Atlas Shrugged: Solidarność

Solidarity

Atlas Shrugged, part II, chapter VIThe villains are debating the membership of the Unification Board, the new government agency that will control every aspect of America's economy under Directive 10-289. The first proposal is for them to choose a representative of each industry and profession; but then Fred Kinnan, the union leader, steps in."No cross-sections," said Fred Kinnan evenly. "Just representatives of labor. Period.""What the hell!" yelled Orren Boyle. "That's stacking … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: Interesting Villains

EvilOverlord

Atlas Shrugged, part II, chapter VIAfter much debate, the assembled villains finally decide to put their sinister world-domination plan in motion:"The picture now is this," said Wesley Mouch. "The economic condition of the country was better the year before last than it was last year, and last year it was better than it is at present. It's obvious that we would not be able to survive another year of the same progression. Therefore, our sole objective must now be to hold the line. To … [Read more...]

New on AlterNet: Charisma’s Genocide Fantasies

My latest column is up on AlterNet, Some Right-Wing Christians Enthusiastically Promoting a Form of Genocide. It's about the genocidal anti-Muslim fantasies aired in Charisma magazine in a column by Gary Cass (which was subsequently pulled down with no explanation or apology), as well as the long history of Christians advocating the necessity of mass bloodshed generally, going all the way back to the bloody passages of the Old Testament. Read the excerpt below, then click through to see the … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: Pointy-Headed Intellectuals

AlmaMater

Atlas Shrugged, part II, chapter VIThis chapter opens with a veritable socialist Legion of Doom, as all of Rand's villains whom we've already met, plus a few we haven't, are gathered in one room plotting how to bring down the capitalists. One is Jim Taggart; another is Floyd Ferris; a third is Orren Boyle; a fourth is Wesley Mouch, Rearden's traitorous lobbyist, now a powerful government bureaucrat. There's also a new character, Mr. Thompson, whom Rand describes as "the Head of the State" … [Read more...]

A Christian vs. an Atheist: On God and Government, Part 7

This is part 7 of my "Think! Of God and Government" debate series with Christian author Andrew Murtagh. Read my latest post and Andrew's reply.Hello Andrew,Well, I'm back! Since we've gone several rounds on the historical existence of Jesus already, I don't want to prolong this, but I do have a few brief closing remarks. First, on Josephus and the Testimonium Flavianum:Mainstream scholarship doesn't postulate the entire Josephus passage is a forgery. Rather, they accuse Christians … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: Ad Baculum

Fist

Atlas Shrugged, part II, chapter VHank and Dagny are returning to New York after their trip to Colorado. Hank's wife Lillian, by now, has come to suspect that these "business trips" are about more than just business, so she arranges to be waiting for him on the platform:Her first sight of Rearden in the crowd came as a shock: she had not seen him step out of a car, but there he was, walking in her direction from somewhere far down the length of the train. He was alone. He was walking … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: Make the Trains Run on Time

AtlasLocomotive

Atlas Shrugged, part II, chapter VThe band of crossties swept in wide curves around granite corners, clinging to the mountainsides of Colorado. Dagny walked down the ties, keeping her hands in her coat pockets, and her eyes on the meaningless distance ahead; only the familiar movement of straining her steps to the spacing of the ties gave her the physical sense of an action pertaining to a railroad.Dagny and Hank have traveled to Colorado. Ostensibly it's to buy and ship out any … [Read more...]

There’s Nothing About Abortion in the Bible – So How Do Right-Wing Christians Justify Their Crusade Against Women?

BibleText2

This article previously appeared on AlterNet.While America languishes in an economic depression, Republican officeholders are bending all their efforts... to banning abortion. In the last few weeks and months, we've seen a blizzard of anti-choice legislation in Texas, in Ohio, in Wisconsin, in North Carolina, and many other places: laws that stall women seeking abortion with mandatory waiting periods, that brutalize them with invasive and unnecessary transvaginal ultrasounds, that force … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: Homo Economicus

NYCSkyline

Atlas Shrugged, part II, chapter VI've said that, in the name of being fair to Ayn Rand, I'll point out the passages in Atlas that struck me as good, effective writing. This part has one of them, a suitably moody and atmospheric description of what's happening to New York City:In the second week of February, for the purpose of conserving copper wire and electric power, a directive forbade the running of elevators above the twenty-fifth floor. The upper floors of the buildings had to be … [Read more...]

Book Review: Nature’s God

NaturesGod

(Editor's Note: This review was solicited and is written in accordance with this site's policy for such reviews.)Summary: A dense philosophical-historical synthesis that rewards the diligent reader by opening up a new window on the beliefs of America's founders.Matthew Stewart's book Nature's God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic, like Susan Jacoby's Freethinkers or Jennifer Michael Hecht's Doubt: A History, plumbs the freethinking ideals that played an outsize role in the … [Read more...]


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