Society

Ayn Rand and Paul Ryan: True love?

Would the deceased writer Ayn Rand have agreed with Paul Ryan?

More than a few conservatives discuss Ayn Rand; according to the New York Times, Paul Ryan is also a fan of the conservative author and loves to hand out copies of “Atlas Shrugged” to his friends, family and whoever else may be on his gift the list. The question posed in the article in the New York Times, however, focuses on what Ayn Rand would have thought of him. 

Would Ayn Rand have been a fan of Paul Ryan’s particular brand of conservatism? Does Paul Ryan really understand the concepts that Ayn Rand is trying to discuss? Is it likely that Paul Ryan is really thinking WWARD (What Would Ayn Rand Do) when he is making policy decisions and considering federal legislation?

 

Jennifer Burns of the New York Times doesn’t believe that Paul Ryan’s policies are all that closely aligned with Ayn Rand. Here’s the gist of her argument:

Obama's hammer

Democrats have a rally point.

People run from fear and pain and rush toward safety and security, no matter what the cost. This is absolute human nature. It hasn’t changed since the beginning of time and almost certainly won’t until the end of time. The Republicans have chosen Paul Ryan as their choice for vice president. Despite the many positive qualifications possessed by Ryan, his one negative may cancel out all the positives.

Abortion doctor Virmani puts foot in mouth

As many have probably already heard, Ashutosh Ron Virmani, an abortion doctor made some comments that sent conservatives into a frenzy.  Specifically, a statement imploring anti-abortionists to adopt the “ugly black babies” that are being aborted is making its way around the conservative news circles along with the video from which the statement came.  Admittedly, making such a statement is questionable at best.  What no news report addresses, however, is whether Virmani was expressing his own beliefs (which would go contrary to a lifetime of writing on humanitarian issues) or whether he was being sarcastic and cynical in the face of anti-abortionists disturbing him as his place of residence.

Gay rights battle and corporate sponsorship

As I expounded upon last week (and pretty much everyone in the world has posted something on lately), Chick-fil-A caused quite the uproar when the CEO declared that the company supports the anti-gay marriage agenda.  This sparked a debate on whether or not companies should be involved in political movements such as this or whether they should just stick to business-as-usual.  And though Chick-fil-A has gotten plenty of criticism regarding their political agenda manipulating, they are not the first and only company to use their massive earnings to support the causes they feel important.

In a capitalist society, most of the political entities and movements are sponsored in one way or another.  Politicians are elected to Congress, the Senate and even the Presidency based on funding, most of which comes from wealthy people and businesses.  Just because most of these companies don’t publically voice their stance doesn’t mean they’re not creating and influencing policy.  In addition to buying offices for politicians, much of this money gets funneled into various causes.  It’s only natural that Chick-fil-A would have such an opinion, whether they choose to make it public or not.

President Obama's college transcripts at Columbia University

Why has the President been so secretive about his college transcripts?

I guess it is anyone’s right not to share their college transcripts, but when you’re trying to get reelected as President, it is expected to be done. This is especially so for someone like President Obama who has been perceived as being so smart and intellectual.

In response to all the media attention on Mitt Romney’s tax returns, the right-wing media are taking aim at the President on the matter of his college transcripts that he has guarded so much. Romney’s supporters are questioning why Obama has not shared his college transcripts and a classmate of Obama’s at Columbia stated that he had never met him on campus and didn’t know anyone who did even though they shared the same major.

Republicans are not entertainers

Cool or capable?

Republicans—excepting a very few notable communicators—are generally not good, much less brilliant public speakers. In fact, they are stiff, smile infrequently and seldom win debates that are not based on facts. They are slower to formulate their response to hypothetical questions and don’t like to answer them in any event. For all of these reasons they are cannon fodder for a typical Liberal in a debate or for the media who runs the gaffe as the lead story in print or on electronic media. In short, Republicans are poor entertainers.

Is there Medicaid coverage for poor, legal immigrants?

Not much

I just got off the phone with a friend of mine who is unemployed at the moment; his wife is pregnant and is a legal immigrant to the United States. Because she is a legal immigrant—as opposed to an illegal immigrant—she is not eligible for Medicaid benefits.

Even though the friend I spoke with is extremely knowledgeable about many areas and extremely trustworthy, his story didn’t sound credible. Why wouldn’t his wife be covered by Medicaid for her pregnancy?

And, so I looked it up to see if my friend was right. Sadly, it appears as if he was mostly correct.

Polemics and bald-faced lies

How our public debate has been drowned in misinformation.

Recently I introduced the notion that political polemics are a poison to our democracy.  What has become common today is to argue ideology intended to polarize us and ignore the problems and predicaments we all face in common.  These polemics appeal to our world view and are aimed at our amygdala so that instead of thinking or reasoning, we are merely responding, like a dog responding to a dog whistle.  On their surface, these messages usually contain some grain of truth, fact or reality.  But this is not a requirement.  The key element can also be an outright distortion of the truth, something my grandpa called a “bald-faced lie.”  

Amendment Two passes in Missouri

Hopefully the courts will overturn this waste of money…

Today we went to cast our ballots in the Missouri primaries explicitly to vote against Amendment 2, which is just another one of those completely redundant and unnecessary Missouri measures that our incompetent Congress people try to pass to get the Bible thumpers on their side. And why not, when the whole state is full of Bible thumpers?

The damn bill passed by more than 80%.

This amendment was completely unnecessary because it guarantees people freedom of religion and to pray wherever they want, which you and I both know is RIDONKULOUS, since you can pray wherever the hell you want—your social studies class, on the toilet, while screwing your neighbor (indeed, that’s probably the case in which “Oh God” is used most often, right?), wherever. But Missouri is the SHOW ME state, so I guess you have to show us over and over again that something that’s protected in the freaking U.S. Constitution is indeed, protected. Next up on the ballot: the rest of the Bill of Rights as amendments to be passed within the state, simply re-worded for your pleasure (and comprehension)!

America's greatness

Someone step up

Politics is not only a dirty business, it is a thriving business that a young person can enter and enjoy a profitable career and a bright future. After all, the sole intent of the politicking business is to make a profit for its members and grant them more and more power as they invest the primary portion of their time to continue to get re-elected.  Just like doctors, lawyers and such, mothers should not let their young’uns become cowboys BUT INSTEAD politicians.

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