Weekend Coffee: June 19

• "As I went walking, I saw a sign there And on the sign it said: '© Ludlow Music, a subsidiary of the Richmond Organization, Member ASCAP. All Rights Reserved.' But on the other side it didn't say nothing, That side was made for you and me."• The Cool PopeTM says your marriage is invalid because you don't hate divorce enough, you bad, bad people.• A debilitating vaccine-caused injury is miraculously cured by hidden cameras. (My favorite part is her claim that the shot … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: They Just Didn’t Care

Atlas Shrugged Part III: Who Is John Galt?After plucking her out of the burning wreckage of her crashed plane (an event that, like in the books, only causes minor bruising and slight sleepiness), bargain-basement Matthew McConaughey takes Dagny on a tour of the capitalists' secret utopia. Remember, Galt's Gulch is high in the alpine wilderness of the Rocky Mountains, so it makes total sense that they drive through towering groves of these:These must be the famous majestic redwoods of … [Read more...]

God’s Endorsement Isn’t Worth Much

There's only two conclusions we can draw from the 2016 Republican primary: either God doesn't exist, or he has a hell of a sense of humor.I was thinking of this last week, when Ted Cruz dropped out after his crushing loss in Indiana. Cruz, more than any other candidate in the race, exemplified the attitude that God has a very specific political platform and had chosen him to implement it. Cruz's father, Rafael Cruz, is a bona fide dominionist who believes that Christians have a divine … [Read more...]

Weekend Coffee: March 27

• With all the stealth and haste of a coup d'etat, North Carolina's Republican government rushes through a vicious and willfully mean-spirited pro-discrimination bill. Transgender people are targeted the worst, but the bill also nullifies all local ordinances that protect LGBT people, blocks private individuals from suing over racial or sexual discrimination, and prohibits municipalities from raising the minimum wage.• But North Carolina is getting a run for its money from Indiana, … [Read more...]

Galt’s Gulch Chile Is Going Great

In my Atlas Shrugged series, I've previously written about the libertarians who tried to create their own Galt's Gulch in Chile, a plan which ended predictably in lawsuits, acrimony and accusations of fraud when real human beings turned out not to be as incorruptible as Ayn Rand characters. Now, as PZ informs us, there are some further developments to report.A coalition of disgruntled investors have created Galt's Gulch Recovery (motto: "Where Fraud Never Sleeps"), a site for them to air … [Read more...]

SF/F Saturday: Mystery Science Theater 3000

The whole East Coast is snowed in after last night's blizzard. If you're feeling a touch of cabin fever, I've got a suggestion for how to while away the time.Mystery Science Theater 3000 is a cult-classic TV show that came out of Minnesota in the late 1980s. It's about a mild-mannered janitor named Joel (series creator Joel Hodgson), who had the misfortune of being employed by two mad scientists. As part of their evil, never-fully-specified plan to conquer the world, they kidnap him, shoot … [Read more...]

If John Galt Invented the Internet

A hero's work is never done. I've been recapping Atlas Shrugged, including the movies, for over two years, and the end was finally drawing into sight. But now I've found out that yet another adaptation is being planned, this time a TV series. The new producer, Albert S. Ruddy, plans on taking some liberties with the source material:The main thing, Mr. Ruddy said, is to honor Ms. Rand's insistence on making a film for the future. That means redrawing its capitalists and creators, who go on … [Read more...]

If Ayn Rand Wrote Shakespeare

If you're not reading the comments on my Atlas Shrugged posts, you're missing half the fun. Commenter Sneezeguard's excellent "Cobra Commander Dialogues" have brought a whole host of supervillains flocking to Galt's Gulch, including Doctor Doom (in three parts so far!) and even the ghost of Stalin.But the latest post has spawned one of my favorite memes yet. When I pointed out that Ayn Rand scorned Shakespeare as an insufficiently pro-capitalist view of life, several commenters have been … [Read more...]

Weekend Coffee: January 18

• From Valerie Tarico, how religion can let loose humanity's most violent impulses. A thoughtful essay that almost perfectly captures my views on the link between religion and violence.• "Tim is patient, Tim is kind. Tim does not envy, Tim does not boast, Tim is not proud. Tim is not rude, Tim is not self-seeking, Tim is not easily angered, Tim keeps no record of wrongs. Tim does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth."• Alex Malarkey, a boy who wrote a … [Read more...]

Weekday Coffee: September 25

I've been taking a breather this week, but never fear, my Atlas Shrugged series will resume tomorrow. In the meantime, some quick links:• Help atheist blogger and ex-Quiverfuller Vyckie Garrison save her house! She's in financial trouble caused largely by her divorce from an abusive husband, which in turn happened because she lost her faith. She needs to raise $23,000 to save it. If you need more incentive, here's her outstanding speech from the 2014 American Atheists national … [Read more...]