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Sunday, September 30, 2012

• • Why a conservative businessman is backing President Obama 
Egoism  | I am a lifelong conservative Republican who grew up in a large, struggling family and had to do it all myself. I have been working since I was 9. I was deeply impressed by Ayn Rand and her Objectivism but, fortunately, learned of the selfishness and coldness of her philosophy and abandoned her extremism while continuing to embrace the entrepreneurial spirit and self-reliance. However, as President Obama has said, I didn’t build anything all by myself. To ignore the infrastructure that supports us all is folly.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

 Despite losers’ doomsaying, US has endured after controversial court rulings 
Ayn Rand Center  |Individual Rights  | The rule of law died today. (Or maybe yesterday.) So declared an official from the conservative Heartland Institute, not to be outdone by the somewhat less definitive but equally gloomy pronouncement from the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights, headlined: “American Freedom Strangled.” There was bound to be a gnashing of teeth and an overuse of death metaphors no matter what the Supreme Court decided on the Affordable Care Act.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

 What Ayn Rand says about Paul Ryan 
Atheism  |Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |Capitalism  |Egoism  |Paul Ryan  | Voters might be most interested in Paul Ryan’s workout plan. But the Republican vice presidential nominee has another interest dating back to high school, one that sheds a little more light on his economic plans: the philosopher and author Ayn Rand.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

• • Uber CEO Travis Kalanick talks big growth and regulatory roadblocks in D.C. 
Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  | [Q:] I noticed your Twitter avatar is the cover of Ayn Rand’s “The Fountainhead.” [A:] I don’t know what you’re talking about. [Laughs.] It’s one of my favorite books. It’s less of a political statement. It’s just personally one of my favorite books. I’m a fan of architecture. [Q:] The Randian philosophy has come to bear on this situation, you would admit. [A:] That’s probably true. I’d say there’s an uncanny resemblance, especially on the “Atlas Shrugged” side.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

• • Library of Congress’s wonderfully diverse list of ‘Books That Shaped America’ 
Atlas Shrugged  |Syndicated  | [T]he list doesn’t shy away from such bloated bestsellers as Margaret Mitchell’s Civil War romance “Gone With the Wind,” Ayn Rand’s melodrama-cum-economic tract “Atlas Shrugged” and Robert A. Heinlein’s weirdly libertarian “Stranger in a Strange Land.” Many people might not care for such pop titles, but they are books that others revere, argue about and reread.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

• • Obama’s Case for Gay Marriage Shows That Invoking Faith Isn’t Just for Conservatives Any 
Syndicated  | Nearly all of the Republican congressional leaders are Catholic, and they have been made particularly uncomfortable by the resurgence of an active Catholic opposition on the left. Last year, the head of Catholics United approached Ryan with a Bible and asked him to spend more time reading the Book of Matthew than Ayn Rand, who Ryan has said inspired him to enter public service. Video cameras captured Ryan awkwardly speed-walking away from the proffered Bible and into a waiting SUV.

Monday, April 30, 2012

• • Paul Ryan’s faith-based lesson 
Egoism  |Syndicated  | Your budget,” a group of Jesuit scholars and other Georgetown University faculty members wrote to Ryan last week, “appears to reflect the values of your favorite philosopher, Ayn Rand, rather than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Her call to selfishness and her antagonism toward religion are antithetical to the Gospel values of compassion and love.”

Sunday, March 18, 2012

• • Mexico’s middle class is becoming its majority 
The Fountainhead  | “The middle class in this country doesn’t want to lose what it’s gained,” said Gabriel Paulin, 30, living in a mod condo in a new subdivision in Queretaro. On his coffee table: a Spanish-language copy of Ayn Rand’s “The Fountainhead” — essential reading for the striving class — alongside a boxed DVD set of the “Mad Men” television series.

Monday, January 30, 2012

• • Greed is good? The GOP seems to be okay with that. 
Capitalism  |Syndicated  | Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, delivering the Republican response [to the State of the Union address], offered an alternative that many voters might find cogent and unthreatening. He didn’t provide a lot of new ideas — basically, Daniels supports the same laissez-faire policies that got us into this crisis — but at least he didn’t sound like some kind of Ayn Rand acolyte who believes that economic Darwinism must always be allowed to run its course.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

 For young college graduates, the case for economics 
Alan Greenspan  |Capitalism  | The caricature of economists is one of free market apologists. It’s understandable. One need only look at Alan Greenspan and others who hew too closely to Ayn Rand’s fictional characters. But this caricature is also unfortunate.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

 Resize Will the 2012 election be a contest of Whole Foods vs. Cracker Barrel shoppers? 
Syndicated  | In August, [Whole Foods’] Co-President Walter Robb joined dozens of other corporate chiefs in signing a pledge to abstain from political contributions until lawmakers "stop the partisan gridlock in Washington." But the libertarian views of iconoclastic Whole Foods founder and chief executive John Mackey, who swears by yoga and Ayn Rand, cast a long shadow.In August 2009, Mackey picked a fight with the left on the op-ed page of the Wall Street Journal, where he lambasted health-care reform and offered The Whole Foods Alternative to Obamacare.

Monday, November 14, 2011

 The values debate we’re not having 
The “compassionate conservatism” espoused by President George W. Bush and many prominent evangelical leaders has been supplanted by a Tea Party ideology that bears more resemblance to the anti-Christian philosophy of Ayn Rand than it does to the Gospel.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

• • The study that shows why Occupy Wall Street struck a nerve 
Capitalism  |Syndicated  | It does matter that as the pie grows, the various slices do not grow in proportion. We’re not characters in one of those lumbering, interminable, nonsensical Ayn Rand novels. We believe in individual initiative and the free market, but we also believe that nationhood necessarily involves a commitment to our fellow citizens, an acknowledgment that we’re engaged in a common enterprise. We believe that opportunity should be more than just an empty word.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

• • The tea party, Occupy Wall Street and ‘BioShock Infinite’: How a video game is reflecting life 
BioShock  |Atlas Shrugged  | Interview with Ken Levine, president and creative director at Irrational Games.
[Q:] How do you start sketching out these movements for the game? [A:] When we started [BioShock Infinite], we had this idea for these movements, and we were looking back at history. Our games are heightened versions of history — “BioShock” was kind of a hyper-realized Ayn Rand if she had made Galt’s Gulch. But instead of having her idealized characters, we put in more realistic characters. [....] Games [...] are a Rorschach, and I don’t want to be making games that are expressing a political or philosophical view. I’d rather be asking questions, rather have people question what they think. There are still people that think that the first “BioShock” is a vindication of Rand’s philosophy and some people that say it’s a character assassination of Ayn Rand.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

• • What’s in a name: What we missed 

Do icons live up to the hype? That’s what Outlook asked last week in a special package of essays on key historical figures whose names have become commonly used adjectives. [....] Ayn Rand, who historian Jennifer Burns noted was more sensitive to criticism than the protagonists of her novels, had a few strident defenders. “Ayn Rand was a novelist and philosopher, yet Burns never in her book or in her latest article analyzes the tenets of Rand’s philosophy, but merely spreads kaffee-klatsch-level gossip about her,” one reader wrote. Another suggested that we “try to incorporate some factual ideas in her writing about Ayn Rand, instead of gossip from those who hate her.”

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

• • • Was Ayn Rand Randian? 
Alan Greenspan  |Atheism  |Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |Capitalism  |Individualism  |Nathaniel Branden  |Image  |Syndicated  | Rand tried, but she couldn’t live up to Roark’s stoic disregard for the opinions of others. She retreated to the privacy of her Manhattan apartment, weeping daily and losing herself in endless games of solitaire. The philosopher of rationalism found herself swamped by emotions she could neither understand nor control. In desperation, she turned to Nathaniel Branden, the most loyal of her followers. Years before, flush with inspiration, she had taken Branden as a lover, disregarding both their marriages and the fact that she was 25 years his senior. Now Branden became her therapist, helping Rand pick through the wreckage of her ideals. Howard Roark wouldn’t feel like this, she moaned to him, nor would John Galt.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

• • ‘The Debt’ star Helen Mirren 

Nathaniel Branden  |Image  | A look at the career of Helen Mirren, star of the film “The Debt.” [....] 1999. Helen Mirren as Ayn Rand, Eric Stoltz as Nathaniel Branden. "The Passion of Ayn Rand."

Monday, August 22, 2011

 Fundamentalism springs eternal for GOP 
The Family maintained a powerful sense of paternalism, the idea of “top men,” anointed by Jesus, deciding what’s best for rest of us. The so-called “teavangelicals” are stripping some of that away as they elevate Ayn Rand to apostle status; “Atlas Hugged,” as former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford, a family man and potential Tea Party favorite before his famous flame-out, put it.

Monday, August 01, 2011

 Book review: ‘Flashback,’ by Dan Simmons 
I enjoyed much of the novel. Simmons provides a strong narrative and well-imagined characters — the man can write — and yet I thought his dystopian vision of political reality, however deeply felt, vacillated between the improbable and the ridiculous. Give him this: With any luck, Simmons could be the Tolstoy of the tea party; at the very least, he’s more fun than Ayn Rand.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

 The GOP holds out for more on the debt standoff 
Syndicated  | Many of the Tea Party House freshmen clearly see their role as voting for their Ayn Rand fantasies and then going home.