self-styled Masters and Mistresses of the Universe everywhere -- most of them still dwelling, alas, in trailer parks or their parents’ basements.

• • Alice Losasso: 'Hack fantasist,' continued 
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Alan Greenspan  |Capitalism  | What exactly is the point of David Adams Murphy's vitriolic rant in his May 24 letter, "Hack fantasdist"? Is he trying to prove his intellectual superiority or that he hates Ayn Rand, Scientologists and people who live in trailer parks or their parents' basements? Does he hate free markets and believe that socialism/communism or a totalitarian state are the way to go?

• • Read all of 'Atlas Shrugged' 
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Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  | I could not believe my eyes when I saw Kevin Vealey’s April 29 letter, “R.I. should buy businesses”. His plan looks as if was lifted from Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged,” except that he missed the point! [....] Mr. Vealey, I suggest that you read “Atlas Shrugged” to the end.

Monday, May 02, 2011

• • Editorial: Medical fantasyland 

Paul Ryan  |Personal life  | [Paul] Ryan, a self-proclaimed Ayn Rand disciple, doesn’t really address the biggest causes of U.S. medical-cost inflation. (The crank Ms. Rand, by the way, went on Medicare.)

Monday, October 18, 2010

• • Psychologizing and the art of smearing 
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Atlas Shrugged  |Objectivist author  | [John J.] Colby uses a tactic called “psychologizing” to smear [Rhode Island Republican gubernatorial candidate John] Robitaille. Learning about this can protect you from becoming a victim of it. “Psychologizing consists in condemning or excusing specific individuals on the grounds of their psychological problems, real or invented, in the absence of or contrary to the factual evidence,” Ayn Rand explains, in “The Voice of Reason.” “Just as reasoning, to an irrational person, becomes rationalizing, and moral judgment becomes moralizing, so psychological theories become psychologizing. The common denominator is the corruption of a cognitive process to serve an ulterior motive.”

Sunday, October 18, 2009

• • Ayn Rand’s ‘selfishness’ misunderstood 
,
The Virtue of Selfishness  |Egoism  | As an avid reader of Rand in my younger days, I want to mention that the word “selfishness” in the title of her ethical manifesto, The Virtue of Selfishness, is quite misleading. English was not Rand’s first language, and she seems to have simply misused the term “selfishness” in the title of her book. What she truly advocated was not selfishness (which, after all, hardly needs to be urged upon human beings), but rather what we philosophers call “ethical egoism,” a theory of morals according to which we should act for the sake of our genuine self-interest. (Its antithesis would be altruism.)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

• • • A 1936 novel still very relevant today 
,
Atlas Shrugged  |We The Living  |Egoism  |Leonard Peikoff  |Image  |Objectivist author  | Though increased sales of Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand have been getting the attention, Rand’s lesser-known first novel, We the Living (1936), is also strikingly relevant in today’s times. Rand once described We the Living, recently published in trade paperback and adapted for a film that’s available for the first time on DVD, as “a book for Americans.”

Thursday, September 17, 2009

 Rhode Islanders protest government spending 
,
Ayn Rand Institute  | Dale Graessle, a Cambridge physicist from the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights, was the keynote speaker [at the Providence rally]. He called for a revolution to do away with government programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

 Obama should know better 
,
Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  | Letter to the editor.
This is getting so ridiculous that it reminds me of government intervention and capriciousness as depicted in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

• • Freedom from government is key to happiness 
,
Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal  |Capitalism  |Objectivist author  | Letter to the editor.
True capitalism, not today’s mixed economy, is an ideal to strive for and to defend, as Ayn Rand has done in her books Atlas Shrugged and Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal. The only way is to point out capitalism’s moral superiority. Its high standard of living is a secondary consequence of leaving people free to think and act peacefully according to their best judgment.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

• • Greenspan betrayed capitalism 
,
Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal  |Capitalism  | Letter to the editor.
To state that “the former Fed chairman’s ideology was nurtured in the salon of Ayn Rand, a promoter of a radical brand of laissez-faire capitalism,” is to repeat a widely held fallacy. Greenspan never spent a moment of his political life promoting Ayn Rand’s ideas. He wrote an article incorporated into Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal advocating a return to the gold standard. What he wrote then is still right, but he’s not.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

• • Mr. Greenspan’s regret 

Capitalism  | [Alan Greenspan’s] ideology was nurtured in the salon of Ayn Rand, a promoter of a radical brand of laissez-faire capitalism. Her political novels starring hero-individualists developed a devoted following. We don’t know how far Mr. Greenspan had moved from this utopian view of capitalism, but it was obviously not far enough.

• • Stopping the looters and moochers 
,
Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  | Letter to the editor.
In her Oct. 30 Commentary piece (“Our very own bucket shops”), Froma Harrop equates Alan Greenspan with Ayn Rand and Objectivism. But this is akin to equating Judas with Jesus and Christianity or Aristotle with Plato and Platonism because of their past associations. Greenspan abandoned Objectivism decades ago. He is not an advocate of capitalism but, rather, an apologist for capitalism.

Friday, October 31, 2008

• • Housing crisis has a silver lining 
,
The Fountainhead  | If Rand were to rewrite The Fountainhead today, she’d make Howard Roark a traditionalist. They are the ones battling the entrenched establishment.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

 Dolls with character 
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The Fountainhead  | On a high school project to transform white vinyl dolls "into either literal or metaphorical representations of their favorite work of literature."
“We started the year reading The Fountainhead, and one of the [themes] is that you have to be able to judge what’s right for you,” [teacher Erik] Carlson said. “I think that’s appropriate because that will be one of the hardest things for the kids when they are out of high school next year and that was one aspect of this project.”

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

• • Ethical rules of engagement in Iraq 
,
Ayn Rand Institute  | Letter to the editor.
Your decision to publish an article by Elan Journo of the Ayn Rand Institute entitled, “Washington’s disgraceful rules of war,” in the July 28 Commentary section was troubling enough for me, but the proposals Journo puts forth in the article trouble me considerably more.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Tragic loss is never far from Quigley’s mind 
,
Profile of golfer Brett Quigley.
Eventually, [Quigley] came to believe what the philosopher Ayn Rand once said: life becomes fair when you realize it's not fair.

Friday, June 24, 2005

A fascinating case 
,
On the auction of a collection of books with cases handmade by George and Patricia Sargent.
The 425-book Drapkin collection, which includes about 350 Sargents' cases and numerous author inscriptions -- from Ayn Rand, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck and J.D. Salinger, among others -- is expected to fetch between $1.5 million and $2 million at Wednesday's auction.