Ron Paul

David Cay Johnston: Rand Fans Believe in Blowing Up Buildings, And That's Worth Investigating


David Cay Johnston, tax reporter, on MSNBC finds it mighty suspicious that budget-cutting plans are coming from fans of Ayn Rand such as Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) since they "hold out as a model people who commit felonies like blowing up buildings–we need to dig into understanding the kind of people who would put forth these ideas."

Those loving lefties at ThinkProgress meanwhile have forged a clip-video that collects various voices speaking in praise of Rand, and will help with Johnston's hoped-for investigation into those potentially building-destroying types, from Reason's Nick Gillespie to Rep. Ryan to Rand Paul to Stephen Moore to John Stossel, and Clarence Thomas (quoted from Reason magazine), in the end slamming her for not believing in Christian your-brothers-keeper love:

Here is me explaining in a more complicated way Rand's potential role in today's politics, from Reason's December 2009 issue.

I interviewed Johnston for Reason on matters on which we have more agreement back in 2007.

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  1. Did the lefties not find an affinity with the movie V for Vendetta?

  2. William Ayers

    1. Oh, Ayers no Randian, so he doesn’t count. Move along, people! Nothing to see here!

    2. Don’t forget everyone’s favorite Anarcho-Primativist!

    3. I was going to say Che Guevara.

      1. You can’t spell douche without Che.

        1. +1

        2. +2

        3. Holy shit do I need that on a t-shirt. Someone make it so!

          1. That shirt hasn’t been made yet?!? The free markets have failed!!!!!

            1. SO-FUCKING-MALIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      2. The difference between Che Guevara and Rand?

        Rand didn’t kill anyone.

    4. + the rest of the Weather Underground, the SLA, Lee Harvey Oswald, probably Sirhan Sirhan, etc.

      1. surprised u left out john wilkes booth

        1. I would think JWB belongs on the reactionary right?

        2. I would think JWB belongs on the reactionary right?

        3. John Wilkes Boothe killed a dictator.

          1. The real atrocity was W’s time travel back to 1865 to personally see that JWB’s landlord got a military trial. Or was that Dick Cheney? I don’t think Robert Redford was specific.

  3. Gosh, nobody better tell this guy about the one where technological civilization collapses and the United States ceases to exist as a polity, and it’s a happy ending.

    1. Gosh, nobody better tell this guy about the one where technological civilization collapses and the United States ceases to exist as a polity, and it’s a happy ending.

      Actually i think that part of Rand’s work is liked by the left.

      In fact i suggest that Objectivists start selling their ideology to the left on those very grounds.

      1. Actually i think that part of Rand’s work is liked by the left.

        I think it’s on the last page right after the words, “THE END”.

        I’m here all week.

      2. The Code Pink people might also like the part where one guy with a funny name kicks the whole navy’s ass eight days a week.

        Come to think of it, I kind of like that part, too.

  4. So a fictional character who blows up a fictional empty building vs an economic ideology responsible for more then 100 million real deaths over the past 100 years.

    The moral equivalence equation on this one is hard.

    1. “We really need to dig into understanding the kind of people who would put forth these ideas.”

    2. It is particularly strange when the left continues to idolize those who did these things: Lenin, Mao, Ho Chi Minh, Castro and Che.

      (Chavez has ambitions of making that list, but he hasn’t risen above the level of the typical Latin American Caudillo yet.)

      1. I really don’t think that it is fair to say that “the left” idolizes those people. A few do, but not very many (outside of academia anyway). It is not generally very useful to assume that your political opponents are evil or stupid.

        1. You Lie!

          1. Indeed he does!

        2. I agree that it’s not most on the left, but too many fail to repudiate such veneration.

          1. True. I have come really close to tossing people wearing Che shirts from parties I have hosted. Mostly I just wanted to see other people’s reaction. But I like having friends.

            1. You need a “You can’t spell Douche without Che” T-shirt.

            2. Why not just give Che a drink? Preferably from about two feet away for maximum spread.

        3. You Lie!

        4. Obama dedicated his book to a literal card-carrying Communist, and called the man his mentor.

        5. Right, people wear the Che shirts for the color scheme.

          There were kids in my calculus class last semester wearing fucking hammer-and-sickle shirts. And don’t tell me they were born after the USSR collapsed so they just don’t know what they’re doing; I was born after 1945 but I doubt I could use that as an excuse to wear a swastika shirt.

          1. It’s okay if the mass murder is red.

        6. assume that your political opponents are evil or AND stupid.


    3. Clearly, the book must be banned. Because all it’s about is some guy blowing up an empty building, just like Osama bin Laden. Well, close enough.

  5. As a commercial real estate guy, I’ve long thought Fountainhead was the suck for that reason.

    If any architect we hired blew up our project…’cause we compromised his vision? Making a big speech to a jury would be the last thing he’d be worried about.

    And if this guy has to resort to smearing those of us who support slashing the budget, then we must be winning some hearts and minds somewhere.

    1. Actually, on a commercial project Roark would just have sued for breach of contract.

    2. It was kind of allegory-ish.

      It was an overdramatic statement about individualism and bending to the will of others. It wasn’t really about dynamite.

      1. Now you tell me.

        *puts away blasting caps*

      2. It’s ALWAYS about dynamite.

      3. We can’t put up a building anymore without getting both public and city comments on everything from our choice of shrubbery to our choice in paint colors. You should see the conditions planners will put on our projects. They’re far beyond anything the architect in Fountainhead was subjected to.

        Part of an architect’s job is maneuvering through that. That’s one of the reasons it’s always better to use an architect who has worked within the city you’re building in before. He knows that so and so on the planning commission doesn’t like that shrubbery and doesn’t those paint colors, etc.

        But city planning departments can’t keep a real entrepreneur down.

        There are places in the USA where you can build whatever you want to however you like. I suspect they’re all in places with a population of less than 50,000 or they’re in places that are so devastated economically that the city is overjoyed if anybody wants to build anything in their city anywhere.

        But why would I want to put up an office building in Detroit?

        1. But why would I want to put up an office building in Detroit?

          Cheap rent? Pliant regulatory oversight? Good-will from an appreciative public?

          1. “There are places in the USA where you can build whatever you want to however you like.”

            CA’s Central Valley comes to mind.

        2. Houston! We have some restrictions but at least there is not zoning.

          1. An unnecessary t.

            1. Tea is never unnecessary. Especially if it’s Earl Grey, hot.

          2. This thing about Houston is a hoary myth that won’t die.

            Die, fucking zombie myth!



            1. And here are more, instructive links, because the fucking fascist software won’t let me include more than two in a single post. FUCK


              Anyway, you can be excused. Even Jane Jacobs herself fell for the “Houston is unplanned” canard.


              1. You cannot be excused, because you didn’t even read your own links. The comment you responded to is 100% correct according to your very links. Houston has some restrictions, but is considerably less zoned and less planned than nearly everywhere else in the US.

                The myth that it’s a myth that Houston has less planning is hoary and won’t die, no matter how much idiots like you try to spread it.

                Houston is not Libertopia, sure, but its land-use policies are so much lighter than the planning everywhere else, that libertarians are perfectly justified in holding it up as an example, especially when complaining about the relatively heavy-handed regulations elsewhere.

                1. Houston’s parking minimums are actually more strict than most American cities ? even compared to other Sun Belt cities ? and many people (including myself) think that this high level of parking regulation more than balances out the relatively more lax regulation that they have with regards to the mixing of zones (which is the only planning instrument that Houston doesn’t have).

                  You should also be more careful who you call an “idiot” ? I’m very confident that I know ten times more about land use regulation in Texas than you, considering that you’re under the impression that land use in Houston is “so much lighter than planning everywhere else,” which is manifestly untrue.

              2. From your links:

                The fact is, Houston has fewer land use restrictions than other cities. Those that do exist are less restrictive (in general) than the restrictions in other cities. Those that do exist are less destructive than the restrictions in other cities. Again, the restrictions that do exist are indefensible.

                Smith’s argument amounts to: Either Houston is completely laissez-faire or it is just like every other city.

                And that’s pretty much accurate, and pretty much what the original post you responded to said.

                Law Student was well-informed, and deified was uninformed.

        3. But why would I want to put up an office building in Detroit?

          So you could blow it up. Duh!

  6. To be fair to the lefties, I actually am getting closer to supporting this. I also refuse to rule out the possibility of the use of violence altogether.

  7. -we need to dig into understanding the kind of people who would put forth these ideas.”

    Sauce for the goose. Oh wait, that’s not what you meant?

  8. Ayn Rand: The GOP’s philospher

    Now that the Left has stopped identifying the Right as a bunch of Christian fundamentalists trying to legislate their religion, can the Right stop behaving this way?

    1. +1
      More likely the right will have the theocratic equivalent of a houseparty while their parents are out of town.

  9. Is it also “mighty suspicious that budget-busting plans are coming from fans of 60’s activism such as Barack Obama, since they also “hold out as a model people who commit felonies like blowing up buildings””?

    1. The Weathermen (etal.) don’t count.

  10. Her?

      1. She calls it a Mayon-Egg.

        1. It’s as Ann as the nose on plain’s face.

  11. Making a big speech to a jury would be the last thing he’d be worried about.

    Your eliminationist rhetoric has been noted.

  12. they “hold out as a model people who commit felonies like blowing up buildings

    If you waterboarded Timmay and Bennay, I suspect you might find they have seriously contemplated the mass destruction of America’s housing stock. Do they count?

    1. I don’t think it would be necessary to waterboard them. Foreclose and bulldoze has been widely discussed as a means to get the housing markets restarted.

      1. If we have to kill every last man, woman and child on Earth to ensure that housing prices do not fall, so be it.

  13. I continue to be amazed at the extent to which TEAM RED, but especially TEAM BLUE, will forge boogeymen out of whole cloth and demonize them. They really are religious. I have to actually laugh when TEAM BLUE says it isn’t, because it’s a joke.

    1. Epi, I continue to be amazed at your continued amazement.

      I am also sometimes driven to tears being told by hyper-partisan liberals or conservatives how libertarians are all a bunch of crackpot ideologues.

      I’m like, ‘uhh….fiscal conservative; socially liberal’ – where’s the @!#$* fanatical ideology again? For each group its like, “You believe in ending Welfare and privatizing everything… so you’re a freaking ideologue” OR “You are a libertine who thinks drugs and sex-changes and porn are groovy and you hate God and don’t support our troops and don’t respect authority and I don’t want you near my children”

      Is it fair to accuse someone of being “Randian”… when they’ve never really read much of her stuff, and disliked what they did?

      1. I’m only amazed because it’s so…fucking…irrational. As a rational person, this is very alien to me. I know that’s it’s extremely common, and in fact the norm for most humans, but it’s still alien to me.

        1. Same here. It’s especially bad when I consider the number of friends I have who are otherwise intelligent, thoughtful people, but who subscribe to the most blatant logical fallacies in politics and social policy. These are not dumb people–most have the minimum of a B.S. in engineering or mathematics or a hard science. Yet illogic rules them when it comes to “softer” topics. It as though they don’t understand that rationality and logic can and should be applied across the spectrum of life situations.

      2. You are a libertine who thinks drugs and sex-changes and porn are groovy and you hate God and don’t support our troops and don’t respect authority

        Well except for the not supporting the troops, yeah…. and it isn’t that I hate god, cuz hating something that doesn’t exist is kind of stupid….but anyway….

        1. I hate god in the way that I hate Iago, or Cruella de Ville, or any other fictional villain.

    2. I’m not going to criticize your spelling cause I know it just gets you off.

    3. Look out everyone; the Kochtopus is here to destroy the world!!

  14. I just want to note that I’m a committed libertarian and capitalist and I’ve never read more than a few paragraphs of any of Rand’s works.

    It’s not like every libertarian needs to be a fan of Rand. In fact, being essentially an anarcho-capitalist, I’m one of the libertarians that Rand would hate (if Peikoff knows anything about it).

    1. You’ll fall in line when the revolution comes.

      1. Or you’ll be put up against the most perfectly designed wall.

    2. I’m one of the libertarians that Rand would hate (if Peikoff knows anything about it).

      That says little. Rand hated everyone.

    3. I came to libertarianism through The Sword of Truth series (Objectivism for Dummies) but I think the idea was already there germinating for some time. Didn’t read Shrugged until last December.

      1. Mmm, Nicci.

      2. I have been libertarian since my early college days, and the only Rand book I had read was Anthem, way back in high school, but never read Atlas Shrugged until late 2009. I kept having the strangest impulse to check inside the front cover for the copyright date, just to make sure she wasn’t still around and writing about current events.

        1. Oddly enough, the main impulse I had reading AS was checking inside the back cover for the last page number, just to see how much more of this didactic crap I had to slog through.

      3. You have good taste, friend.

    4. I would also note that libertarianism says nothing one way or the other regarding being your brother’s keeper (and one need look no further than the charitable contributions of libertarians to realize that plenty feel a moral obligation to help others, even if they don’t feel a moral imperative to force everybody to help others).

      1. This is a super-important point that nobody gets. Apparently if you don’t want the government to force everyone to do something, you don’t ever want that thing done. Yet those same scolds scoff at that Bastiat quote that gets posted here every week.

        1. Welcome to the Statist Fallacy, Highway

          Everything For the State, Nothing Outside the State, Nothing Against the State.

          Often revealed when people indicate that if the State didn’t do it, it didn’t really happen.

    5. Semi-prominent libertarian philosopher Roderick Long is both a Rand fan and an Anarcho-capitalist.

      “Libertarian Anarchism: Responses to Ten Objection” by Roderick T. Long

      1. He’s also REALLY into Doctor Who.

        1. What’s the doctor’s name?

          1. I don’t know.

    6. Objectivists and libertarians are not the same thing. I don’t want Rand telling me what I should do or how I should behave any more than anyone else.

      1. Objectivists are a minarchist and kind of generally war-mongering-ish subset of libertarians …

    7. When I am king,you’ll be the first against the wall….

      just kidding.

    8. I was a sort of Ross Perot centrist in my early college days, but an objectivist convinced me that I was actually more of a classical liberal.
      The argument always comes down to wether you believe in compulsion or individual rights. If you don’t think it’s moral to force people to act against their interests, then the entire edifice of both sides political philosophies crumbles. That’s the fucking rock on which they all break.

  15. What’s this “Christian your brothers keeper love” all about? Isn’t that Jewish and wasn’t it Cain wising off to God?

    1. Cain’s not here man.

      1. Nope he’s in Denver….and as we speak the Colorado Rockies are hitting the hell out of him. 4 runs in the 1st inning!


    2. Also, the more natural interpretation of “keeper” isn’t “benevolent protector,” but “jailkeep.” We “keep” pets and zoo animals.

    3. Blame it on Cain; don’t blame it on me.

      1. And libertarian(ish) bonus lyrics:

        “Once upon a time, I had a little money;
        Government burglars took it long
        Before I could mail it to you . . .”

    4. Old Testament=Nationalism/Tribal Conquest Fascism

      New Testament=Global Socialism/Totalitarian(including though policing) Brotherhood Paradise

    5. Cain murders his brother and covers for his absence by saying “am I my brother’s keeper?”

      This is hardly a commandment to steal money from everyone around you to redistribute as you see fit. More of a rebuke for murder.

      As a side note: When speaking with an all-knowing deity, lies and word parsing games are really not going to be all that effective. To wit- God asks Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”

      So, Cain pulls a Clinton… he doesn’t cop to what he did, nor does he outright deny it. He simply says, “I know not. Am I my brother’s keeper?” Properly parsed, he’s telling the truth. Abel is dead, so he doesn’t know where he is (not the body, but Abel).

      Now that’s just too clever by half. Particularly when God sees all, etc. So Cain ends up with a curse of alienation from all the land. A curse so all-encompassing that it earned its own name: The Mark Of Cain.

      So today’s lesson is: Never try to play word games with an omnipotent, omniscient deity. It just doesn’t make any sense…

      1. A better answer would have been, “Why are you asking me? Aren’t you supposed to be omniscient? Are you just asking to be a dick?”

        1. C’mon, Fluffy. You’ve got kids. When you start asking questions you already know the answer to, you’re just seeing if they’re gonna keep digging that hole deeper by lying to you.

          1. Right, but presumably an omnipotent being would be above such petty concerns.

            1. Haven’t read the Bible, have you? Petty concerns are high on the priority list in the Old Testament.

            2. What fools these mortals be!

            3. He does it for Science.

        2. A better answer would have been, “Why are you asking me? Aren’t you supposed to be omniscient? Are you just asking to be a dick?”

          When I ask a question, it’s not about needing to know the answer– I already know the answer– the question is a test of your character.

          1. Ah, but You already know the result of the test …

            1. Damn you, Satan, get thee behind me! Er, wait!, no, don’t do that either.

          2. Nah, you just like fucking with us. Admit it.

  16. Rand fans also believe in make-believe places like Galt’s Gulch.

    I demand an investigation!

  17. Wait till these guys see Fight Club.

    1. Doesn’t count. They were blowing up Korporashuns.

      1. And everybody knows that Fight Club is really meant to be ironic and totally in support of the corpocracy. Right? Right?

      2. It was different too because Durden made sure the buildings were empty first, I think.

        You know, exactly like Roark did.

        1. And as Commander-in Chief, every time I order our men and women in uniform to blow up buildings in Iraq, Afghanastan, Pakistan, Lybia, and Yemen (did I forget anywhere?) I always ask them to make certain that those buildings are empty.

        2. Well, Durden claimed that there would be people in the buildings, but only security guards who were part of Project Mayhem and thus were dying voluntarily.

          He was also a pretty big liar in other parts of the film.

          1. I should probably say that I didn’t actually see the movie. So Roark was actually better than Durden in that respect?

            1. Durden was a pretty nasty character at the end…well, to the extent he even was a character. But I’m giving away the plot twist if I say more.

    2. Members of Project Mayhem have a name! And his was Robert Paulson David Cay Johnston!

      1. The Wife and are planning to name our next cat “Robert Paulson” so we can chase him through the house chanting “His name is Robert Paulson! His name is Robert Paulson!”

        1. You wife and who?!? Damn it, dude, don’t leave me hanging here!

          You will traumatize that cat. I hope it eats your eyes in the middle of the night.

          1. with a spoon

            1. Why a spoon?

              1. Spoon reference.

                The real trick is to realize, there is no spoon.

            2. How the fuck is a cat supposed to hold a spoon?

              1. With its tail? Either that or it’ll get the dog to do it.

              2. You’d be surprised. I’ve seen cats with an extra claw or two on their paws, who can actually carry stuff with them.

                1. Fucking bethumbed cats. Polydactylism is a horrible thing.

                2. ….things like…..HANDGUNS!

            3. I saw something in the morning links some dude plucking out someother dude’s eyes, with a spoon. I think.

              Cats are essential evil. A cat will find a way, even if it has to summon the infernal feline lord.

        2. And if you get him neutered it will be even more appropriate. Just hope his tits don’t grow too big.

  18. Somewhat off topic:

    I am getting mighty pissed off that the ads I am getting on Reason for the last few days have been for Canada’s very left wing New Democratic Party. (I have IE at work and can’t block them.)

    1. Just click on the links. You’ll support Reason and bill the New Democratic Party for it at the same time. And make a few bucks for Google too. (cause they need it, poor fellas…)

  19. Is this the part where I step forward and say “I am Spartacus!”?

    Yep, I think it is… Put me on your list too, fascist. Not only do I sympathize with budget cutting, I’m down with legal prostitution, legal drugs, legal porn, gay/lesbian relationships, and Penn and Teller magic shows. I’ll make a great blurb on the news after my perp walk… The only think missing will be the quote about how the police “seized a small arsenal” from my home. Maybe I should go beef up my gun collection so they won’t be disappointed?

    1. Me next.

    2. I will repeat that I have instructed all of my friends that they should tell reporters “I always knew this day would come”,”You could smell the crazy coming off him”, etc. if I get perp-walked. None of this “he seemed like a normal guy” stuff.

  20. And for those who wish to further punish themselves, here’s another pro-tax screed from DCJ.…..eadComment

    1. Luckily we don’t bleed the sick anymore, but we are bleeding our government to death.


      1. The parasite may suffer after killing the host. Whose fault is that?

      2. If there is anything my brain hates more than anything it would be a good challenge to my precepts.

        Insinuating that the author of the book second only to the bible in the number of printed editions is an inspiration only for creepy fringe lunatics is about the best I can ever hope to do in the form of a refutation.

    2. Compare this to Germany, one of many countries with a smarter tax system and smarter spending policies.

      I’m sure he means well but we aren’t Germany and our politicians never get to the “smarter spending policies”.

      Hats of to the Germans however for not taking their military gallivanting all over the planet.

  21. Not a Rand fan, but I agree with earlier posters who suggested that maybe they should look into which real presidents were mentored by real terrorists who blew up real buildings and killed real people before worrying about fictional vandalism.

    1. And to be fair, you don’t have to look to his mentor. It seems there was a bit on the news about some people somewhere far away being blown up…. I think it was between the story about how great the Chevy Volt is and some story about a blond girl who is missing… Anyway, I’m fairly sure the President told them to do it. I think he even said he didn’t have to ask permission to blow them up. Because he’s humanitarian or something. I don’t know… it wasn’t all that clear. But they definitely blew up more than one building.

      1. I have clarified this up-thread, Cyto.

      2. DCJ is a statist. For him, every war is a holy war.

    2. That would require their minds to possess recursive functionality. Little of which exist for Team Red, but none at all for Team Blue.

    3. Ah the life of a right-wing talking point.

      “Living in the same city as” now equals “being mentored by.”

      1. Obama’s only connection to Ayers is that they lived in the same city?

        1. No, you don’t see, if you call something a “talking point” it’s automatically untrue and you don’t have to rebut it.

  22. Some of the money in my pocket has been defaced by pictures of men who were guilty of TREASON.

    Somebody better look in THAT, too. Treason is a felony, too, after all.

    1. +1 for the internetz

    2. Not just a felony, TREASON is a capital crime of which Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, and Franklin were all guilty as sin.

      Curiously, Mr. Ayers sums up their situation quite well: “Guilty as sin, free as a bird: It’s a great country!”

      1. They were not in US jurisdiction at the time.

    3. Some of the money in my pocket has been defaced by pictures of men who were guilty of TREASON.

      The answer to that conundrum lies in Canada. Put stuff like strange aquatic animals and anonymous indigenous ladies on it. Problem solved.

      1. Actually, early US currency didn’t have portraits of rulers on it either, as a matter of principle, as that practice was associated with tyrants. It wasn’t until Lincoln’s assassination that TPTB snuck his head onto the penny at a time when no one would question doing so, setting the precedent now that any sufficiently “great” president, secretary of the treasury, or postmaster (great in the sense of expanding the power and scope of the federal govt) can expect to be slapped onto currency. They’ll throw a bone to your Susan B Anthonys and Sacajweas once in a while too just to mix it up, but the pattern remains.

        1. The Mises Institute ran a really good article awhile back about how the change in symbolism on American coins reflects the decay of belief in liberty and the rise of leader worship:

        2. Well, in fairness it’s kind of weird to put some guys head on a dolla bill before he’s gone into the hereafter. You gotta be dead for a while. I believe that it’s the real third world tyrannies that have their Fez-clad sitting presidents on their money.

          Canada does have Queen Elizabeth who’s very much alive… just sayin’

          Fair play to the queen!

        3. Well, in fairness it’s kind of weird to put some guys head on a dolla bill before he’s gone into the hereafter. You gotta be dead for a while. I believe that it’s the real third world tyrannies that have their Fez-clad sitting presidents on their money.

          Canada does have Queen Elizabeth who’s very much alive… just sayin’

          Fair play to the queen!

      2. All the money should have naked women on it. It’s value would be more stable that way.

  23. Ayn Rand looks like a man.

    David Cay Johnston sounds like a domestic terrorist name.

    1. I think the FBI should investigate him. That is the perfect name for a serial killer or assassin.

      1. The previous statement was not meant to imply that said person is ACTUALLY any of those things.

      2. True. Serial killers always need to have middle names.

        1. Usually it’s “Earl”.

    2. Domestic terrorist. For some reason, I read that and envisioned a terrorist maid.

      1. She sounds crazy hot!

        1. Here’s one. Not sure about the “crazy hot” part, but she’s clearly a domestic terrorist.

          1. We’ll just leave it at “crazy”. Which, in my world, makes her kind of hot.

            1. Use at your own risk!

    3. “Serial killers. Serial killers only have two names. You ever notice that? But lone gunmen assassins, they always have three names. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, Mark David Chapman,,,”

      1. John Wayne Gacy kinda blows that theory, don’t he?

      2. I beg to differ.

      3. What about the fella who shot RFK? He had two names, but it was the same name, so it’s really kind of only one name. Did I just BLOW YOUR MIND!?

      4. Jared Lee Loughner….

        1. David Parker Ray

  24. Would anyone who has read the Old Testament be considered a terror suspect by David Cay Johnston?

  25. That first video was just shy of being over the top enough to be an Onion parody.

    1. That second video I thought was praising Rand and her followers until the end, where I realized that the leftists who made it considered all those statements to be anathema.

    2. It must be really hard to write for The Onion these days. How can humor exist in a world where wiffle ball is banned for safety?

      1. It can’t Warty. That is why the Onion isn’t as funny as it was back in the 1990s. You can’t satire something that is already rediculous. How would you as an Onion writer write anything more stupid and bizzare than what this guy is saying? I don’t see how you can. It is the Onion and Dilbert’s world man.

        1. Nick’s phrase post-reductio America is absolutely perfect.

      2. When the Onion’s idea of funny is a front page story about the White House casting for the musical Guys and Dolls, I consider them useful idiots for their team. Couldn’t actually make fun of the doublespeak on Libya, could you guys?

        1. Yeah, few people are capable of lampooning all sides. Still, The Onion is forever shrouded in greatness because of this article immediately following 9-11. It was a time when comedy had come to a complete halt. The Onion and South Park were the first to step back into the fray.

      3. Not banned. You just have to have medical personnel on standby during the game. Just in case. You know, for the kids…

      4. They need a new slogan for the masthead.

        The Onion: Not Reporting Reality, Creating Reality

  26. While I don’t agree with his advocacy for redistribution of wealth, what I will say in praise of David Cay Johnston is that much of his work does reveal how crony capitalism is conducted in the U.S. I have read one of his books “Perfectly Legal” and found much in that book that a libertarian would agree with. I’ve been told that another of his books “Free Lunch,” contains a lot of reporting that would be of interest to anyone that is sick of the partnering between corporations and an activist government (such as billionares getting the public to finance the stadiums for their sports teams). I swear that it almost seems like I hear more anit-capitalist, anit-free market statments coming from the mouths of CEO’s these days than the mouths of politicians.

    1. You do. And so it has always been. Only lefty morons who have never actually read Rand think she has some love or trust of big business. Same is true of Adam Smith. He fully understood that businessmen will if able use the government to screw their competitors.

      1. I’ve been listening to Murray Rothbard’s lectures on American Economic History lately and he uses a text called “The Triumph of Conservatism” by Gabriel Kolko, a noted Marxist. Even Kolko realized and wrote about how big business wants to use government to shutter competition from smaller firms. Of course, Rothbard doesn’t agree with Kolko’s solution to these problems.

        1. Interesting. Rothbard is a creative guy to use a Marxist text.

          1. What was *really* funny was that Kolko (or some other marxist opponent of crony capitalism) kept getting invited to libertarian gatherings to give lectures on his research until he got really pissed off at the political leanings of his audience.

            Apparently libertarians where the biggest fans of his work. 🙂

            1. Is Kolko that gorilla who knows sign language?

              1. KOKO WANT CEREBELLUM

    2. Big business and big government eventually become one and the same, regardless of the ideology used. Concentrations of power are dangerous, whatever their form.

      However, I’ve always been amused by the lefties who rant about “evil corporations” and yet have a child-like trust in government.

      1. It goes way beyond simple child-like trust. It’s child-like faith and adoration.

  27. Rand does this to people – always has – always will – this was a predictable reaction to the movie and an uptick in her cultural/political visibility

  28. You know what? Fuck the fucking news. It’s fucking cute animal time until shit gets less stupid.

    1. I’m not clicking, toads aren’t cute. Or tasty.

      1. It made me say eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

      2. Gad damn that is so fucking cute.

      3. Awwwwww…

    2. Fuck you! You ever cause me to Ahhhh like a fucking 9 year old girl staring at Justin Bieber……and I swear to god I’ll find you!

      I won’t have my status as the biggest dick in the office threatened!

  29. When I first read The Fountainhead, I did plant bombs in a building. But when I read Atlas Shrugged, I developed an engine that runs on static electricity, so it all balances out.

    1. Who is Abdul?

  30. Could someone who’s read the Fountainhead explain to me the building blowing up thing? Does Roark really just say “I was the architect and I don’t like how it turned out so BOOM!”??

    Seems to contradict Rand’s capitalist beliefs. Architect or not, he didn’t own the building

    1. I’ve only read the book once and seen the movie once so IIRC:

      He blew it up because the government leeched off of him to design and build the thing, which he did. And far cheaper and better than they would have and then, without his permission made massive changes that degraded the quality of the building. And since it was owned by government and hence by no one he blew it up to protest their scumsuckery.

    2. Roark sells a building design to another architect, taking no money and setting as the sole price of his work that it be erected exactly as he designed it and with no alteration whatsoever.

      The state buys the design from the 2nd architect, and then uses it to build a housing project, fucking it all up in the meantime because the project is being done by committee.

      Since he was not paid for his work, Roark goes and takes it back the one way open to him.

      1. Roark goes and takes it back the one way open to him.

        That’s quite the euphemism there…especially for people who don’t believe in IP. iirc, Roark didn’t own any of the building materials or the land it was on.

        1. Land is usually still useable after a bit of dynamite.

          I’ll grant you the building materials thing, but if you build an unauthorized addition to your house using materials you bought, in violation of Codes and Covenants you agreed to when buying the house, you can be ordered to tear it down, so Roark wasn’t out of line there IMO …

          they violated his contractual agreement, he enforced that agreement with great vigor …

    3. It was more of a statement on the morality of unbreached integrity in oneself and work.

      It also illustrates the idea that by hiring a man and agreeing to his terms in order to benefit from his talents and to later break those terms after it is too late for him to simply refuse to do the work, you are inderectly forcing him to labor for you against his will. The destruction of the building was his way of refusing to build it after he had already been defrauded into building it. I don’t think it was meant as literal advice for day to day life.

      1. “forcing him to labor for you against his will.”

        This is key

      2. It also illustrates the idea that by hiring a man and agreeing to his terms in order to benefit from his talents and to later break those terms after it is too late for him to simply refuse to do the work, you are inderectly forcing him to labor for you against his will.

        I think this is a nice summary of the relationship between force and fraud.

    4. Well, the building was meant as a housing project, and Roark designs it for someone else, but he provides an innovative design that makes it extremely cheap and is intended to make the building profitable. Then a committee of bureaucrats fucks up the design by adding all sorts of things like balconies, which raises the construction costs by a few factors.

      So Roark blows it up, not just because it violates not just his aesthetic vision, but an economic one. He’s trying to prove that it’s possible for capitalism to provide low-cost housing to the poor, and they’re trying to prove the poor will always be dependent on the state.

      1. Also, you know, there’s the factor about the corruption from the contractor entering into the picture and driving up the cost as well.

        So it’s more a matter of not letting his vision become a propaganda tool for a bunch of corrupt socialists to show how wonderful they are for building low income housing, and hence how awesome socialism is.

  31. Does Roark really just say “I was the architect and I don’t like how it turned out so BOOM!”??

    It’s his character’s too-literal blow-up after he’s spent years being jerked around, stolen from, unjustly sued (and losing), defamed, etc.?like if the yelling guy in Network were an architect, doing the architecturally analogous thing.
    Then he builds a giant metal cock and get so laid.

  32. The only thing more annoying than a Randroid is the type of person who slams Rand without addressing her actual arguments. Leonard Peikoff may be a warmongering oddball, but as repugnant as he is I’d take a million of him over the sort of people who claim Rand’s philosophy is “childish” or say “oh no, the SELFISHNESS!!!”

    1. “oh no, the SELFISHNESS!!!”

      The selfishness is the best part of Rand– and the most logical if you understand it.

  33. Like Dennis, I get annoyed at some of the puerile criticisms.

    There are substantial criticisms of Rand to be made. But those don’t get discussed, because we get absurd nonsense like Dowd’s column of the other day, where she talks about how Rand “failed to foresee” that business leaders would try to ally themselves with government to secure favors. Even though Rand, you know, made that the central issue of her most famous work.

    1. “failed to foresee” that business leaders would try to ally themselves with government to secure favors.

      Wait, what… are you serious? Link please!


        Dowd on 04/17, failing to live up to even her usual dreadful level:

        You’d think that our fiscal meltdown would have shown the flaw in Rand’s philosophy. She thought we could derive morals from the markets. But we derived immorality from the markets.

        She wrote about Nietzschean superheroes who made things. She died before capitalism evolved into a vampire casino where you could bet against investments you sold to your clients, and make money off something you didn’t own or that existed only on paper.

        The sexy Manichean ‘toons in the novels of the goddess of capitalism don’t behave unethically. When they blow up things, it’s because they will not be sacrificial victims to evil second-raters.

        Greed had a less ennobling effect on real genius capitalists. Instead of fighting the looters, they joined the looters.

        1. What an idiot. Big business had already allied with government before Rand started writing: first with the Republicans of the late 1800s to enact a pro-inflation, pro-tariff government, later teaming up with both parties and progressive movement leaders to enact legislation that would burden their small competitors.

          The fact that the New York Times still runs articles about the Great Depression being caused by “laissez-faire Hoover” is proof enough they know nothing about American history of economic policy.

        2. Wow. It’s like columnists are playing telephone with her philosophy. Using words like “second-raters” as an interchangeable substitution for “second-handers” when they are two different concepts entirely. The next column will probably say “…GOP hero Ayn Rand, whose novel “the Fountainhead” expresses her hatred for second generation immigrants and second chances…”

        3. gee, surprise, surprise, more utter dreck from the new york times

        4. Dowd is incapable of taking any ideas seriously. Even her own.

          I’ve never read a single column of hers that wasn’t just a bunch of totally superficial snark.

          Her political sensibility is like the fashion sense of an overgrown teenage girl. Everything is to be dissed, merit is just a matter of what’s “in”.

  34. david cay johnston, please quit trying to look like me.

    1. Please. I have a chin.

  35. Randian capitalist heroes are known as eccentrics in the real world. How many CEOs actually behave like her heroes?

    And an architect who doesn’t care about the needs of his clients isn’t an architect. That’s part of the job. She should have made him a sculptor, and limited the focus of her lecturing to that.

    1. Too few. Too many of them act like James Taggart (see GE).

      I think his job was to design the building, and the buyer accepted his terms. Once that happened he didn’t need to give a flying fuck about the needs of his client. He already had their approval.

    2. You’ve never been to a Frank Lloyd Wright house, or if you have, you’re pathetically short. He clearly didn’t give a fuck about his clients.

      1. No, he just presumed his clients were short bastards like him.

    3. And an architect who doesn’t care about the needs of his clients isn’t an architect.

      I’m somehow amazed by how thoroughly Tony can miss a point even when it’s laid out in detail over nearly 700 pages of text. (Unless he just hasn’t read it, of course.)

      1. It’s been a while… did the contract contain terms pertaining to explosives?

      2. “(Unless he just hasn’t read it, of course.)”

        He brags about having read all her works when he was like 4 and having debunked her entire philosophy which he found childish at the time. Though he never actually debunks anything for us, he just promises that he has and that he did so before he was potty trained.

        1. I’m actually glad that Tony is the way he is. He might be terribly wrong, but he does entertain.

          1. I find him dreadfully, dreadfully boring. He shows up to fling idiotic drivel like feces then merely doesn’t respond when he gets eviscerated.

        2. he just promises that he has and that he did so before he was potty trained.

          Was he actually potty trained then? I was under the impression that he thought society should wipe his ass for him when he soiled himself.

    4. “How many CEOs actually behave like her heroes?”

      I don’t suspect any do? Why is that a problem?

      “And an architect who doesn’t care about the needs of his clients isn’t an architect. That’s part of the job.”

      Not if he names his terms to do “the job” and turns down clients who won’t agree to them.

    5. Randian capitalist heroes are known as eccentrics in the real world. How many CEOs actually behave like her heroes?

      You can’t. You’d be thrown in jail or criticized as being “arrogant” by “not having a presence in Washington”.

      1. Those poor entrepreneurs… If only government and social pressures would get out of their way, they could be successes!

        1. I can’t quite tell from your sarcastic reply what you believe to be false about Paul’s point but YES. They would be more successful and success is a good thing that should be cheered not punished.

        2. Sarcasm is unwarranted. Any successful business that doesn’t have a large lobbying presence is forced to get one by being labelled a “monopoly” (even if it shares its field with numerous less successful competitors) and threatened with being ripped apart as an entity. See: Microsoft, Google.

    6. “Randian capitalist heroes are known as eccentrics in the real world. How many CEOs actually behave like her heroes?”

      How many of them can? Rand’s heroes were capitalists in a society transitioning out of capitalism, the last guardians of a dying social order.

      We now live in a predominantly corporatist society and have for some time; expecting business leaders to be capitalists is a little like expecting leaders to be atheists in a society that has shifted back towards theocracy — it happens, but rarely, and almost never openly.

      For even a realistic deconstruction of a Randian hero to exist, you need a large but privately owned business (Koch Industries being one example, I suppose). Public-corporate CEOs don’t cut it, because they exist simply to mindlessly, shortsightedly, and pathologically execute a narrowly defined interest of a separate group of people.

      To be a Randian hero, the executive’s company has to answer to his will and his agenda, whether it’s something as banal as profit, or a drive to improve the world through invention and creation. You still see that fire in some tech startups, of course, especially the few that manage to retain their independence (Valve being a good example — and also an example of how a company can be well-liked by a good number of its customers rather than merely tolerated as providing a useful service at an acceptable price).

      Frankly, the best thing libertarians can do for the Randian ideal is to call the progressive bluff, and work to eliminate the corporation as a legal entity. Don’t get me wrong, the clued in progs will fight tooth and nail (being corporatists at heart), but at least we can force them to lay their true agenda bare.

      1. The progressives don’t really want to destroy coporations, they just think they should be puppets of the state.

  36. i wish people would fucking stop using pictures of me calling me ayn rand!

  37. I agree with Rand’s political philosophies but do not agree with her personal ones which are somewhat odious and often used to discredit her political philoshophies. She believes altruism (unselfish concern for the welfare of others)to be evil. It’s not altruism that’s evil but rather the state’s misuse of altruistic ideals to justify it’s abuse of individual rights. Altruism when practiced freely by an individual is compatible with libertarianism and is good not evil.

    1. Altruism when practiced freely by an individual is compatible with libertarianism and is good not evil.

      It’s certainly compatible with libertarianism, but the second half of your sentence is not so immediately obvious.

      I think a good example to consider comes right out of Atlas: Hank Rearden, the steel magnate, has a brother who is a worthless leech, buffoon, and ingrate. Their mother asks Hank to give the brother a job, because it would be charitable of him to do so, and because he can always stick him in some position where he can’t do that much damage.

      It would certainly be altruistic of him to give his brother a job.

      The problem as Hank sees it, morally, is that there are millions of men out there [at that point in the novel] who are NOT worthless leeches, ingrates, and buffoons, who ALSO don’t have jobs. If he gives his brother a job he doesn’t deserve, he is spitting in the face of all of those men. Or, at least, that is how he sees it.

      To Rand, every time you spend a penny you are making a choice – and there are almost no choices, in her schema, that don’t carry moral content.

      She would 100% back you up that you should be free to use your money any way you wish, including charity, but she wouldn’t morally endorse your action or call it “good”.

      1. Rand doesn’t say whether Hank and Philip have the same father. Hank might despise Philip not only for his bad character, but also because he knows his slut of a mother conceived Philip from sleeping around.

        1. Why would a Randian character hate someone due to the choice of one of their parents?

      2. Good point. I should have qualified the last part stating altruism CAN be good since it can also be an evil. Altruism which results in assistance for the truly helpless can be good. When it results in assistance for those who are capable of helping themselves it is usually an evil.

        Take the example of somebody who risks their life to save people (perhaps sleeping at the time) trapped in a burning building – but only if he does so prudently without just losing his life as well.

        Rand makes no disctinctions – she has a contempt for all altruism. She celebrates selfishness above all else and to the exclusion of all else. She fails to acknowledge that human beings ARE social animals and have developed an interreliance which benefits humanity in tangible and intangible ways.

        1. “She celebrates selfishness above all else and to the exclusion of all else. She fails to acknowledge that human beings ARE social animals and have developed an interreliance which benefits humanity in tangible and intangible ways.”

          I’m not a Randian, but in her defense she felt that RATIONAL self-interest was the hallmark of human evolution. Yes we are social animals, but we also have the ability to reason and overcome our more natural inclinations. For example, research has indicated that rape is an evolved charateristic and primal urge, but as we evolved further we were able to control that urge and now punish those that rape.

          Rand just takes this idea a step further with regard to conventional human morals. I’m not saying I agree, only that I acknowledge her reasoning.

        2. She pointed out that altruism literally only means “others before self.” That’s it. IOW, to be moral in an altruistic sense, you have to think of others before yourself, everywhere, at all times. Not “be kind to others” or “be charitable.” Others before self, always and everywhere.

          This is impossible, of course. So one of the points she made was that once a person inevitably fails, they will feel guilty, and then the altruists will use guilt as a weapon.

          It’s worth noting that every major psychopath of the 20th century has used some form of altruism as their excuse – Mao, Stalin, Hitler (German Volk) etc., etc.

        3. What Objectivists mean by “altruism” isn’t what the general society means. Loving your children and helping them isn’t altruism — Oists define altruism to mean sacrificing higher values for lower ones.

          So, deliberately harming your self-interest for others you don’t care about is the kind of altruism she (and I) find to be evil, not the selfishness mislabeled as altruism of caring about others and doing things to help them because that makes you feel good.

    2. Well, Rand wasn’t just fighting the state’s abuse of individual rights, she was also fighting the moral codes that trumpet self-sacrifice.

      For instance, the societal pressures that instruct people to obey their parents rather than making their own life choices, or that they should abandon their career to care for a disabled relative.

      People should not feel compelled to destroy their own future prospects purely out of a sense of duty that only society has imposed.

  38. Not that all that many people will actually see it, but the ThinkProgress video seems likely to backfire to me. Of the people who watch it, the ones who already hate Rand won’t be persuaded of much of anything, while the ones who’ve never heard of her might say to themselves, “who is this woman with strange views from the 50s?” and pick up one of her books. Some fraction of that latter group will probably be lost to ThinkProgress and their ilk forever.

  39. What did she say in that video that was so radical?

    1. Collective = GOOD

      Individual = BAD

      Liberty/Freedom = Okay, but only if we say it’s okay and our “experts” agree that you are using it properly.

      Get it?

  40. After all this bashing, I’m changing my first name to Michael, M. Cay?

    1. mmmmkay?

  41. Ayn Rand was a fucking welfare queen.

    1. I love this line of thinking. Yes, anyone who uses the post office, or collects any benefits from the welfare system they’ve paid into their entire lives, must thenceforth support any and every random government intervention into the economy.

      And any socialist or communist who buys his food or clothes or other essentials from a private company is also a terrible hypocrite.

      1. She also wrote an essay explaining why it was not immoral to apply for student loans and the same principle she expounds on there works–basically you can protest the bread line and still stand in it.

        Of course, absolutely no actual Rand knowledge is necessary to make dismissive one-liner comments about her and Objectivism.

  42. Notice the perputually pained expression on Nick Gillespie’s face? That’s because he keeps a copy of Atlas Shrugged shoved up his ass. It’s right-wing libertarian thing. That’s why it’s hard to get a clean copy.

    1. Max, you ignorant slut. Gillespie has slammed Rand and her writing on more than one occasion.

  43. We should thank MSNBC for enabling Johnston and his One Small Voice to call attention to the outrage of Rand Paul. Here, in a microcosm, we can observe the evil that has crushed our poor planet from the day of its birth in cosmic ooze. One man’s Ego against all the concepts of mercy, humanity, and brotherhood. Society needs the right to rid itself of men such as Rand Paul.

  44. Okay, this is something that always bothers me and always makes libertarians sound like dicks. There is nothing wrong with being “your brother’s keeper” and with altruism. This issue is whether or not these are voluntary activities. Somehow the debate has become either socialist utopian views or dog eat dog, every man for himself and those are not the only options. Charity is wonderful and looking out for your brother is wonderful and things we should all be inclined to do, but “should do” is different “must do” and being forced to do. There seems to be some sort of dialectic between social Darwinism and Marxism that excludes everything else. Just as libertarians do not fit on the left right continuum, we also do not have to fit on the Hillary Clinton “it takes a village”/ ruthless self interest continuum. or something

    1. Firstly, while lots of libertarians see value in Rand’s ideas, very few are actual objectivists. Most tend to agree with you that the primary question of libertarianism is consent vs. coercion. Charity is absolutely compatible.

      However, it’s certainly understandable that if someone is stealing from you (philosophically speaking), you might not be inclined to give to them voluntarily once you do manage to make things consensual. Holding grudges and punishing bad actors through our decisions is basic human behavior.

      And while Rand took it to the extremes, her criticisms of altruism are worthwhile philosophical questions — if the end result of your charity is that you enable a person to continue wasting his life, were you really helping him, or just serving your own interest in maintaining a positive moral self-image?

      Buying capital and making it possible for a person to get a job would do more both for society and for the self-respect of the person who benefited from your use of resources. In a system dominated by smaller shops rather than industrial-scale production, it may be possible and desirable to eventually transition them to independence — this was the basis of the guild system, though it eventually broke down into a more traditional employee-employer relationship.

  45. There are more American politicians who, directly or indirectly, hold the Bible as their source of morality than there are who revere The Fountainhead. And yet the Bible is full of deity-commanded slaughters of shocking frequency and magnitude. Just read Deuteronomy.

    Howard Roark blew up a building (with no one in it). The Abrahamic Deity ordered the massacre of the Midianites (and countless others, including men, women, children, and animals).

    “We we need to dig into understanding the kind of people who would put forth these ideas.”

  46. Was that ThinkProgress video supposed to outrage me? Because I found myself in almost perfect agreement with it.

  47. Btw, does anyone else think Helen Mirren made Rand strangely erotic when she played her in “The Passion of Ayn Rand”?

  48. David Cay Johnston = retarded fetus.

    The right to his abortion should be untrammeled.

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