Monthly Archives: January 2011

Ayn Rand: Another Conservative Hypocrite

[Editor’s Note: Actually, when I read “The Fountainhead” as a teenager, I took it as a tale of an artist, in this case an architect, displaying his integrity by creating only what he wanted, and flouting the establishment rather than selling himself out to the highest bidder and producing mediocre work. The unregulated capitalist ‘Libertarian’ side of the novel’s protagonist, Howard Roark, was not immediately apparent to my young eyes – if anything, it showed those wealthy men who ran big businesses and other power-brokers in a poor light, with a few exceptions. That said, Rand’s anti-government ‘Objectivist’ philosophy became the basis for Libertarianism, and much of the justification for selfishness and cruelty to others we now hear expounded daily by the GOP, so the author’s use of government social programs like Medicare in her waning years is a particularly acute form of hypocrisy.]

Ayn Rand Railed Against Government Benefits, But Grabbed Social Security and Medicare When She Needed Them

by Joshua Holland, AlterNet, January 29, 2011

Ayn Rand was not only a schlock novelist, she was also the progenitor of a sweeping “moral philosophy” that justifies the privilege of the wealthy and demonizes not only the slothful, undeserving poor but the lackluster middle-classes as well.

Her books provided wide-ranging parables of “parasites,” “looters” and “moochers” using the levers of government to steal the fruits of her heroes’ labor. In the real world, however, Rand herself received Social Security payments and Medicare benefits under the name of Ann O’Connor (her husband was Frank O’Connor). […]

Her ideas about government intervention in some idealized pristine marketplace serve as the basis for so much of the conservative rhetoric we see today. “The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand,” said Paul Ryan, the GOP’s young budget star at a D.C. event honoring the author. On another occasion, he proclaimed, “Rand makes the best case for the morality of democratic capitalism.” […]

Rand is one of three women the Cato Institute calls founders of American libertarianism. The other two, Rose Wilder Lane and Isabel “Pat” Paterson, both rejected Social Security benefits on principle. Lane, with whom Rand corresponded for several years, once quit an editorial job in order to avoid paying Social Security taxes. The Cato Institute says Lane considered Social Security a “Ponzi fraud” and “told friends that it would be immoral of her to take part in a system that would predictably collapse so catastrophically.” Lane died in 1968.

Read the rest here.

My Favorite Martian

Written by andsoitgoes for smirkingchimp.com

Decades ago, courtesy of our astronauts who boldly went where no man had gone before, I saw a photograph of Earth for the first time. The sight of our planet, in all of its magnificent splendor, dangling out there in space, filled me with reverent awe. Yet…at the same time…it was pretty horrifying. I mean, how does it just float there? What if it falls or something? It looks so freaking vulnerable…just hanging there like a sitting duck. Suppose some wayward asteroid decides to play some outer space Bocce with it? Seriously, it makes me very nervous to actually think about Earth. It’s sort of just easier to live here and go about my business and not dwell on the whole improbable thing too much. But, still…that picture haunts me. This miniscule orb that we’re all inhabiting – blue with those stunning land masses and white, puffy clouds…surrounded by all that space – all those stars – all those planets – it’s a very striking, beautiful image. And at the same time…it always makes me dizzy. Give me a minute. I’ve got to put my head between my knees… Okay…better now…

So, anyway, the other day I was channel surfing when I came across another showing of The Day the Earth Stood Still – the newer version with Keanu Reeves. I’ve seen it before, and I’ve seen the original film with Michael Rennie a whole bunch of times as well. Anyway, it got me to thinking about those kinds of movies like War of the Worlds and Independence Day – and how the plot revolves around life as we know it being imperiled – and not just our puny country, but the whole globe – everyone. In a couple of the films it was because another species wanted our natural resources and were trying to wipe us out in order to steal them. But in The Day the Earth Stood Still – they were going to whip our sorry collective ass because we were just too violent and awful to continue living.
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Inspection- Lying for the FOX

With slightly less makeup than Tammy Faye Baker her wide angry eyes look at the camera and then her guest. She asks him if he has ever watched FOX News programs and before he can answer she claims she watches every day and they never make Nazi references, like he claimed, when talking about the Left. Jon Stewart then airs many of the Nazi references made on FOX: including on her program.

Megyn Kelly lied.

And she knows it.
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Disarray in the Religious Right’s Armageddon-ville

Written by Bill Berkowitz

Joel Rosenberg, prominent Christian Zionist, best-selling author of fiction and non-fiction books enmeshing apocalyptic visions with Biblical prophecy, and a sought after speaker on issues related to the Middle East and The Rapture, is no stranger to the End Times business. You might say that he has been milking it for all it’s worth, carving out a nice little niche for himself. But no matter how many times he cites scripture when talking or writing about events in the Middle East (what he calls the Epicenter) presaging an End Times scenario, he is careful to avoid the one thing that could put the kybosh on his cottage industry: he never offers a specific timetable for when the Final Days will unfold.
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