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Saturday, December 31, 2011

• • Why Ron Paul Matters 
Individualism  |Syndicated  | As for the Ron Paul newsletters, the best response was by my colleague David Boaz when the subject was raised publicly in 2008. About them he wrote in the Cato Institute’s blog: “Those words are not libertarian words. Maybe they reflect ‘paleoconservative’ ideas, though they’re not the language of Burke or even Kirk. But libertarianism is a philosophy of individualism, tolerance, and liberty. As Ayn Rand wrote, ‘Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism.’ Making sweeping, bigoted claims about all blacks, all homosexuals, or any other group is indeed a crudely primitive collectivism. Libertarians should make it clear that the people who wrote those things are not our comrades, not part of our movement, not part of the tradition of John Locke, Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, Ludwig von Mises, F. A. Hayek, Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman, and Robert Nozick. Shame on them.”

Friday, December 30, 2011

 Exchanges Aim for Northern Exposure 
Farmers under the old system could only sell their wheat to the Canadian Wheat Board. Now, under new legislation that went into effect on Dec. 16, they can sell wheat to the market like farmers in the U.S. and will want to use futures contracts to lock in returns and hedge exposure to grain prices. Farmers also will be able to sell to the wheat board. Days before the law took effect, farmer Jim Pallister drove seven hours from his 14,000-acre farm in Manitoba to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, to hear ICE executive Brad Vannan and several economists discuss the new market. Frustrated over the monopoly and inspired by the novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand, Mr. Pallister stopped growing wheat three years ago. He now may add it back into his crop, preferring the futures contract ICE will launch next month.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

 Stranger In a Strange Land 
Book review: Estonia, by Alexander Theroux.
The flak is not confined to Estonia. Other targets include Israel, Ayn Rand, America’s treatment of the Arabs (positively Nazi-like, apparently) and the “dunce” George W. Bush, a “smirking, bowlegged . . . frat-boy” who reduces the usually inventive Mr. Theroux to cliché.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

• • The Tedium Is the Message 
Atlas Shrugged  | He won’t appreciate the comparison, given the inclusion of a paper-thin, arch-libertarian hypervillain in “Blink of an Eye,” but there is something of the Ayn Rand in [William] Cohen. Whittaker Chambers’s coruscating review of Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” applies here: “In this fiction everything, everybody, is either all good or all bad, without any of those intermediate shades which, in life, complicate reality and perplex the eye that seeks to probe it truly.”

Friday, November 04, 2011

• • Occupying vs. Tea Partying 
Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  | When you look for defining values in Occupy Wall Street, you discover only a disparate set of competing demands. Many are against capitalism per se and wealth-creation in general. They want to redistribute the pie, not grow it. [....] I can’t help but think of the fate of the Twentieth Century Motor Company in Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged,” where the edict “to each according to their contribution” was replaced with “to each according to their need.” The disastrous results left an entire community—the 99%—jobless, angry and destitute.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

• • Steve Jobs Made Insanely Great but Transient Things — Letters to the Editor 
Anthem  | [Steve Jobs] needed the protections of private-property rights (intellectual property in this case), access to financial partners and the magical forces of markets to bring his ideas and products to the world. What a contrast to the society portrayed in “Anthem,” the dystopian novella by Ayn Rand. Jobs’s anthem was one of hope. But interestingly, hope that is founded squarely on free markets and individual liberty, by rights endowed by the Creator, among them “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Monday, September 19, 2011

 ‘If You Love Me’ 
Atlas Shrugged  | [A] reader thought Obama might have been inspired by the only book in history to outsell "Atlas Shrugged." John 14:15 quotes Jesus as saying: "If you love me, keep my commands."

Friday, August 26, 2011

• • Freedom Doesn’t Mean an Absence of Responsible Values 
It wasn't the abandonment of religious principles but rather the abandonment of individual responsibility caused by government welfare programs that caused the breakdown in Western societies. Moral precepts can be ascertained without the benefit of religion, as evidenced by Aristotle and Ayn Rand, but once people seriously believe that they are entitled to a free lunch and something for nothing, then the downward spiral begins.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

• • Give Two Cheers for Calvin Coolidge 
Alan Greenspan  |Egoism  | The experiences we have had under Presidents Coolidge and Bush should prove to all but the most ideological the need for the government to provide guidelines and limits. Unlimited selfishness only works in Ayn Rand novels—regardless of what Chairman Alan Greenspan believed while running the Federal Reserve.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

 A Scary Peek Under Energy’s Cover 
Atlas Shrugged  | After reading Energy Secretary Steven Chu's unabashed admission that, "We are taking away a choice that continues to let people waste their own money" [...] , I had to reconfirm that the quote was indeed from the Journal and not "Atlas Shrugged."

Thursday, July 21, 2011

 Atlas Shrugged. Will Regulators? 
Atlas Shrugged  | Reference in title and graphic only.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

• • • Call It ‘Atlas Snubbed’ 
Atheism  |Capitalism  |Egoism  |Paul Ryan  |Personal life  |Inaccurate  |Syndicated  | Love for Ayn Rand goes unrequited. Libertarians love her, but she rejected them as “emotional hippies of the right.” Conservatives love her, but she opposed Ronald Reagan, saying, “His likeliest motive for entering the Presidential race is power lust.” Right-leaning Christians love her, but she was an atheist, an abortion supporter and a champion of the anti-Christian ideal that selfishness is a virtue. She also called religion a “sign of a psychological weakness.” Her fans -- including Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, talk radio’s Rush Limbaugh and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas -- would be crushed to learn she might never love them back, either.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

• • Debt: We Aren’t Thinking Very Clearly 
All of these numbers bandied about have little meaning to most people. Someone needs to calculate what the tax rates would need to be for all current tax categories to balance the budget. People would be shocked at the rates that would be required to balance the current budget. Only at that time, those in denial (most people) would understand that spending will need to be cut dramatically, no matter what. This is a good time to remember Ayn Rand’s quote: “You can avoid reality, but you can not avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.”

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

 Home Builders Lobby Defends Government Guarantees 
Ayn Rand Institute  |Capitalism  | You would think that a district that is as conservative as ours (and the home of the Ayn Rand Institute) could send a genuine free-market capitalist to Washington. It is hoped that Republicans will wake up and replace Rep. Campbell as our Republican candidate in the 2012 election.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

 Darkness Too Visible 

Books We can Recommend for Young Adult Readers. [....] Old School by Tobias Wolff (2004). Set in a smart New England prep school in the 1960s, this story of a young man’s search for authentic identity captures the mixture of longing and ambition that causes so many adolescents to try, if only for a time, to shape themselves along other people’s lines. Here, the admired models are writers—Ernest Hemingway, Ayn Rand, Robert Frost—who visit the school and for whom the young protagonist contorts himself in painful and revealing ways.

Friday, May 20, 2011

• • The Enduring Appeal of the Apocalypse 
Atlas Shrugged  | A similar article was published on June 7 in New Scientist.
In most doomsday scenarios, destruction is followed by redemption, giving us a sense of both fear and hope. The ostensible “end” is usually seen as a transition to a new beginning and a better life to come. [....] Consider John Galt, the hero of Ayn Rand’s anticollectivist novel “Atlas Shrugged” and an inspiration for many of today’s tea-party activists. In the book’s final apocalyptic scene, the heroine Dagny Taggart turns to Galt and pronounces, “It’s the end.” He corrects her: “It’s the beginning.”

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

• • • Rand and “Inalienable Rights” 
Atlas Shrugged  |Egoism  |Individual Rights  | In today’s Journal, Donald Luskin defends Atlas Shrugged as “a plea for the most fundamental American ideal—the inalienable rights of the individual.” Where does one start? What are “rights” in a universe where there is no morality other than what can be derived from the value one places on one’s own life, and no metaphysics other than materialism plus some more or less trivial residuum to allow for sense perception and volition? If rights are not correlative to duties that transcend our will – and on Rand’s view it is a matter of first principles that there are no duties transcending the will – then what are they? And how can they possibly be “inalienable” if one is morally subject to no will above one’s own?

Monday, May 02, 2011

• • Atlas Struggled 
Atlas Shrugged movie  |Atlas Shrugged  | In an ironic twist, producer John Aglialoro’s success in filming Atlas Shrugged is overshadowed by a lawsuit he lost with his company, Cybex.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

• • Is It 2012 Already? 
Paul Ryan  | Transcript of The Journal Editorial Report.
[Bill] McGurn: I think the political motivation is--one of it is to rig this debate, so that you present the budget cuts as heartless, and you don’t have to debate whether they’re effective. We want to debate whether they’re effective, whether the programs are accomplishing what they should. So it’s designed to do this and to cast a moral taint on the Republicans and Paul Ryan. I mean, people are complaining that Paul Ryan-- Gigot: The House budget chairman. Ayn Rand? Well, Ayn Rand is not a Christian, that’s for sure. McGurn: No, no, no, I agree with my former boss Bill Buckley, who said where she was right, she was seldom original; where she was original, she was seldom right. But--

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

 ‘Rio’ takes flight at box office, delivering the best start this year 
Atlas Shrugged movie  |Atlas Shrugged  | “The Conspirator”, an Abraham Lincoln assassination drama from Roadside Attractions LLC, and “Atlas Shrugged: Part I,” an Ayn Rand adaptation from Rocky Mountain Pictures [...] respectively grossed $3.9 million from 707 theaters and $1.7 million from 299 theaters.