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Sunday, April 08, 2012

 The Savage Arithmetic of the Pre-Existing Condition 
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If my wife leaves her company for any reason - especially if/when Scalia and his merry band of ridiculous fascists decide to curb-stomp Obama’s health care law - we are both well and truly screwed. It’s like Ayn Rand herself was allowed to draft the rules for getting sick in America

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

 Who Stole the American Dream in Broad Daylight? 
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Alan Greenspan  |Capitalism  | Donald Goldmacher: It is really important for Americans to understand that attacking the very idea of government being there for the working-class family was a critical first step in undermining what many people felt was the American dream. This opened the door to advocates for free-market fundamentalism, with Alan Greenspan (who was himself a devotee of Ayn Rand) as their high priest, who are no different than any other religious zealots.

• • Dangerous Pedagogy in the Age of Casino Capitalism and Religious Fundamentalism 

Capitalism  |Egoism  | What must be challenged at all costs is the increasingly dominant view, propagated by neoliberal gurus such as Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman, that selfishness is the supreme value in shaping human agency, profit-making is the most important practice in a democracy and accumulating material goods the essence of the good life.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

• • • Thomas Frank Talks With Truthout on How Wall Street Doubled Down on Trashing America’s Economy 
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Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Individualism  | [Frank:] [....] [W]hat is really spectacular is how this alarming historical episode got processed through the right's upside-down machine and came out as the story of how power-hungry leftists tried to "transform America" by force during a crisis: Rather than Hank Paulson and Co. bailing out their friends, it was Big Government trying to get its fingers around the throat of free enterprise. This was the moment, you will recall, when sales of "Atlas Shrugged" really spiked, and the great fear of a crazed government reacting to hard times by grabbing economic power really got going.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

 iEmpire: Apple’s Sordid Business Practices Are Even Worse Than You Think 
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Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  | The real story of the Apple-Foxconn behemoth [...] is far from being John Galt incarnate. Their global dominance is forged in the crucible of China‚Äôs state-managed authoritarian capitalism.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

• • Author of “Pity the Billionaire” Maps Our Ideological Fantasy World 
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Capitalism  | Interview with Thomas Frank.
[Frank:] Not surprisingly, class conflict in America has always been sharper and more violent than in Europe. Think about the history of the American labor movement. It was much more violent here than in Europe. The employer class in American never wanted to give an inch. You think of someone like Ayn Rand. She would basically be impossible in Europe. She could have written her books there - she was, in fact, a European - but she wouldn’t have become this enormous celebrity, this guru of the right, in the way she has in America. Why? Business has always been much more powerful in this country than it has in other places. Maybe that is one of the things that makes us different from other industrialized countries. The American right has been convinced for a long time that they don’t need to accept the welfare state in any way. You don’t need a welfare state, is their claim. The market will fix everything.

Monday, January 09, 2012

• • • Why the Tea Party Need Mitt 
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Ayn Rand Center  |Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Yaron Brook  |Syndicated  | Washington Post columnist George Will declared that what Romney did in his venture capitalist days was an “essential social function,” that his company was “indispensable for wealth creation.” (Just whose wealth was being created he left discreetly undefined.) Yaron Brook, head of the Ayn Rand Center and a familiar figure at Tea Party events, is no fan of Romney’s, but he had this to say about Romney’s career: “private equity serves an incredibly important productive function in our economy… Private equity is in my view a heroic activity.” “Heroic”: that’s exactly the word! In Romney we have finally found a quarter-billionaire to cry for.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

• • A Moment of Pure Astonishment, Again 
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Atlas Shrugged movie  |Atlas Shrugged  | My capacity for shock has been severely diminished...or so I thought. Because there is this, written by Tea Party activist Melissa Brookstone and published last week on the Tea Party Nation website: “Call For A Strike of American Small Businesses Against The Movement for Global Socialism ‘I’m on strike!’ - Ellis Wyatt, from the end of the movie “Atlas Shrugged, Part 1’, based on the novel by Ayn Rand.” [....] “Despicable” is not a muscular enough word to describe this sad catastrophe of a document.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

 Class Warfare My Ass 
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Capitalism  | Oh, I know the argument. I know it as well as the spit I leave on the sidewalk when there is a bad taste in my mouth. The rich are better than us, they are the ones making the jobs, they have earned their esteemed position through a Randian process of natural economic selection, etc...except for the sneaky fact that a large number of these “business titans” inherited their wealth, and today increase their wealth not through hard work, but through favorable interest rates and even more favorable tax rates on money that is already in the bank.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

 Hey, We’re Number ... Uh ... 36! 
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Paul Ryan  | Even the Ayn Rand acolyte Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin), who has proposed eliminating Medicare as part of his massive spending-cuts plan, “Path to Prosperity” and offering vouchers instead, does so without disparaging the program.

Monday, September 26, 2011

• • Conservatives Say It Out Loud: They Hate Democracy 
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Individual Rights  | The roots of today’s toxic conservative movement lie in Ayn Rand’s teaching that wealthy “producers” -- now called “job creators” -- should be left alone by the government, namely the rest of us. The rest of us are “freeloaders,” “moochers,” “leeches” and “parasites” who feed off these producers and who shouldn’t be allowed to make decisions to collect taxes from them or regulate them or interfere in most other ways. The Randians hate democracy, and say so, declaring that “collectivism” sacrifices individual rights to majority wishes.

Friday, September 23, 2011

 The Rev. Jeremiah Wright Recalls Obama’s Fall From Grace 
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Egoism  | Wright warns [that] the sanitizing of [Martin Luther] King has been accompanied by the primacy of a selfish, hedonistic and violent culture which has turned away from values, including self-sacrifice, that make possible harmony and the common good. This selfishness and narcissism, Wright argues, is a form of blasphemy. [....] “We became a ‘me’-focused, kind of dog-eat-dog, Ayn Rand, social Darwinist, survival of the fittest, be strong, and with no care, no concern, no compassion for those that are not born above the scratch line,” Wright said. “And no concern to make the communities in which they live and the world in which we live a community which really cares about all of God’s children, regardless of their colors and regardless of their faith.”

Sunday, September 18, 2011

• • Dean Baker: Why Didn’t We Make These Guys Run Around Naked With Their Underpants Over Their Heads? 
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Alan Greenspan  |Capitalism  |Inaccurate  | [Dean Baker:] If you’re an honest Ayn Rander - and I’m not putting words in [Alan Greenspan’s] mouth, she actually was Greenspan’s hero and his book mentions how much he admired her - you would’ve expected this. What was going on? You had these Wall Street honchos that were stealing. They were stealing from everyone. Stealing from the people taking out bad mortgages; stealing from the people that bought these junk mortgage-backed securities; and they were stealing from their shareholders - that’s because they were taking on enormous risk and a lot of shareholders like Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers lost their shirts. But what would Ayn Rand say? These were supermen, they were great guys, they’re not bothered by that. So Greenspan should’ve expected this.

Monday, September 12, 2011

• • How the Most Dangerous Game Is Being Played 
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Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction. When money ceases to become the means by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of other men. Blood, whips and guns - or dollars. Take your choice - there is no other. -Ayn Rand, “Atlas Shrugged “

Monday, September 05, 2011

• • Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult 
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Atheism  |Syndicated  | The GOP cult of Ayn Rand is both revealing and mystifying. On the one hand, Rand’s tough guy, every-man-for-himself posturing is a natural fit because it puts a philosophical gloss on the latent sociopathy so prevalent among the hard right. On the other, Rand exclaimed at every opportunity that she was a militant atheist who felt nothing but contempt for Christianity. Apparently, the ignorance of most fundamentalist “values voters” means that GOP candidates who enthuse over Rand at the same time they thump their Bibles never have to explain this stark contradiction. And I imagine a Democratic officeholder would have a harder time explaining why he named his offspring “Marx” than a GOP incumbent would in rationalizing naming his kid “Rand.”

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

• • Disney, Militarization, and the National-Security State After 9/11 
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Altruism  |Egoism  |Individualism  | Book excerpt.
If [The Incredibles] indeed offers up “the philosophy of Ayn Rand”—who opposed collectivism, altruism, and the welfare state in favor of egoistic individualism—then it turns to violence as the means to achieve supremacy.At no point during The Incredibles’ “eardrum-bashing, metal-crunching action sludge” and its self-referential mockery of “monologuing” does the film suggest that reasoning, discussion, or any other form of peaceful resolution might be pursued instead of violence. More in keeping, however, with Disney conventions than Rand’s philosophy is the film’s conflation of the pursuit of individualism with the protection of the nuclear family.

Monday, August 08, 2011

• • On the News With Thom Hartmann: Congress’ Disapproval Rating at an All-Time ... 
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Capitalism  |Video  | New pictures show what look to be dark streams on the Martian surface that appear to change seasonally – indicating that salt water may be present on our nearest planetary neighbor. NASA Administrator Charles Boldin said about the discovery, “NASA’s Mars Exploration Program keeps bringing us closer to determining whether the Red Planet could harbor life in some form.” Well – as soon as we find out – can we send the Ron Paul and Ayn Rand Libertarians up there so they can start their “free-market” commune? It’s that’s never worked anywhere it’s been tried on Earth, but maybe the lower gravity on Mars will change the laws of economics there.

Monday, July 11, 2011

 Trickle-Down Cruelty and the Politics of Austerity 
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Capitalism  | According to the children of Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman and Ronald Reagan, “neoliberal economics,” individual interests and market driven needs trumped social needs; brilliant individuals were more qualified to run government and largely blossomed within institutions committed to making money; freedom was largely defined as freedom from regulation; and any government that passed policies to provide social protections, regulate corporations, or lessen inequality were either grossly authoritarian or unwise.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

 On the News With Thom Hartmann: Taliban Attack in Kabul, Florida Slashes Unemployment Benefits 
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Video  | That’s the Republicans deficit reduction strategy at work – balance budgets by killing off the poor and the sick. Ayn Rand would be proud.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

 Put Lou Dobbs out to pasture 
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Alan Greenspan  | [Jack] Welch is cut from the same cloth as Alan Greenspan, the Ronald Reagan–appointed Federal Reserve Chairman, a devotee of Ayn Rand and a promoter of outsourcing as well as “talent insourcing.”