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11 Of The Best Xbox 360 Games, According To Metacritic | TheGamer – TheGamer

Microsoft came out of nowhere with the original Xbox and entered the console market with a bang. While essentially running on a version of Direct X, the Xbox made a fantastic home console and had many great exclusives like the Halo series, Fable, and more.

RELATED:10 Of The Best Shoot Em' Ups For The Xbox 360

When Microsoft launched the Xbox 360, they were sure to make it just as impactful as their first console and brought many PC exclusives to consoles for the first time. To commemorate the Xbox 360, here are 10 of the best games on the console based on their Metacritic score - one game per franchise for varietys sake.

Batman Arkham Asylum proved that an amazing superhero game was possible. Batman Arkham City took everything established in the first game and built upon it, giving you a massive city to explore and find gadgets in. They also made the flight mechanics much more in-depth and useful as it would be your primary way of making it around the city.

The game saw a lot of DLC which added new missions, new playable characters, and more. The Metroid style of gameplay mixed with the almost rhythm-game-like combat made it the perfect package.

Gears of War was Cliff Bleszinskis take on the genre established in Resident Evil 4. You are Marcus Phoenix fighting off the Locus, a massive race of humanoid creatures that live directly beneath the earths surface.

You take part in epic firefights and must pop in and out of cover to ensure you wont get killed. You also have a chainsaw attached to your gun so you can cut your enemies directly in half during close-quartered encounters. The series still persists to this day, though the gameplay has changed very little in the 5+ games that have been released thus far.

Up to this point, Call of Duty was set primarily in World War 2 and while successful, was in no way as big as it is today. In Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare they decided to leave the second world war and head into modern times.

While the game did offer a fun and interesting single-player campaign, the real appeal of the game was its online multiplayer. The online multiplayer set the gaming world ablaze and it hasnt been the same since and countless attempts are still being made to try to capture the online multiplayer excitement created by this game.

Halo 3 is as the name implies, is the third game in the Halo series. Like the previous entry, Halo 3s main hook is in its multiplayer. The game offered a large selection of different online modes including deathmatch, capture the flag, team deathmatch, and much more.

RELATED:10 Hardest To Find XBOX 360 Games (& What They're Worth)

The Halo series was massive at this point and was a system seller for Microsoft. Halo 3 allowed you to also play multiplayer in the story as one player controlled Master Chief and the other controlled Artbitor, an Elite who joined the human side.

The first Portal was set up as a series of test rooms where you would have to solve puzzles using a portal gun which could create a blue and orange portal that you and other objects can pass through. By the end of the game you find out your only purpose is to finish the tests and later be disposed of so you escape.

In Portal 2, the game is structured more like an adventure as you attempt to escape the Aperture facility. The game also offers a cooperative mode where you and a friend must solve puzzles together to progress.

Red Dead Redemption is the sequel to Red Dead Revolver, though it shares very little with that game aside from the wild west setting. Red Dead Redemption can be summarized as Grand Theft Auto in the wild west as you have a massive open world to explore.

RELATED:10 PS2 Games To Play If You Enjoyed Red Dead Redemption 2

You take on various missions for people, get into gunfights, tame wild horses, unlock more outfits and equipment, and more. The game was followed up by Red Dead Redemption 2 which came out in 2018 and was one of the biggest games of that year.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim adds so much that wasnt in the previous game, you may be mistaken and think they arent from the same franchise. While in the previous game The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion your sword swings sort of just go anywhere - in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim all of your attacks feel like you are actually connecting, making the game feel much more action-oriented instead other the heavy CRPG feel previous games in the series had.

Easily the most successful games in the series and is still being played and modded today over 9 years after its release.

Mass Effect 1 took the RPG elements that Bioware is known for and shot them into a third-person cover-based shooter which were very popular at the time. Not only was the gameplay deep and enjoyable but the game also created an entire universe with complex alien creatures all co-existing and dealing with racism and power balance.

Mass Effect 2 took the gameplay and story established in the first game and improved upon it immensely. Combat is given and even bigger role also you have the ability to stop cutscenes in the middle of the conversation and react which will affect the story.

The Orange Box takes some of Valves best work and throws it all into one amazing package. There is Portal which is a series of levels where you must complete puzzles using a portal gun. Team Fortress 2 is a team-based online shooter that started off as a mod for Quake 2. Finally, there is Half-Life 2 which is a groundbreaking first-person shooter that most of todays first-person shooters are based on.

With this and many other games of this generation, it was becoming clear that the line between PC gaming and console gaming was becoming thinner and thinner.

BioShock is a first-person shooter set in Rapture, a fictional underwater city that was made by those who wanted to live away from laws and do as they please. However, as time went on the inhabitants of the city were driven mad from the cabin fever and gene splicing that had become common practice.

The games philosophy borrows heavily from Ayn Rands Atlas Shrugged novel which is referred to many times throughout the game. In BioShock, you encounter plasmids, injections that genetically alter your DNA so you can shoot elements and other things out of your hands such as fire, electricity, bees, and more.

Grand Theft Auto IV was the first Grand Theft Auto to both appear on the seven generation of consoles and use the cover-based third-person gameplay that is used in Grand Theft Auto V. Like previous games in the series, Grand Theft Auto IV has a heavy emphasis on adult storytelling and exploring an open world.

Grand Theft Auto IV had 2 large expansion packs which included entirely new stories with a different playable character, new cars, new weapons, and new radio stations based on the theme of the story, and more.

NEXT:GTA 6: 5 Reasons It May Not Have A Single-Player Campaign (& 5 Reasons It Will)

Next Persona 5: Dating Multiple People (& Other Social Things You Didn't Know You Could Do)

Ian is a writer with a strong interest in video game history with a small collection of games from the Atari 2600 all the way up to the most current generation; so when you need a random fact about video game history to share at a party, he's your guy!

Read more here:

11 Of The Best Xbox 360 Games, According To Metacritic | TheGamer - TheGamer

Letters To Editor: August 5, 2020 – The Rhino TImes

The Postal Service Is Not A Business

Dear Editor,

FYI, the book 1984, along with Atlas Shrugged and Animal Farm should be on the reading list for ALL Americans. Atlas Shrugged is a huge book, full of wordy paragraphs a slog at times. You can listen to this book much more easily.

The best movie version of 1984, starring Richard Burton and John Hurt, is now playing on one of the streaming pay TV networks. Even if you have read the book, this is a must-see. The opening scenes of massed people gathered to ridicule opposing views and stonewall other opinions by shouting en masse, big, big, big, big, big, big (Brother) draws chilling congruence to leftist Brown Shirt street tactics. This book is not an attack on the Democrat Party, but an expos on Big Brother socialism.

On another subject, I recently received a priority mail flat rate box (2-day delivery) shipped from West Palm Beach, FL. Received after 12 days in transit. Five of those days residing at the USPS sorting facility near the Greensboro airport. Conversely, I received a first class letter from Boone, NC, the day after it was mailed less than 24 hours.

When the pandemic began, people began to shop on line v/s visiting the stores. This put a severe strain on all the shipping services. FedEx has reacted by simply going bad. FedEx lost one of my packages; you cannot get them on the phone, they literally dont want to talk to you. The local reps dont have a clue. FedEx also took six days to deliver an overnight letter, then rubbed salt in the wound by charging me $36 to not do so. They wont do that to me again.

Rather than stomp and holler, I went to a couple of post offices to find out what is going on. So straight from the firing line, this is what is going on with the USPS. When the on-line biz picked up, USPS could not train new employees (who might be temps) quickly enough, so the employees worked overtime to get the mails delivered a little slower, but OK.

The problem begins with the new postmaster general, Mr. Louis DeJoy, appointed to the post in June 2020. Mr. Dejoy is a trustee at Elon University and was in private business for companies such as New Breed Logistics and XPO Logistics for 35 years. The statement from the USPS website says that Mr. DeJoy has committed to creating a long-term, viable operating model for the Postal Service that will ensure the organization can fulfill its public service mission while remaining self-sustaining.

This statement proves the problem as related to me by several of his employees in Greensboro. The terms public service mission and self-sustaining are incongruent. To his credit, Mr. DeJoy is trying to run the USPS as a profitable business. The USPS is a service, not a business.

Anyone alive knows that our government does not make money. It does not live within its means. For 55 cents, you can send a first class letter to anywhere in the U.S. and possessions (Guam, W. Somoa). Letters have to be sorted numerous times, and gathered and delivered by hand. 55 cents is a bargain, for the simple reason that it costs a lot more than that to process the letter.

What Mr. DeJoy has done is to eliminate and curtail overtime pay for the employees in order to reduce costs. So whether the mail is processed or not, at the end of the day, work stops. Would you work for your employer for free? Should you? The USPS is a service, not a business.

Miller Forester

Black Lives Matter Both Concept And Organization

Dear Editor,

Black lives matter. All lives add value to this world. All lives matter equally. The problem at hand is partially due to using the term Black Lives Matter to both describe a concept and name an organization. Disagreeing with the organization does not equal disagreeing with the concept. Most group opponents openly support the concept. However, individuals disagreeing with the group have faced false accusations of racism.

To encourage a difficult conversation, here are several criticisms of the loosely organized Black Lives Matter group.

1) Stop and frisk policies caused devastating mistrust of police in the African American community. However, the BLM group over demanded. It crossed the line from a defensive to an offensive group. It has morphed into an antiestablishment, anti-police, anti-constitutional rights, and antigovernment organization. Two wrongs remain two wrongs.

2) The group leveraged confusion between concept and group to force support and punish disagreement.

3) It is dangerous to attack individuals for saying all lives matter. The term implies equality not racism. Black lives are included within all lives matter. Supporting all lives supports black lives. If you truly support equality, you must believe that we are equally capable of good as well as bad acts. If you believe we are all capable of graduating from college given environmental factors, you must also believe that we are capable of committing crimes given environmental factors. If you believe everyone are capable of good but only that other group is capable of bad, we risk defensiveness crossing over to offensiveness. We all risk being both abused by and abusers of racism. By becoming angered over all lives matter comments, increasing extremism risks crossing into racist ideology. We must all worry about extremism crossing the line into racism/discrimination. No one is immune. The individuals demanding only Black Lives Matter comments demand support for the organization not the concept.

4) The groups extremism increases tensions increasing threat to all sides. Fear and animosity has been heightened. Today, when police stop citizens, both sides become defensive. Both sides misinterpret the others defensiveness as offensiveness. This will only escalate tensions resulting in greater number of painful outcomes. In order to truly fix this situation, all sides must be listened to and understanding of the other attempted. After all, we are all, ALL, capable of mistakes. Demanding understanding without offering the same only amplifies distrust.

Alan Burke

Be Careful Of Propaganda From Both Sides

Dear Editor,

propaganda

Propaganda has been going on sense man developed speaking, reading, and writing. It has always been a very valuable tool used for good and bad. Advertising is probably the single largest use ever.

If you are paying close attention to what is being written and said you will spot the subtle use of words and phrases that other people begin using in any conversation on the subject. The best, most obvious example is where members of the media who are graduates of the Joseph Goebbels School of Journalism have managed to insert the word troops in place of the word agents when talking about federal law enforcement across the country. This allows the segue into the other lie about having federal troops on the streets of American cities

Goebbels is often credited with being the originator of the following;

If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.

In this example, the State is replaced by the collective leftist, Marxist/communist, socialist, anarchist groups being given cover and support by the (National Socialist) Democrat party.

They are able to get away with this because not enough people do actual comparative research. Too many people simply accept what they read and hear without challenging it, without looking at other sources and what they have to say. These are the people that help to spread the propaganda. And I will point out that that applies to both sides. There are those organizations on the extreme right and some that are truly racist that are as bad.

There is nothing wrong with being a little bit cynical. It keeps you safe and healthy. And it helps to make for a better, stronger America.

Dont buy into the B.S. Do your research before you vote.

Alan Marshall

See original here:

Letters To Editor: August 5, 2020 - The Rhino TImes

Letters To Editor: August 5, 2020 – The Rhino TImes

The Postal Service Is Not A Business

Dear Editor,

FYI, the book 1984, along with Atlas Shrugged and Animal Farm should be on the reading list for ALL Americans. Atlas Shrugged is a huge book, full of wordy paragraphs a slog at times. You can listen to this book much more easily.

The best movie version of 1984, starring Richard Burton and John Hurt, is now playing on one of the streaming pay TV networks. Even if you have read the book, this is a must-see. The opening scenes of massed people gathered to ridicule opposing views and stonewall other opinions by shouting en masse, big, big, big, big, big, big (Brother) draws chilling congruence to leftist Brown Shirt street tactics. This book is not an attack on the Democrat Party, but an expos on Big Brother socialism.

On another subject, I recently received a priority mail flat rate box (2-day delivery) shipped from West Palm Beach, FL. Received after 12 days in transit. Five of those days residing at the USPS sorting facility near the Greensboro airport. Conversely, I received a first class letter from Boone, NC, the day after it was mailed less than 24 hours.

When the pandemic began, people began to shop on line v/s visiting the stores. This put a severe strain on all the shipping services. FedEx has reacted by simply going bad. FedEx lost one of my packages; you cannot get them on the phone, they literally dont want to talk to you. The local reps dont have a clue. FedEx also took six days to deliver an overnight letter, then rubbed salt in the wound by charging me $36 to not do so. They wont do that to me again.

Rather than stomp and holler, I went to a couple of post offices to find out what is going on. So straight from the firing line, this is what is going on with the USPS. When the on-line biz picked up, USPS could not train new employees (who might be temps) quickly enough, so the employees worked overtime to get the mails delivered a little slower, but OK.

The problem begins with the new postmaster general, Mr. Louis DeJoy, appointed to the post in June 2020. Mr. Dejoy is a trustee at Elon University and was in private business for companies such as New Breed Logistics and XPO Logistics for 35 years. The statement from the USPS website says that Mr. DeJoy has committed to creating a long-term, viable operating model for the Postal Service that will ensure the organization can fulfill its public service mission while remaining self-sustaining.

This statement proves the problem as related to me by several of his employees in Greensboro. The terms public service mission and self-sustaining are incongruent. To his credit, Mr. DeJoy is trying to run the USPS as a profitable business. The USPS is a service, not a business.

Anyone alive knows that our government does not make money. It does not live within its means. For 55 cents, you can send a first class letter to anywhere in the U.S. and possessions (Guam, W. Somoa). Letters have to be sorted numerous times, and gathered and delivered by hand. 55 cents is a bargain, for the simple reason that it costs a lot more than that to process the letter.

What Mr. DeJoy has done is to eliminate and curtail overtime pay for the employees in order to reduce costs. So whether the mail is processed or not, at the end of the day, work stops. Would you work for your employer for free? Should you? The USPS is a service, not a business.

Miller Forester

Black Lives Matter Both Concept And Organization

Dear Editor,

Black lives matter. All lives add value to this world. All lives matter equally. The problem at hand is partially due to using the term Black Lives Matter to both describe a concept and name an organization. Disagreeing with the organization does not equal disagreeing with the concept. Most group opponents openly support the concept. However, individuals disagreeing with the group have faced false accusations of racism.

To encourage a difficult conversation, here are several criticisms of the loosely organized Black Lives Matter group.

1) Stop and frisk policies caused devastating mistrust of police in the African American community. However, the BLM group over demanded. It crossed the line from a defensive to an offensive group. It has morphed into an antiestablishment, anti-police, anti-constitutional rights, and antigovernment organization. Two wrongs remain two wrongs.

2) The group leveraged confusion between concept and group to force support and punish disagreement.

3) It is dangerous to attack individuals for saying all lives matter. The term implies equality not racism. Black lives are included within all lives matter. Supporting all lives supports black lives. If you truly support equality, you must believe that we are equally capable of good as well as bad acts. If you believe we are all capable of graduating from college given environmental factors, you must also believe that we are capable of committing crimes given environmental factors. If you believe everyone are capable of good but only that other group is capable of bad, we risk defensiveness crossing over to offensiveness. We all risk being both abused by and abusers of racism. By becoming angered over all lives matter comments, increasing extremism risks crossing into racist ideology. We must all worry about extremism crossing the line into racism/discrimination. No one is immune. The individuals demanding only Black Lives Matter comments demand support for the organization not the concept.

4) The groups extremism increases tensions increasing threat to all sides. Fear and animosity has been heightened. Today, when police stop citizens, both sides become defensive. Both sides misinterpret the others defensiveness as offensiveness. This will only escalate tensions resulting in greater number of painful outcomes. In order to truly fix this situation, all sides must be listened to and understanding of the other attempted. After all, we are all, ALL, capable of mistakes. Demanding understanding without offering the same only amplifies distrust.

Alan Burke

Be Careful Of Propaganda From Both Sides

Dear Editor,

propaganda

Propaganda has been going on sense man developed speaking, reading, and writing. It has always been a very valuable tool used for good and bad. Advertising is probably the single largest use ever.

If you are paying close attention to what is being written and said you will spot the subtle use of words and phrases that other people begin using in any conversation on the subject. The best, most obvious example is where members of the media who are graduates of the Joseph Goebbels School of Journalism have managed to insert the word troops in place of the word agents when talking about federal law enforcement across the country. This allows the segue into the other lie about having federal troops on the streets of American cities

Goebbels is often credited with being the originator of the following;

If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.

In this example, the State is replaced by the collective leftist, Marxist/communist, socialist, anarchist groups being given cover and support by the (National Socialist) Democrat party.

They are able to get away with this because not enough people do actual comparative research. Too many people simply accept what they read and hear without challenging it, without looking at other sources and what they have to say. These are the people that help to spread the propaganda. And I will point out that that applies to both sides. There are those organizations on the extreme right and some that are truly racist that are as bad.

There is nothing wrong with being a little bit cynical. It keeps you safe and healthy. And it helps to make for a better, stronger America.

Dont buy into the B.S. Do your research before you vote.

Alan Marshall

Read more here:

Letters To Editor: August 5, 2020 - The Rhino TImes

11 Of The Best Xbox 360 Games, According To Metacritic | TheGamer – TheGamer

Microsoft came out of nowhere with the original Xbox and entered the console market with a bang. While essentially running on a version of Direct X, the Xbox made a fantastic home console and had many great exclusives like the Halo series, Fable, and more.

RELATED:10 Of The Best Shoot Em' Ups For The Xbox 360

When Microsoft launched the Xbox 360, they were sure to make it just as impactful as their first console and brought many PC exclusives to consoles for the first time. To commemorate the Xbox 360, here are 10 of the best games on the console based on their Metacritic score - one game per franchise for varietys sake.

Batman Arkham Asylum proved that an amazing superhero game was possible. Batman Arkham City took everything established in the first game and built upon it, giving you a massive city to explore and find gadgets in. They also made the flight mechanics much more in-depth and useful as it would be your primary way of making it around the city.

The game saw a lot of DLC which added new missions, new playable characters, and more. The Metroid style of gameplay mixed with the almost rhythm-game-like combat made it the perfect package.

Gears of War was Cliff Bleszinskis take on the genre established in Resident Evil 4. You are Marcus Phoenix fighting off the Locus, a massive race of humanoid creatures that live directly beneath the earths surface.

You take part in epic firefights and must pop in and out of cover to ensure you wont get killed. You also have a chainsaw attached to your gun so you can cut your enemies directly in half during close-quartered encounters. The series still persists to this day, though the gameplay has changed very little in the 5+ games that have been released thus far.

Up to this point, Call of Duty was set primarily in World War 2 and while successful, was in no way as big as it is today. In Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare they decided to leave the second world war and head into modern times.

While the game did offer a fun and interesting single-player campaign, the real appeal of the game was its online multiplayer. The online multiplayer set the gaming world ablaze and it hasnt been the same since and countless attempts are still being made to try to capture the online multiplayer excitement created by this game.

Halo 3 is as the name implies, is the third game in the Halo series. Like the previous entry, Halo 3s main hook is in its multiplayer. The game offered a large selection of different online modes including deathmatch, capture the flag, team deathmatch, and much more.

RELATED:10 Hardest To Find XBOX 360 Games (& What They're Worth)

The Halo series was massive at this point and was a system seller for Microsoft. Halo 3 allowed you to also play multiplayer in the story as one player controlled Master Chief and the other controlled Artbitor, an Elite who joined the human side.

The first Portal was set up as a series of test rooms where you would have to solve puzzles using a portal gun which could create a blue and orange portal that you and other objects can pass through. By the end of the game you find out your only purpose is to finish the tests and later be disposed of so you escape.

In Portal 2, the game is structured more like an adventure as you attempt to escape the Aperture facility. The game also offers a cooperative mode where you and a friend must solve puzzles together to progress.

Red Dead Redemption is the sequel to Red Dead Revolver, though it shares very little with that game aside from the wild west setting. Red Dead Redemption can be summarized as Grand Theft Auto in the wild west as you have a massive open world to explore.

RELATED:10 PS2 Games To Play If You Enjoyed Red Dead Redemption 2

You take on various missions for people, get into gunfights, tame wild horses, unlock more outfits and equipment, and more. The game was followed up by Red Dead Redemption 2 which came out in 2018 and was one of the biggest games of that year.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim adds so much that wasnt in the previous game, you may be mistaken and think they arent from the same franchise. While in the previous game The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion your sword swings sort of just go anywhere - in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim all of your attacks feel like you are actually connecting, making the game feel much more action-oriented instead other the heavy CRPG feel previous games in the series had.

Easily the most successful games in the series and is still being played and modded today over 9 years after its release.

Mass Effect 1 took the RPG elements that Bioware is known for and shot them into a third-person cover-based shooter which were very popular at the time. Not only was the gameplay deep and enjoyable but the game also created an entire universe with complex alien creatures all co-existing and dealing with racism and power balance.

Mass Effect 2 took the gameplay and story established in the first game and improved upon it immensely. Combat is given and even bigger role also you have the ability to stop cutscenes in the middle of the conversation and react which will affect the story.

The Orange Box takes some of Valves best work and throws it all into one amazing package. There is Portal which is a series of levels where you must complete puzzles using a portal gun. Team Fortress 2 is a team-based online shooter that started off as a mod for Quake 2. Finally, there is Half-Life 2 which is a groundbreaking first-person shooter that most of todays first-person shooters are based on.

With this and many other games of this generation, it was becoming clear that the line between PC gaming and console gaming was becoming thinner and thinner.

BioShock is a first-person shooter set in Rapture, a fictional underwater city that was made by those who wanted to live away from laws and do as they please. However, as time went on the inhabitants of the city were driven mad from the cabin fever and gene splicing that had become common practice.

The games philosophy borrows heavily from Ayn Rands Atlas Shrugged novel which is referred to many times throughout the game. In BioShock, you encounter plasmids, injections that genetically alter your DNA so you can shoot elements and other things out of your hands such as fire, electricity, bees, and more.

Grand Theft Auto IV was the first Grand Theft Auto to both appear on the seven generation of consoles and use the cover-based third-person gameplay that is used in Grand Theft Auto V. Like previous games in the series, Grand Theft Auto IV has a heavy emphasis on adult storytelling and exploring an open world.

Grand Theft Auto IV had 2 large expansion packs which included entirely new stories with a different playable character, new cars, new weapons, and new radio stations based on the theme of the story, and more.

NEXT:GTA 6: 5 Reasons It May Not Have A Single-Player Campaign (& 5 Reasons It Will)

Next Pokmon Sword & Shield: 10 Underrated Pokmon You Should Stop Ignoring & Start Training

Ian is a writer with a strong interest in video game history with a small collection of games from the Atari 2600 all the way up to the most current generation; so when you need a random fact about video game history to share at a party, he's your guy!

Read the original post:

11 Of The Best Xbox 360 Games, According To Metacritic | TheGamer - TheGamer

Idyllwild Arts Academy: A safe and creative hub in the mountains – Study International News

Ask Idyllwild Arts Academy (IAA) high school students what they will miss most after graduation, and you will get many answers.

Some long to reconnect with a close-knit creative community. Another already misses the fun collaborating with IAA professors and peers on music, theatre, film and art projects.

Others yearn for the safety of a countryside campus, where the sight of hawks swooping above the San Jacinto mountains becomes part of a daily routine.

So, when the Academy announced that lessons resume on Aug. 31, 2020 with distance learning and that the campus reopens on Oct.1, 2020 if it is safe to do so IAA students and faculty were thrilled!

Idyllwild Arts Foundation President Pamela Jordan said, The Idyllwild Arts community is resilient and our resolve is strong, so we will come through the COVID-19 crisis.

Academic classes will be entirely online when students first return to campus. This will reduce the number of teachers on campus and assist a smooth transition for students as they adjust to in-person instruction.

Source: Idyllwild Arts Academy

Once the campus fully reopens, students will study, practise, and perform in safe spaces. The number of students in classrooms will be limited and full advantage will be taken of the outdoors.

In the dorms, each student will share a bathroom with only one other student. Faculty and student health will be monitored daily. The Academy has even assembled a medical advisory board to supplement the recommendations of national experts with granular local knowledge.

Continued online instruction will also allow for independent growth and connection with students who may not be able to arrive until January 2021.

Thats not all for the best arts high school in the United States, as ranked byNiche.com. In 2020, the Academy is offering a new Online Gap Year for all arts majors.

This add-on year is perfect for high school graduates who are unsure of what to do next and need time to reassess their study plans amid the current COVID-19 climate.

This year, IAAs Film and Digital Media Department and their star-studded line-up of film industry professionals will bring creative learning to the comfort of your home through its new virtual Gap Year programme.

Source: Idyllwild Arts Academy

The IAA Film and Digital Media Department offers postgraduates and gap year students the opportunity to focus their studies on one of three specific areas: Directing, Writing, or Post-Production.

Each of these areas breaks down into eight-week focus sessions for a culmination of a year-long certificate of completion.

For the upcoming Film Online Gap Year programme, the Academy enlisted high-profile film industry professionals to guide you through their online post-production, directing and writing masterclasses.

To share her experiences as a writer, director, producer and what growing up in the industry was like, Tiny Apples founder Julie Pacino will take IAAs online stage. Julie has written and directed several short films that have screened in cities across the world including Cannes, Hollywood, Sao Paulo, and New York.

Film producer Lynn Hendee will be sharing her vast industry experience with IAA students too. Hendee is a member of the Producers Guild of America, founding Co-Chair of the PGAs Womens Impact Network (WIN) and an alumna of the 2017 Sundance Institute/Women in Film Intensive Workshop.

Her multiple successful film credits include Enders Game, The Tempest, In My Country, and many more.

Source: Idyllwild Arts Academy

For an Editing in LA masterclass, Emmy Award-winning picture editor John Gilbert will guide IAA students through the dos and donts. Gilbert has over thirty years experience editing both television and feature films, such as Atlas Shrugged II: The Strike and Teen Wolf episodes.

Learn the advanced intricacies of cinematography with Dan Kneece who has worked with the best in business. He was taught Steadicam by inventor Garrett Brown. This led to a 28-year career as a Steadicam operator and anongoing professional relationship with director David Lynch on projects such as Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart, Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive.

For Quentin Tarantino,Danwas A Camera/Steadicam Operator on Jackie Brown and Steadicam operator on the Death Proof segment of Grindhouse.

Dannow uses his knowledge, extensive film making experience and incredible eye to excel in his work as a director ofphotography.

The IAA Film Online Gap Year also features film legend Ralph Singletons film scheduling and budgeting masterclass, Witt Lacys DirectorsGuild of America Assistant Director, production assistant boot camp, Billy Cowarts acting class, seasoned casting director Mikie Heilbruns masterclass and much more.

Source: Idyllwild Arts Academy

As mentioned above,the Academy is now offering a new Online Gap Year for all arts majors.In the Film Online Gap Year, for example, youll level-up your creative experience through a virtual Writing Programme, a Directing Programme and a Post-Production Programme.

These three programmes will broaden your knowledge of the film sector and help you discover which creative route youd like to take further into university or a career.

The Writing Programme expands your storytelling skills through Screenwriting, Playwriting, and Multi-Genre workshops. Whereas the Directing Programme provides students with an overview of visual storytelling and character development.

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Atlas Shrugged: Part I (2011) – IMDb

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It was great to be alive, once, but the world was perishing. Factories were shutting down, transportation was grinding to a halt, granaries were empty--and key people who had once kept it running were disappearing all over the country. As the lights winked out and the cities went cold, nothing was left to anyone but misery. No one knew how to stop it, no one understood why it was happening - except one woman, the operating executive of a once mighty transcontinental railroad, who suspects the answer may rest with a remarkable invention and the man who created it - a man who once said he would stop the motor of the world. Everything now depends on finding him and discovering the answer to the question on the lips of everyone as they whisper it in fear: Who *is* John Galt? Written byRobb

Taglines:Who is John Galt?

Budget:$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA: $1,677,000,17 April 2011

Gross USA: $4,627,375

Cumulative Worldwide Gross: $4,627,375

Runtime: 97 min

Aspect Ratio: 2.35 : 1

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Atlas Shrugged: Part I (2011) - IMDb

Atlas Shrugged: Rand, Ayn: 9780451191144: Amazon.com: Books

About the Author

Born February 2, 1905, Ayn Rand published her first novel, We the Living, in 1936. Anthem followed in 1938. It was with the publication of The Fountainhead (1943) and Atlas Shrugged (1957) that she achieved her spectacular success. Rand's unique philosophy, Objectivism, has gained a worldwide audience. The fundamentals of her philosophy are put forth in three nonfiction books, Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, The Virtues of Selfishness, and Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal. They are all available in Signet editions, as is the magnificent statement of her artistic credo, The Romantic Manifesto.

INTRODUCTION: Ayn Rand held that art is a re-creation of reality according to an artist s metaphysical value judgments. By its nature, therefore, a novel (like a statue or a symphony) does not require or tolerate an explanatory preface; it is a self-contained universe, aloof from commentary, beckoning the reader to enter, perceive, respond. Ayn Rand would never have approved of a didactic (or laudatory) introduction to her book, and I have no intention of flouting her wishes. Instead, I am going to give her the floor. I am going to let you in on some of the thinking she did as she was preparing to write Atlas Shrugged. Before starting a novel, Ayn Rand wrote voluminously in her journals about its theme, plot, and characters. She wrote not for any audience, but strictly for herself that is, for the clarity of her own understanding. The journals dealing with Atlas Shrugged are powerful examples of her mind in action, confident even when groping, purposeful even when stymied, luminously eloquent even though wholly unedited. These journals are also a fascinating record of the step-by-step birth of an immortal work of art. In due course, all of Ayn Rand s writings will be published. For this 35th anniversary edition of Atlas Shrugged, however, I have selected, as a kind of advance bonus for her fans, four typical journal entries. Let me warn new readers that the passages reveal the plot and will spoil the book for anyone who reads them before knowing the story. As I recall, Atlas Shrugged did not become the novel s title until Miss Rand s husband made the suggestion in 1956. The working title throughout the writing was The Strike. The earliest of Miss Rand s notes for The Strike are dated January 1, 1945, about a year after the publication of The Fountainhead. Naturally enough, the subject on her mind was how to differentiate the present novel from its predecessor. Theme. What happens to the world when the Prime Movers go on strike. This means a picture of the world with its motor cut off. Show: what, how, why. The specific steps and incidents in terms of persons, their spirits, motives, psychology and actions and, secondarily, proceeding from persons, in terms of history, society and the world. The theme requires: to show who are the prime movers and why, how they function. Who are their enemies and why, what are the motives behind the hatred for and the enslavement of the prime movers; the nature of the obstacles placed in their way, and the reasons for it. This last paragraph is contained entirely in The Fountainhead. Roark and Toohey are the complete statement of it. Therefore, this is not the direct theme of The Strike but it is part of the theme and must be kept in mind, stated again (though briefly) to have the theme clear and complete. First question to decide is on whom the emphasis must be placed on the prime movers, the parasites or the world. The answer is: The world. The story must be primarily a picture of the whole. In this sense, The Strike is to be much more a social novel than The Fountainhead. The Fountainhead was about individualism and collectivism within man s soul ; it showed the nature and function of the creator and the second-hander. The primary concern there was with Roark and Toohey showing what they are. The rest of the characters were variations of the theme of the relation of the ego to others mixtures of the two extremes, the two poles: Roark and Toohey. The primary concern of the story was the characters, the people as such their natures. Their relations to each other which is society, men in relation to men were secondary, an unavoidable, direct consequence of Roark set against Toohey. But it was not the theme. Now, it is this relation that must be the theme. Therefore, the personal becomes secondary. That is, the personal is necessary only to the extent needed to make the relationships clear. In The Fountainhead I showed that Roark moves the world that the Keatings feed upon him and hate him for it, while the Tooheys are out consciously to destroy him. But the theme was Roark not Roark s relation to the world. Now it will be the relation. In other words, I must show in what concrete, specific way the world is moved by the creators. Exactly how do the second-handers live on the creators. Both in spiritual matters and (most particularly) in concrete, physical events. (Concentrate on the concrete, physical events but don t forget to keep in mind at all times how the physical proceeds from the spiritual.). However, for the purpose of this story, I do not start by showing how the second-handers live on the prime movers in actual, everyday reality nor do I start by showing a normal world. (That comes in only in necessary retrospect, or flashback, or by implication in the events themselves.) I start with the fantastic premise of the prime movers going on strike. This is the actual heart and center of the novel. A distinction carefully to be observed here: I do not set out to glorify the prime mover ( that was The Fountainhead ). I set out to show how desperately the world needs prime movers, and how viciously it treats them. And I show it on a hypothetical case what happens to the world without them. In The Fountainhead I did not show how desperately the world needed Roark except by implication. I did show how viciously the world treated him, and why. I showed mainly what he is. It was Roark s story. This must be the world s story in relation to its prime movers. (Almost the story of a body in relation to its heart a body dying of anemia.) I don t show directly what the prime movers do that s shown only by implication. I show what happens when they don t do it. (Through that, you see the picture of what they do, their place and their role.) (This is an important guide for the construction of the story.) In order to work out the story, Ayn Rand had to understand fully why the prime movers allowed the second-handers to live on them why the creators had not gone on strike throughout history what errors even the best of them made that kept them in thrall to the worst. Part of the answer is dramatized in the character of Dagny Taggart, the railroad heiress who declares war on the strikers. Here is a note on her psychology, dated April 18, 1946: Her error and the cause of her refusal to join the strike is over-optimism and over-confidence (particularly this last). Over-optimism in that she thinks men are better than they are, she doesn t really understand them and is generous about it. Over-confidence in that she thinks she can do more than an individual actually can. She thinks she can run a railroad (or the world) single-handed, she can make people do what she wants or needs, what is right, by the sheer force of her own talent; not by forcing them, of course, not by enslaving them and giving orders but by the sheer over-abundance of her own energy; she will show them how, she can teach them and persuade them, she is so able that they ll catch it from her. (This is still faith in their rationality, in the omnipotence of reason. The mistake? Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it. Do not count on them. Leave them alone.) On these two points, Dagny is committing an important (but excusable and understandable) error in thinking, the kind of error individualists and creators often make. It is an error proceeding from the best in their nature and from a proper principle, but this principle is misapplied. The error is this: it is proper for a creator to be optimistic, in the deepest, most basic sense, since the creator believes in a benevolent universe and functions on that premise. But it is an error to extend that optimism to other specific men. First, it s not necessary, the creator s life and the nature of the universe do not require it, his life does not depend on others. Second, man is a being with free will; therefore, each man is potentially good or evil, and it s up to him and only to him (through his reasoning mind) to decide which he wants to be. The decision will affect only him; it is not (and cannot and should not be) the primary concern of any other human being. Therefore, while a creator does and must worship Man (which means his own highest potentiality; which is his natural self-reverence), he must not make the mistake of thinking that this means the necessity to worship Mankind (as a collective). These are two entirely different conceptions, with entirely (immensely and diametrically opposed) different consequences. Man, at his highest potentiality, is realized and fulfilled within each creator himself. Whether the creator is alone, or finds only a handful of others like him, or is among the majority of mankind, is of no importance or consequence whatever; numbers have nothing to do with it. He alone or he and a few others like him are mankind, in the proper sense of being the proof of what man actually is, man at his best, the essential man, man at his highest possibility. (The rational being, who acts according to his nature.) It should not matter to a creator whether anyone or a million or all the men around him fall short of the ideal of Man; let him live up to that ideal himself; this is all the optimism about Man that he needs. But this is a hard and subtle thing to realize and it would be natural for Dagny always to make the mistake of believing others are better than they really are (or will become better, or she will teach them to become better or, actually, she so desperately wants them to be better) and to be tied to the world by that hope. It is proper for a creator to have an unlimited confidence in himself and his ability, to feel certain that he can get anything he wishes out of life, that he can accomplish anything he decides to accomplish, and that it s up to him to do it. (He feels it because he is a man of reason. But here is what he must keep clearly in mind: it is true that a creator can accomplish anything he wishes if he functions according to the nature of man, the universe and his own proper morality, that is, if he does not place his wish primarily within others and does not attempt or desire anything that is of a collective nature, anything that concerns others primarily or requires primarily the exercise of the will of others. (This would be an immoral desire or attempt, contrary to his nature as a creator.) If he attempts that, he is out of a creator s province and in that of the collectivist and the second-hander. Therefore, he must never feel confident that he can do anything whatever to, by or through others. (He can t and he shouldn t even wish to try it and the mere attempt is improper.) He must not think that he can. somehow transfer his energy and his intelligence to them and make them fit for his purposes in that way. He must face other men as they are, recognizing them as essentially independent entities, by nature, and beyond his primary influence; [he must] deal with them only on his own, independent terms, deal with such as he judges can fit his purpose or live up to his standards (by themselves and of their own will, independently of him) and expect nothing from the others. Now, in Dagny s case, her desperate desire is to run Taggart Transcontinental. She sees that there are no men suited to her purpose around her, no men of ability, independence and competence. She thinks she can run it with others, with the incompetent and the parasites, either by training them or merely by treating them as robots who will take her orders and function without personal initiative or responsibility; with herself, in effect, being the spark of initiative, the bearer of responsibility for a whole collective. This can t be done. This is her crucial error. This is where she fails. Ayn Rand s basic purpose as a novelist was to present not villains or even heroes with errors, but the ideal man the consistent, the fully integrated, the perfect. In Atlas Shrugged, this is John Galt, the towering figure who moves the world and the novel, yet does not appear onstage until Part III. By his nature (and that of the story) Galt is necessarily central to the lives of all the characters. In one note, Galt s relation to the others, dated June 27, 1946, Miss Rand defines succinctly what Galt represents to each of them: For Dagny the ideal. The answer to her two quests: the man of genius and the man she loves. The first quest is expressed in her search for the inventor of the engine. The second her growing conviction that she will never be in love For Rearden the friend. The kind of understanding and appreciation he has always wanted and did not know he wanted (or he thought he had it he tried to find it in those around him, to get it from his wife, his mother, brother and sister). For Francisco d Anconia the aristocrat. The only man who represents a challenge and a stimulant almost the proper kind of audience, worthy of stunning for the sheer joy and color of life. For Danneskjld the anchor. The only man who represents land and roots to a restless, reckless wanderer, like the goal of a struggle, the port at the end of a fierce sea-voyage the only man he can respect. For the Composer the inspiration and the perfect audience. For the Philosopher the embodiment of his abstractions. For Father Amadeus the source of his conflict. The uneasy realization that Galt is the end of his endeavors, the man of virtue, the perfect man and that his means do not fit this end (and that he is destroying this, his ideal, for the sake of those who are evil). To James Taggart the eternal threat. The secret dread. The reproach. The guilt (his own guilt). He has no specific tie-in with Galt but he has that constant, causeless, unnamed, hysterical fear. And he recognizes it when he hears Galt s broadcast and when he sees Galt in person for the first time. To the Professor his conscience. The reproach and reminder. The ghost that haunts him through everything he does, without a moment s peace. The thing that says: No to his whole life. Some notes on the above: Rearden s sister, Stacy, was a minor character later cut from the novel. Francisco was spelled Francesco in these early years, while Danneskld s first name at this point was Ivar, presumably after Ivar Kreuger, the Swedish match king, who was the real-life model of Bjorn Faulkner in Night of January 16th. Father Amadeus was Taggart s priest, to whom he confessed his sins. The priest was supposed to be a positive character, honestly devoted to the good but practicing consistently the morality of mercy. Miss Rand dropped him, she told me, when she found that it was impossible to make such a character convincing. The Professor is Robert Stadler. This brings me to a final excerpt. Because of her passion for ideas, Miss Rand was often asked whether she was primarily a philosopher or a novelist. In later years, she was impatient with this question, but she gave her own answer, to and for herself, in a note dated May 4, 1946. The broader context was a discussion of the nature of creativity. I seem to be both a theoretical philosopher and a fiction writer. But it is the last that interests me most; the first is only the means to the last; the absolutely necessary means, but only the means; the fiction story is the end. Without an understanding and statement of the right philosophical principle, I cannot create the right story; but the discovery of the principle interests me only as the discovery of the proper knowledge to be used for my life purpose; and my life purpose is the creation of the kind of world (people and events) that I like that is, that represents human perfection. Philosophical knowledge is necessary in order to define human perfection. But I do not care to stop at the definition. I want to use it, to apply it in my work (in my personal life, too but the core, center and purpose of my personal life, of my whole life, is my work). This is why, I think, the idea of writing a philosophical nonfiction book bored me. In such a book, the purpose would actually be to teach others, to present my idea to them. In a book of fiction the purpose is to create, for myself, the kind of world I want and to live in it while I am creating it; then, as a secondary consequence, to let others enjoy this world, if, and to the extent that they can. It may be said that the first purpose of a philosophical book is the clarification or statement of your new knowledge to and for yourself; and then, as a secondary step, the offering of your knowledge to others. But here is the difference, as far as I am concerned: I have to acquire and state to myself the new philosophical knowledge or principle I used in order to write a fiction story as its embodiment and illustration; I do not care to write a story on a theme or thesis of old knowledge, knowledge stated or discovered by someone else, that is, someone else s philosophy (because those philosophies are wrong). To this extent, I am an abstract philosopher (I want to present the perfect man and his perfect life and I must also discover my own philosophical statement and definition of this perfection). But when and if I have discovered such new knowledge, I am not interested in stating it in its abstract, general form, that is, as knowledge. I am interested in using it, in applying it that is, in stating it in the concrete form of men and events, in the form of a fiction story. This last is my final purpose, my end; the philosophical knowledge or discovery is only the means to it. For my purpose, the non-fiction form of abstract knowledge doesn t interest me; the final, applied form of fiction, of story, does. (I state the knowledge to myself, anyway; but I choose the final form of it, the expression, in the completed cycle that leads back to man.) I wonder to what extent I represent a peculiar phenomenon in this respect. I think I represent the proper integration of a complete human being. Anyway, this should be my lead for the character of John Galt. He, too , is a combination of an abstract philosopher and a practical inventor; the thinker and the man of action together In learning, we draw an abstraction from concrete objects and events. In creating, we make our own concrete objects and events out of the abstraction; we bring the abstraction down and back to its specific meaning, to the concrete; but the abstraction has helped us to make the kind of concrete we want the concrete to be. It has helped us to create to reshape the world as we wish it to be for our purposes. I cannot resist quoting one further paragraph. It comes a few pages later in the same discussion. Incidentally, as a sideline observation: if creative fiction writing is a process of translating an abstraction into the concrete, there are three possible grades of such writing: translating an old (known) abstraction (theme or thesis) through the medium of old fiction means (that is, characters, events or situations used before for that same purpose, that same translation) this is most of the popular trash; translating an old abstraction through new, original fiction means this is most of the good literature; creating a new, original abstraction and translating it through new, original means. This, as far as I know, is only me my kind of fiction writing. May God forgive me (Metaphor!) if this is mistaken conceit! As near as I can now see it, it isn t. (A fourth possibility translating a new abstraction through old means is impossible, by definition: if the abstraction is new, there can be no means used by anybody else before to translate it.) Is her conclusion mistaken conceit ? It is now forty-five years since she wrote this note, and you are holding Ayn Rand s master-work in your hands. You decide. Leonard Peikoff September 1991. Chapter 1: THE THEME Who is John Galt? The light was ebbing, and Eddie Willers could not distinguish the bum s face. The bum had said it simply, without expression. But from the sunset far at the end of the street, yellow glints caught his eyes, and the eyes looked straight at Eddie Willers, mocking and still as if the question had been addressed to the causeless uneasiness within him. Why did you say that? asked Eddie Willers, his voice tense. The bum leaned against the side of the doorway; a wedge of broken glass behind him reflected the metal yellow of the sky. Why does it bother you? he asked. It doesn t, snapped Eddie Willers. He reached hastily into his pocket. The bum had stopped him and asked for a dime, then had gone on talking, as if to kill that moment and postpone the problem of the next. Pleas for dimes were so frequent in the streets these days that it was not necessary to listen to explanations and he had no desire to hear the details of this bum s particular despair. Go get your cup of coffee, he said, handing the dime to the shadow that had no face. Thank you, sir, said the voice, without interest, and the face leaned forward for a moment. The face was wind-browned, cut by lines of weariness and cynical resignation; the eyes were intelligent. Eddie Willers walked on, wondering why he always felt it at this time of day, this sense of dread without reason. No, he thought, not dread, there s nothing to fear: just an immense, diffused apprehension, with no source or object. He had become accustomed to the feeling, but he could find no explanation for it; yet the bum had spoken as if he knew that Eddie felt it, as if he thought that one should feel it, and more: as if he knew the reason. Eddie Willers pulled his shoulders straight, in conscientious self-discipline. He had to stop this, he thought; he was beginning to imagine things. Had he always felt it? He was thirty-two years old. He tried to think back. No, he hadn t; but he could not remember when it had started. The feeling came to him suddenly, at random intervals, and now it was coming more often than ever. It s the twilight, he thought; I hate the twilight. The clouds and the shafts of skyscrapers against them were turning brown, like an old painting in oil, the color of a fading masterpiece. Long streaks of grime ran from under the pinnacles down the slender, soot-eaten walls. High on the side of a tower there was a crack in the shape of a motionless lightning, the length of ten stories. A jagged object cut the sky above the roofs; it was half a spire, still holding the glow of the sunset; the gold leaf had long since peeled off the other half. The glow was red and still, like the reflection of a fire: not an active fire, but a dying one which it is too late to stop. No, thought Eddie Willers, there was nothing disturbing in the sight of the city. It looked as it had always looked. He walked on, reminding himself that he was late in returning to the office. He did not like the task which he had to perform on his return, but it had to be done. So he did not attempt to delay it, but made himself walk faster. He turned a corner. In the narrow space between the dark silhouettes of two buildings, as in the crack of a door, he saw the page of a gigantic calendar suspended in the sky. It was the calendar that the mayor of New York had erected last year on the top of a building, so that citizens might tell the day of the month as they told the hours of the day, by glancing up at a public tower. A white rectangle hung over the city, imparting the date to the men in the streets below. In the rusty light of this evening s sunset, the rectangle said: September 2. Eddie Willers looked away. He had never liked the sight of that calendar. It disturbed him, in a manner he could not explain or define. The feeling seemed to blend with his sense of uneasiness; it had the same quality. He thought suddenly that there was some phrase, a kind of quotation, that expressed what the calendar seemed to suggest. But he could not recall it. He walked, groping for a sentence that hung in his mind as an empty shape. He could neither fill it nor dismiss it. He glanced back. The white rectangle stood above the roofs, saying in immovable finality: September 2. Eddie Willers shifted his glance down to the street, to a vegetable pushcart at the stoop of a brownstone house. He saw a pile of bright gold carrots and the fresh green of onions. He saw a clean white curtain blowing at an open window. He saw a bus turning a corner, expertly steered. He wondered why he felt reassured and then, why he felt the sudden, inexplicable wish that these things were not left in the open, unprotected against the empty space above. When he came to Fifth Avenue, he kept his eyes on the windows of the stores he passed. There was nothing he needed or wished to buy; but he liked to see the display of goods, any goods, objects made by men, to be used by men. He enjoyed the sight of a prosperous street; not more than every fourth one of the stores was out of business, its windows dark and empty. He did not know why he suddenly thought of the oak tree. Nothing had recalled it. But he thought of it and of his childhood summers on the Taggart estate. He had spent most of his childhood with the Taggart children, and now he worked for them, as his father and grandfather had worked for their father and grandfather. The great oak tree had stood on a hill over the Hudson, in a lonely spot on the Taggart estate. Eddie Willers, aged seven, liked to come and look at that tree. It had stood there for hundreds of years, and he thought it would always stand there. Its roots clutched the hill like a fist with fingers sunk into the soil, and he thought that if a giant were to seize it by the top, he would not be able to uproot it, but would swing the hill and the whole of the earth with it, like a ball at the end of a string. He felt safe in the oak tree s presence; it was a thing that nothing could change or threaten; it was his greatest symbol of strength. One night, lightning struck the oak tree. Eddie saw it the next morning. It lay broken in half, and he looked into its trunk as into the mouth of a black tunnel. The trunk was only an empty shell; its heart had rotted away long ago; there was nothing inside just a thin gray dust that was being dispersed by the whim of the faintest wind. The living power had gone, and the shape it left had not been able to stand without it. Years later, he heard it said that children should be protected from shock, from their first knowledge of death, pain or fear. But these had never scarred him; his shock came when he stood very quietly, looking into the black hole of the trunk. It was an immense betrayal the more terrible because he could not grasp what it was that had been betrayed. It was not himself, he knew, nor his trust; it was something else. He stood there for a while, making no sound, then he walked back to the house. He never spoke about it to anyone, then or since. Eddie Willers shook his head, as the screech of a rusty mechanism changing a traffic light stopped him on the edge of a curb. He felt anger at himself. There was no reason that he had to remember the oak tree tonight. It meant nothing to him any longer, only a faint tinge of sadness and somewhere within him, a drop of pain moving briefly and vanishing, like a raindrop on the glass of a window, its course in the shape of a question mark. He wanted no sadness attached to his childhood; he loved its memories: any day of it he remembered now seemed flooded by a still, brilliant sunlight. It seemed to him as if a few rays from it reached into his present: not rays, more like pinpoint spotlights that gave an occasional moment s glitter to his job, to his lonely apartment, to the quiet, scrupulous progression of his existence. He thought of a summer day when he was ten years old. That day, in a clearing of the woods, the one precious companion of his childhood told him what they would do when they grew up. The words were harsh and glowing, like the sunlight. He listened in admiration and in wonder. When he was asked what he would want to do, he answered at once, Whatever is right, and added, You ought to do something great. I mean, the two of us together. What? she asked. He said, I don t know. That s what we ought to find out. Not just what you said. Not just business and earning a living. Things like winning battles, or saving people out of fires, or climbing mountains. What for? she asked. He said, The minister said last Sunday that we must always reach for the best within us. What do you suppose is the best within us? I don t know. We ll have to find out. She did not answer; she was looking away, up the railroad track. Eddie Willers smiled. He had said, Whatever is right, twenty-two years ago. He had kept that statement unchallenged ever since; the other questions had faded in his mind; he had been too busy to ask them. But he still thought it self-evident that one had to do what was right; he had never learned how people could want to do otherwise; he had learned only that they did. It still seemed simple and incomprehensible to him: simple that things should be right, and incomprehensible that they weren t. He knew that they weren t. He thought of that, as he turned a corner and came to the great building of Taggart Transcontinental. The building stood over the street as its tallest and proudest structure. Eddie Willers always smiled at his first sight of it. Its long bands of windows were unbroken, in contrast to those of its neighbors. Its rising lines cut the sky, with no crumbling corners or worn edges. It seemed to stand above the years, untouched. It would always stand there, thought Eddie Willers. Whenever he entered the Taggart Building, he felt relief and a sense of security. This was a place of competence and power. The floors of its hallways were mirrors made of marble. The frosted rectangles of its electric fixtures were chips of solid light. Behind sheets of glass, rows of girls sat at typewriters,

Originally posted here:

Atlas Shrugged: Rand, Ayn: 9780451191144: Amazon.com: Books

Atlas Shrugged: Who Is John Galt? (2014) – IMDb

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Stars:James Garner,Suzanne Pleshette,Jack Elam

Documentary | Short | Drama

Approaching collapse, the nation's economy is quickly eroding. As crime and fear take over the countryside, the government continues to exert its brutal force against the nation's most productive who are mysteriously vanishing - leaving behind a wake of despair. One man has the answer. One woman stands in his way. Some will stop at nothing to control him. Others will stop at nothing to save him. He swore by his life. They swore to find him. Who is John Galt? Written byOfficial site

Budget:$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA: $461,179,14 September 2014

Gross USA: $846,704

Cumulative Worldwide Gross: $846,704

Runtime: 99 min

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Atlas Shrugged: Who Is John Galt? (2014) - IMDb

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand – Goodreads

This is the story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world and did. Was he a destroyer or the greatest of liberators?

Why did he have to fight his battle, not against his enemies, but against those who needed him most, and his hardest battle against the woman he loved? What is the worlds motor and the motive power of every man? You will know the answer

Why did he have to fight his battle, not against his enemies, but against those who needed him most, and his hardest battle against the woman he loved? What is the worlds motor and the motive power of every man? You will know the answer to these questions when you discover the reason behind the baffling events that play havoc with the lives of the characters in this story.

Tremendous in its scope, this novel presents an astounding panorama of human life from the productive genius who becomes a worthless playboy to the great steel industrialist who does not know that he is working for his own destruction to the philosopher who becomes a pirate to the composer who gives up his career on the night of his triumph to the woman who runs a transcontinental railroad to the lowest track worker in her Terminal tunnels.

You must be prepared, when you read this novel, to check every premise at the root of your convictions.

This is a mystery story, not about the murder and rebirth of mans spirit. It is a philosophical revolution, told in the form of an action thriller of violent events, a ruthlessly brilliant plot structure and an irresistible suspense. Do you say this is impossible? Well, that is the first of your premises to check.

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Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand - Goodreads

About Atlas Shrugged – CliffsNotes

Introduction

Atlas Shrugged is Ayn Rand's masterpiece and the culmination of her career as a novelist. With its publication in 1957, the author accomplished everything she wanted to in the realm of fiction; the rest of her career as a writer was devoted to nonfiction. Rand was already a famous, best-selling author by the time she published Atlas Shrugged. With the success of The Fountainhead a decade earlier and its subsequent production as a Hollywood film starring Gary Cooper in 1949, her stature as an author was established. Publishers knew that her fiction would sell, and consequently they bid for the right to publish her next book.

Atlas Shrugged, although enormously controversial, had no difficulty finding a publisher. On the contrary, Rand conducted an intellectual auction among competing publishers, finally deciding on Random House because its editorial staff had the best understanding of the book. Bennett Cerf was a famous editor there. When Rand explained that, at one level, Atlas Shrugged was to provide a moral defense of capitalism, the editorial staff responded, "But that would mean challenging 3,000 years of Judeo-Christian tradition." Their depth of philosophical insight impressed Ayn Rand, and she decided that Random House was the company to publish her book.

Atlas Shrugged furthers the theme of individualism that Ayn Rand developed in The Fountainhead. In The Fountainhead, she shows by means of its hero, the innovative architect Howard Roark, that the independent mind is responsible for all human progress and prosperity. In Atlas Shrugged, she shows that without the independent mind, our society would collapse into primitive savagery. Atlas Shrugged is an impassioned defense of the freedom of man's mind. But to understand the author's sense of urgency, we must have an idea of the context in which the book was written. This includes both the post-World War II Cold War and the broader trends of modern intellectual culture.

The Cold War and Collectivism

Twentieth-century culture spawned the most oppressive dictatorships in human history. The Fascists in Italy, the National Socialists (Nazis) in Germany, and the Communists first in Russia and later in China and elsewhere seriously threatened individual freedom throughout the world. Ayn Rand lived through the heart of this terrifying historical period. In fact, when she started writing Atlas Shrugged in 1946, the West had just achieved victory over the Nazis. For years, the specter of national socialism had haunted the world, exterminating millions of innocent people, enslaving millions more, and threatening the freedom of the entire globe. The triumph of the free countries of the West over Naziism was achieved at an enormous cost in human life. However, it left the threat of communism unabated.

Ayn Rand was born in Russia in 1905 and witnessed firsthand the Bolshevik Revolution, the Communist conquest of Russia, and the political oppression that followed. Even after her escape from the Soviet Union and her safe arrival in the United States, she kept in close touch with family members who remained there. But when the murderous policies of Joseph Stalin swallowed the Soviet Union, she lost track of her family. From her own life experiences, Ayn Rand knew the brutal oppression of Communist tyranny.

During the last days of World War II and in the years immediately following, communism conquered large portions of the world. Soviet armies first rolled through the countries of Eastern Europe, setting up Russian "satellite" nations in East Germany, Poland, Hungary, Romania, and elsewhere. Communists then came to power in China and North Korea and launched an invasion of South Korea. Shortly thereafter, communism was also dominant in Cuba, on America's doorstep. In the 1940s and 1950s, communism was an expanding military power, threatening to engulf the free world.

This time period was the height of the Cold War the ideological battle between the United States and the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union ruled its empire in Eastern Europe by means of terror, brutally suppressing an uprising by Hungarian freedom fighters in 1956. The Russians developed the atomic bomb and amassed huge armies in Eastern Europe, threatening the free nations of the West. Speaking at the United Nations, Soviet dictator Nikita Khrushchev vowed that communism would "bury" the West. Like the Nazis in the 1930s, communists stood for a collectivist political system: one in which an individual is morally obliged to sacrifice himself for the state. Intellectual freedom and individual rights, cherished in the United States and other Western countries, were in grave danger.

Foreign military power was not the only way in which communism threatened U.S. freedom. Collectivism was an increasingly popular political philosophy among American intellectuals and politicians. In the 1930s, both national socialism and communism had supporters among American thinkers, businessmen, politicians, and labor leaders. The full horror of Naziism was revealed during World War II, and support for national socialism dwindled in the United States as a result. But communism, in the form of Marxist political ideology, survived World War II in the United States. Many American professors, writers, journalists, and politicians continued to advocate Marxist principles. When Ayn Rand was writing Atlas Shrugged, many Americans strongly believed that the government should have the power to coercively redistribute income and to regulate private industry. The capitalist system of political and economic freedom was consistently attacked by socialists and welfare statists. The belief that an individual has a right to live his own life was replaced, to a significant extent, by the collectivist idea that individuals must work and live in service to other people. Individual rights and political freedom were threatened in American politics, education, and culture.

An Appeal for Freedom

Rand argues in Atlas Shrugged that the freedom of American society is responsible for its greatest achievements. For example, in the nineteenth century, inventors and entrepreneurs created an outpouring of innovations that raised the standard of living to unprecedented heights and changed forever the way people live. Rand, who thoroughly researched the history of capitalism, was well aware of the progress made during this period of economic freedom. Samuel Morse invented the telegraph a device later improved by Thomas Edison, who went on to invent the phonograph, the electric light, and the motion picture projector. John Roebling perfected the suspension bridge and, just before his death, designed his masterpiece, the Brooklyn Bridge. Henry Ford revolutionized the transportation industry by mass-producing automobiles, a revolution that the Wright Brothers carried to the next level with their invention of the airplane. Railroad builders like Cornelius Vanderbilt and James J. Hill established inexpensive modes of transportation and opened up the Pacific Northwest to economic development.

Likewise, Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone during this era, Cyrus McCormick the reaper, and Elias Howe the sewing machine. Charles Goodyear discovered the vulcanization process that made rubber useful, and George Eastman revolutionized photography with the invention of a new type of camera the Kodak. George Washington Carver, among myriad agricultural accomplishments, developed peanuts and sweet potatoes into leading crops. Architects like Louis Sullivan and William LeBaron Jenney created the skyscraper, and George Westinghouse, the inventor of train airbrakes, developed a power system able to transmit electricity over great distances. The penniless Scottish immigrant Andrew Carnegie built a vast company manufacturing steel, and John D. Rockefeller did the same in the oil industry.

These are a few examples from an exhaustive list of advances in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Ayn Rand argues that economic freedom liberated these great creative thinkers, permitting them to put into practice new ideas and methods. But what would happen if economic freedom were lost?

Atlas Shrugged provides Ayn Rand's answer to this question. In the story, she projects the culmination of America's twentieth-century socialist trend. The U.S. government portrayed in the story has significant control over the domestic economy. The rest of the world has been swallowed up by communist "Peoples' States" and subsists in abject poverty. A limited degree of economic freedom still exists in America, but it is steadily declining, as is American prosperity. The successful are heavily taxed to support the poor, and the American poor are similarly levied to finance the even poorer people in foreign Peoples' States. The government subsidizes inefficient businesses at the expense of the more efficient. With the state controlling large portions of the economy, the result is the rise of corrupt businessmen who seek profit by manipulating crooked politicians rather than by doing productive work. The government forces inventors to give up their patents so that all manufacturers may benefit equally from new products. Similarly, the government breaks up productive companies, compelling them to share the market with weaker (less efficient) competitors. In short, the fictionalized universe of Atlas Shrugged presents a future in which the U.S. trend toward socialism has been accelerated. Twentieth-century realities such as heavy taxation, massive social welfare programs, tight governmental regulation of industry, and antitrust action against successful companies are heightened in the universe of this story. The government annuls the rights of American citizens, and freedom is steadily eroded. The United States of the novel the last bastion of liberty on earth rapidly becomes a fascist/communist dictatorship.

The result, in Rand's fictional universe, is a collapse of American prosperity. Great minds are shackled by government policies, and their innovations are either rejected or expropriated by the state. Thinkers lack the freedom necessary to create new products, to start their own companies, to compete openly, and to earn wealth. Under the increasing yoke of tyranny, the most independent minds in American society choose to defend their liberty in the most effective manner possible: They withdraw from society.

The Mind on Strike

Atlas Shrugged is a novel about a strike. Ayn Rand sets out to show the fate that befalls the world when the thinkers and creators go on strike. The author raises an intriguing question: What would happen if the scientists, medical researchers, inventors, industrialists, writers, artists, and so on withheld their minds and their achievements from the world?

In this novel, Rand argues that all human progress and prosperity depend on rational thinking. For example, human beings have cured such diseases as malaria, polio, dysentery, cholera, diphtheria, and tuberculosis. Man has learned to fly, erect cities and skyscrapers, grow an abundant food supply, and create computers. Humans have been to the moon and back and have invented the telephone, radio, television, and a thousand other life-promoting technologies. All of these achievements result from the human application of a rational mind to practical questions of survival. If the intellectuals responsible for such advances abandon the world, regression to the primitive conditions of the Dark Ages would result. But what would motivate intellectuals to such an extreme act as going on strike? We are used to hearing about strikes that protest conditions considered oppressive or intolerable by workers. The thinkers go on strike in Atlas Shrugged to protest the oppression of their intellect and creativity.

The thinkers in Atlas Shrugged strike on behalf of individual rights and political freedom. They strike against an enforced moral code of self-sacrifice the creed that human life must be devoted to serving the needs of others. Above all, the thinkers strike to prove that reason is the only means by which man can understand reality and make proper decisions; emotions should not guide human behavior. In short, the creative minds are on strike in support of a person's right to think and live independently.

In the novel, the withdrawal of the great thinkers causes the collapse of the American economy and the end of dictatorship. The strike proves the role that the rational mind plays in the attainment of progress and prosperity. The emphasis on reason is the hallmark of Ayn Rand's fiction. All of her novels, in one form or another, glorify the life-giving power of the human mind.

For example, in The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand emphasizes the independent nature of the mind's functioning that rational individuals neither conform to society nor obey authority, but trust their own judgment. In her early novelette Anthem, Ayn Rand shows that under a collectivist dictatorship, the mind is stifled and society regresses to a condition of primitive ignorance. Anthem focuses on the mind's need for political freedom. The focus of Atlas Shrugged is the role that the human mind plays in human existence. Atlas Shrugged shows that rational thinking is mankind's survival instrument, just as the ability to fly is the survival tool for birds. In all of her major novels, Ayn Rand presents heroes and heroines who are brilliant thinkers opposed to either society's pressure to conform or a dictatorial government's commands to obey. The common denominator in all of her books is the life-and-death importance, for both the individual and society, of remaining true to the mind.

Objectivism in Action

In Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand presents, for the first time and in a dramatized form, her original philosophy of Objectivism. She exemplifies this philosophy in the lives of the heroes and in the action of the story. Objectivism holds that reason not faith or emotionalism is man's sole means of gaining knowledge. Her theory states that an individual has a right to his or her own life and to the pursuit of his or her own happiness, which is counter to the view that man should sacrifice himself to God or society. Objectivism is individualistic, holding that the purpose of government is to protect the sovereign rights of an individual. This philosophy opposes the collectivist notion that society as a whole is superior to the individual, who must subordinate himself to its requirements. In the political/economic realm, Objectivism upholds full laissez-faire capitalism a system of free markets that legally prevent the government from restricting man's productive activities as the only philosophical system that protects the freedom of man's mind, the rights of the individual, and the prosperity of man's life on earth.

Because of Ayn Rand's uncompromising defense of the mind, of the individual, and of capitalism, Atlas Shrugged created great controversy on its publication in 1957. Denounced by critics and intellectuals, the book nevertheless reached a wide audience. The book has sold millions of copies and influenced the lives of countless readers. Since 1957, Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism has gradually taken hold in American society. Today, her books and ideas are becoming widely taught in high schools and universities.

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About Atlas Shrugged - CliffsNotes

Atlas Shrugged: Part II (2012) – Rotten Tomatoes

Critics Consensus

Poorly written, clumsily filmed and edited, and hampered by amateurish acting, Atlas Shrugged: Part II does no favors to the ideology it so fervently champions.

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The global economy is on the brink of collapse. Unemployment has risen to 24%. Gas is now $42 per gallon. Brilliant creators, from artists to industrialists, continue to mysteriously disappear at the hands of the unknown. Dagny Taggart, Vice President in Charge of Operations for Taggart Transcontinental, has discovered what may very well be the answer to a mounting energy crisis - found abandoned amongst the ruins of a once productive factory, a revolutionary motor that could seemingly power the World. But, the motor is dead... there is no one left to decipher its secret... and, someone is watching. It's a race against the clock to find the inventor before the motor of the World is stopped for good. Who is John Galt? -- (C) Official Site

Jul 07, 2014

Hold on a second critics! Just because you don't agree with Ayn Rand's philosophy doesn't mean you need to give it unrealistically low rating. I see so much political bias right here. I do admit that Part II was disappointing, but it does not deserve such a low rating, even the consensus was biased in its tone. Let's talk about the good points, the set design was better, I really liked atmosphere (basically like Chicago or Detroit). james Taggart was better cast compared to Part I, Cheryl Brooks was a good cast too. The editing was great, although some changes were made in terms of the structure of the plot. Now the bad: The script was superficial, only touched on the surface of the dialogues, much of the dialogues from the book were cut short. Acting by some of the less important characters were terrible. Some of the recasting were horrible, e.g. Francisco d'Anconia and Lilian Rearden. There were a lot of irrelevant scenes that could be replaced by more dialogues (the money speech really was destroyed). Despite having these downfalls, I wouldn't say it was badly filmed and consider the low budget, they made this imperfect film perfect.

Jun 29, 2013

Ayn Rand's industrialists fight against the Fair Share Act, which further strangles the economy. First, the most unfortunate thing about this film was the endorsement that the real Sean Hannity gave to the fictional Hank Rearden. Additionally, protesters directly referenced the Occupy Wall Street rhetoric. The one-to-one relationship between the modern day right wing and Rand's objectivists is bullshit, and it's a shame that this film's creators got sucked into Rand's abduction by the right wing. After all the contemporary right wing is in the pocket of conservative Christians, yet Rand was an ardent atheist; the modern day right wing gives welfare to corporate fat cats whom Rand would consider looters. What does this have to do with the film? The iconography of the protesters and Hannity place the film in our historical moment, not Rand's, which takes us out of the film's world. Second, I was impressed with Samantha Mathis's performance. Her Dagny was given more to human emotion, which played peek-a-boo amid Dagny's characteristic stoicism. But her acting was the best of the cast. I particularly disliked Jason Beghe's gravel-voiced Rearden. Finally, the film is poorly paced. The speeches by Readen and Francisco belong in the film, but director John Putch should have taken a walking and talking page from Aaron Sorkin's book to give the film some energy, and the montages of poverty do little to add to the plot. Overall, this is a controversial film not because Rand is a controversial figure (even though she is) but primarily because the film doesn't really get her.

Jun 26, 2013

What the heck happened here? They changed the actors for almost EVERY role from the part 1 of this saga. Whose bright idea was that?? This could have been an interesting continuing story, but I found the new actors way too distracting....were they all busy? sheesh...

Feb 19, 2013

You'd think after the horrible and horribly boring Atlas Shrugged: Part One that a promised Part Two might just disappear into the ether. If only we could have been so fortunate. Ayn Rand's cautionary opus about the evils of big government is given another creaky adaptation that fails to justify its existence. I feel like I could repeat verbatim my faults with the first film. Once again we don't have characters but mouthpieces for ideology, an ideology that celebrates untamed greed. Once again the "best and brightest" (a.k.a. world's richest) are disappearing and the world is grinding to a halt without their necessary genius. Does anyone really think if the world's billionaires left in a huff that the world would cease to function? The assumption that financial wealth equates brilliance seems fatally flawed. Once again it's in a modern setting where America has gone back in time to value railroads. Once again the main thrust of the inert drama is over inconsequential railway economics. Once again people just talk in circles in cheap locations. Once again the government agencies are a bunch of clucking stooges, eager to punish successful business. Once again Rand's Objectivist worldview is treated as gospel and value is only ascribed to the amount of money one can produce. This time we have a slightly better budget, a better director, and some recognizable actors like Samantha Manthis, Esai Morales, Ray Wise, Richard T. Jones, and D.B. Sweeney as the mysterious John Gault. The story transitions to a ridiculous government mandate that include such incomprehensible edicts like making sure no one spends more money than another person. Can you imagine the paperwork involved? This woeful sequel will only appeal to Rand's most faithful admirers, and you probably don't want to hang out with those people anyway. There's your clue: if you see someone carrying a copy of Atlas Shrugged: Part Two they either lack taste or are far too generous with movies. If there is indeed a concluding Part Three, it will be further proof that Rand's market-based screeds are not accurate. The market has already rejected two of these dreadful movies.Nate's Grade: D

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The percentage of users who rated this 3.5 stars or higher.

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Atlas Shrugged: Part II (2012) - Rotten Tomatoes

Letters To Editor: August 5, 2020 – The Rhino Times of Greensboro – The Rhino TImes

The Postal Service Is Not A Business

Dear Editor,

FYI, the book 1984, along with Atlas Shrugged and Animal Farm should be on the reading list for ALL Americans. Atlas Shrugged is a huge book, full of wordy paragraphs a slog at times. You can listen to this book much more easily.

The best movie version of 1984, starring Richard Burton and John Hurt, is now playing on one of the streaming pay TV networks. Even if you have read the book, this is a must-see. The opening scenes of massed people gathered to ridicule opposing views and stonewall other opinions by shouting en masse, big, big, big, big, big, big (Brother) draws chilling congruence to leftist Brown Shirt street tactics. This book is not an attack on the Democrat Party, but an expos on Big Brother socialism.

On another subject, I recently received a priority mail flat rate box (2-day delivery) shipped from West Palm Beach, FL. Received after 12 days in transit. Five of those days residing at the USPS sorting facility near the Greensboro airport. Conversely, I received a first class letter from Boone, NC, the day after it was mailed less than 24 hours.

When the pandemic began, people began to shop on line v/s visiting the stores. This put a severe strain on all the shipping services. FedEx has reacted by simply going bad. FedEx lost one of my packages; you cannot get them on the phone, they literally dont want to talk to you. The local reps dont have a clue. FedEx also took six days to deliver an overnight letter, then rubbed salt in the wound by charging me $36 to not do so. They wont do that to me again.

Rather than stomp and holler, I went to a couple of post offices to find out what is going on. So straight from the firing line, this is what is going on with the USPS. When the on-line biz picked up, USPS could not train new employees (who might be temps) quickly enough, so the employees worked overtime to get the mails delivered a little slower, but OK.

The problem begins with the new postmaster general, Mr. Louis DeJoy, appointed to the post in June 2020. Mr. Dejoy is a trustee at Elon University and was in private business for companies such as New Breed Logistics and XPO Logistics for 35 years. The statement from the USPS website says that Mr. DeJoy has committed to creating a long-term, viable operating model for the Postal Service that will ensure the organization can fulfill its public service mission while remaining self-sustaining.

This statement proves the problem as related to me by several of his employees in Greensboro. The terms public service mission and self-sustaining are incongruent. To his credit, Mr. DeJoy is trying to run the USPS as a profitable business. The USPS is a service, not a business.

Anyone alive knows that our government does not make money. It does not live within its means. For 55 cents, you can send a first class letter to anywhere in the U.S. and possessions (Guam, W. Somoa). Letters have to be sorted numerous times, and gathered and delivered by hand. 55 cents is a bargain, for the simple reason that it costs a lot more than that to process the letter.

What Mr. DeJoy has done is to eliminate and curtail overtime pay for the employees in order to reduce costs. So whether the mail is processed or not, at the end of the day, work stops. Would you work for your employer for free? Should you? The USPS is a service, not a business.

Miller Forester

Black Lives Matter Both Concept And Organization

Dear Editor,

Black lives matter. All lives add value to this world. All lives matter equally. The problem at hand is partially due to using the term Black Lives Matter to both describe a concept and name an organization. Disagreeing with the organization does not equal disagreeing with the concept. Most group opponents openly support the concept. However, individuals disagreeing with the group have faced false accusations of racism.

To encourage a difficult conversation, here are several criticisms of the loosely organized Black Lives Matter group.

1) Stop and frisk policies caused devastating mistrust of police in the African American community. However, the BLM group over demanded. It crossed the line from a defensive to an offensive group. It has morphed into an antiestablishment, anti-police, anti-constitutional rights, and antigovernment organization. Two wrongs remain two wrongs.

2) The group leveraged confusion between concept and group to force support and punish disagreement.

3) It is dangerous to attack individuals for saying all lives matter. The term implies equality not racism. Black lives are included within all lives matter. Supporting all lives supports black lives. If you truly support equality, you must believe that we are equally capable of good as well as bad acts. If you believe we are all capable of graduating from college given environmental factors, you must also believe that we are capable of committing crimes given environmental factors. If you believe everyone are capable of good but only that other group is capable of bad, we risk defensiveness crossing over to offensiveness. We all risk being both abused by and abusers of racism. By becoming angered over all lives matter comments, increasing extremism risks crossing into racist ideology. We must all worry about extremism crossing the line into racism/discrimination. No one is immune. The individuals demanding only Black Lives Matter comments demand support for the organization not the concept.

4) The groups extremism increases tensions increasing threat to all sides. Fear and animosity has been heightened. Today, when police stop citizens, both sides become defensive. Both sides misinterpret the others defensiveness as offensiveness. This will only escalate tensions resulting in greater number of painful outcomes. In order to truly fix this situation, all sides must be listened to and understanding of the other attempted. After all, we are all, ALL, capable of mistakes. Demanding understanding without offering the same only amplifies distrust.

Alan Burke

Be Careful Of Propaganda From Both Sides

Dear Editor,

propaganda

Propaganda has been going on sense man developed speaking, reading, and writing. It has always been a very valuable tool used for good and bad. Advertising is probably the single largest use ever.

If you are paying close attention to what is being written and said you will spot the subtle use of words and phrases that other people begin using in any conversation on the subject. The best, most obvious example is where members of the media who are graduates of the Joseph Goebbels School of Journalism have managed to insert the word troops in place of the word agents when talking about federal law enforcement across the country. This allows the segue into the other lie about having federal troops on the streets of American cities

Goebbels is often credited with being the originator of the following;

If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.

In this example, the State is replaced by the collective leftist, Marxist/communist, socialist, anarchist groups being given cover and support by the (National Socialist) Democrat party.

They are able to get away with this because not enough people do actual comparative research. Too many people simply accept what they read and hear without challenging it, without looking at other sources and what they have to say. These are the people that help to spread the propaganda. And I will point out that that applies to both sides. There are those organizations on the extreme right and some that are truly racist that are as bad.

There is nothing wrong with being a little bit cynical. It keeps you safe and healthy. And it helps to make for a better, stronger America.

Dont buy into the B.S. Do your research before you vote.

Alan Marshall

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Letters To Editor: August 5, 2020 - The Rhino Times of Greensboro - The Rhino TImes

Explore The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand with ARI Instructors – New Ideal

The Fountainhead is a classic American novel. It challenges conventional assumptions about selfishness, success, love, and integrity. Published in 1943, Ayn Rands best-selling novel has never been out of print, and every year teachers across the country continue to include it in their courses.

Recently, we hosted an online discussion series which explored the characters, plot, and themes of the novel and its relevance in todays world. Over the course of eight episodes, ARI instructors and staff addressed stumbling blocks for readers, highlighted significant passages and developments, and contrasted Rands unique perspective on life, work, and morality with conventional perspectives.

These live sessions drew a sizeable audience including numerous high school students and teachers. They were eager to learn more about the novel and how best to understand its themes. Participants regularly peppered staff with questions about the novel during each session; the final session included an extra hour dedicated entirely to general audience questions.

Designed as a resource for students entering ARIs The Fountainhead essay contest, the discussion series serves as a valuable tool for anyone interested in exploring the novel more deeply. Ben Bayer, the series lead instructor, described the experience as follows:

We started the discussion series when many were just beginning to shelter at home because of the coronavirus pandemic. We knew people would be looking to read new books or reread old favorites. I welcomed the opportunity to lead this discussion because it gave me the chance to explore The Fountainhead in great detail. Because of this, I discovered some new connections and patterns in the work that I had never seen before. If you watch the series, I hope youll enjoy making some of these same connections with us.

If you missed the live discussions, you can watch them all, on-demand, on YouTube or listen to the audio on the Ayn Rand Institute Live! podcast. If you find them valuable, please share them with others, and if you want more analysis of The Fountainhead, we recommend Essays on Ayn Rands The Fountainhead. We also recommend The Fountainhead course, taught by Keith Lockitch, available on Ayn Rand Campus along with courses dedicated to Rands other novels: We The Living, Anthem, and Atlas Shrugged.

If you enjoy this series, there is a similar one on another of Ayn Rands popular novels, Anthem. You can listen to that five-episode series on YouTube or via podcast.

SUPPORT ARI: If you value the ideas presented here, please become an ARI Member today.

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Explore The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand with ARI Instructors - New Ideal

We Are In The Golden Age Of Fraud – Gold Seek

Elon Musk has personified the hopes and dreams of this bull market; Tesla burnishes its results through aggressive accounting; its a culture of deception because it is selling self-driving, which doesnt yet exist. Jim Chanos from We Are In The Golden Age Of Fraud (Financial Times)

Jim Chanos is perhaps the most well-known remaining short-seller in this market. Dont be fooled by his demure characterization of Elon Musk and Tesla. Its calculated diplomacy. The numbers are far more than just polished up to look good the accounting is not just aggressive, its fraudulent, and Chanos knows that as well as anyone.

Chanos describes the current environment as a really fertile field for people to play fast and loose with the truth, and for corporate wrongdoers to get away with it for a long time. He reels off why: a 10-year bull market driven by central bank intervention; a level of retail participation in the markets reminiscent of the end of the dotcom boom; Trumpian post-truth in politics, where my facts are your fake news; and Silicon Valleys fake it until you make it culture, which is compounded by Fomo the fear of missing out. All of this is exacerbated by lax oversight. Financial regulators and law enforcement, he says, are the financial archaeologists they will tell you after the company has collapsed what the problem was. (Financial Times)

I have said many times that Tesla and Elon Musk embody and reflect the extreme degree to which the U.S. system has defined deviance downward into what is now a complete Banana Republic controlled by crony-capitalist elitists who are putting the screws to the middle class. The money printed by the Fed is nothing more than the thinly veiled bailout of the biggest banks nothing more effecting the greatest wealth transfer in history.

The fraud and corruption is blatant. And theres nothing the masses can do about it at this point. The U.S. economic, financial, political and legal system is now amalgam of 1984 and Atlas Shrugged. Eventual collapse is fait accompli.

Chanos himselfburnishesthe adjectives he uses to convey the degree to which the U.S. system has been engulfed in fraud, corruption and open theft. In my opinion, Francisco DAnconia in Atlas Shrugged describes the U.S. perfectly in this excerpt from the famous Money Speech:

Watch money. Money is the barometer of a societys virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsionwhen you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothingwhen you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favorswhen you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws dont protect you against them, but protect them against youwhen you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrificeyou may know that your society is doomed.

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We Are In The Golden Age Of Fraud - Gold Seek

Stacey Abrams’s Record Is Not as Progressive as She Wants You to Think – Jacobin magazine

US political discourse has a habit of elevating figures without knowing anything about them. Barack Obama became president with nary a discussion of his ties to finance, thanks to his speeches and charm. Beto ORourke, a centrist, business-friendly Democrat, was briefly a top contender for president on the back of his youth and mastery of viral videos. And then theres Stacey Abrams.

For the past two years, Abrams has been a leading recipient of this hopscotching swarm of liberal adoration, moving like ORourke, from losing a high-profile statewide race to becoming one of the leading Democratic officeholders in the country, despite no longer holding any office. Abrams has been floated as everything from a future president to a future attorney general.

She delivered the partys official State of the Union response in 2019, and her every public utterance tends to set off a flurry of fevered speculation about the exact shape of her political future. The subject of countless glossy profiles, Abrams has been one of the more high-profile names on Joe Bidens vice presidential short list, and was even briefly floated as a possible appointee to the late John Lewiss House seat.

And yet despite an accomplished political career spanning four years as deputy city attorney in Atlanta, ten years in the Georgia House of Representatives, and eight of those as the House minority leader, virtually none of the discussion has invoked her actual record. Far from the unapologetic progressive shes been depicted as in left-leaning media, Abramss time as a policymaker in Georgia reveals her politics to resemble nothing but the centrism of the man whose running mate she has campaigned to be.

Abrams grew up in Mississippi, one of six children raised by a librarian mother and dockworker father, whose undiagnosed dyslexia in the 1950s was mistaken for ignorance by his school, which forced him to memorize his way through college. Once a politician, Abrams would tell a story of making the forty-mile trip on Christmas to pick her father up from the shipyard where he worked, finding him trembling in the cold on the side of the highway. He had given his coat to a homeless man.

In her childhood, the Abrams family was part of what her mother described as the genteel poor, which Abrams explained meant we had no money, but we watched PBS and read books. My parents did what we called visiting poverty a lot, she later joked to attendees at an event hosted by the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce. We didnt live there, but we had a really nice summer home.

Seeing their power and water cut off wasnt unusual for the family, and on those occasions Abramss mother would have her kids volunteer at the local homeless shelter. Things didnt get much better when they moved to Georgia in Abramss mid-teens, at which point her parents became Methodist ministers a decision, she has said, guaranteeing that they would be permanently poor. The Abramss were civil rights activists, beaten, imprisoned, and kicked off buses for asserting their basic rights. In Mississippi, both had been active in registering voters, hardly a risk-free affair at the time.

Abrams and her siblings were saved by public education, she said in 2018 during a brutal Democratic primary for governor that saw her and her opponent battle over who was most progressive. Speaking to the LaGrange-Troup Chamber three years before that, however, Abrams ascribed her and her siblings success to something different: the values of cooperation, competitiveness, and accountability, imbued by their parents. The first part of leadership is to co-operate, she said.

As a student at Atlantas Spelman College, Abrams followed her parents into the world of activism, helping found the two-hundred-member-strong Students for African-American Empowerment. The group made headlines for running a voter registration drive, and really made headlines when they burned the Georgia flag in the middle of a protest, turning Abrams into a target for racist abuse. Im used to stuff like that, she told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution at the time. When I was in the tenth grade, I had a police escort because my dad spoke out against the KKK.

My parents never told us there was anything we couldnt do, so between the six of us, we decided to try and do all of it, Abrams later said. That applied not just to her prolific private-sector work later in her career, but the bewildering array of causes she got involved in through college and, later, at Yale Law School, including several different Democratic campaigns, the transition team of 1993 Atlanta mayor-elect Bill Campbell, the platter of local bodies whose boards she sat on, and the several romantic suspense novels she published under a pen name.

In November 1999, Abrams joined Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, one of Atlantas largest and oldest law firms, whose clients included the biotech and pharmaceutical industries, and a host of the countrys biggest companies. It was a somewhat surprising choice: at the time, Sutherland had established a national reputation as the go-to firm for state and local governments fighting progressive challenges to racial disparities in their school systems.

The firm had produced legal advice for Palm Beach County justifying the end of busing, was hired by Missouri and Phoenix to fight legal challenges to unequal school funding, and one of its senior partners was a high-profile figure inveighing against traditional solutions to desegregation, later claiming in one mock trial that inner city school systems had all the funding they needed, but were simply not spending it properly. In one particularly notorious case, New York state hired the firm to resist a lawsuit brought by an advocacy group seeking to correct funding disparities between New York City and its suburbs. Sutherland lost the case, only adding to the outrage when it left the state a bill worth millions of dollars in fees and expenses something of a habit for the firm.

Abramss work for the firm focused on a different area. As she would later disclose, her three years at the firm were spent securing tax exemptions for clients, including universities, hospitals, and foundations, and providing them with legal advice and strategies on tax. Sutherlands recent activities suggest what kind of work that meant: just a year before Abrams joined, it had led a lobbying battle on behalf of businesses against the Clinton Treasurys attempts to clamp down on corporate tax evasion.

This corporate work seemingly began to infuse Abramss politics. In a Christian Science Monitor op-ed from the time, Abrams proposed one idea to bridge the divide in education access and quality that exemplified the style of entrepreneurial social justice that would characterize her later political career: IPO-Funded Educational Trusts (IFETs).

IFETs would be a series of privately and competitively managed investment funds overseen by a board of public and private advisers that would take a small percentage of the proceeds from companies initial public offerings (IPOs), invest them in the stock market, and have the Department of Education pour the proceeds into subsidies for charter schools or local equivalents. In this way, IPOs, which fuel the entrepreneurial engines of American prosperity, would guarantee a social inheritance for impoverished kids, she wrote.

Sometimes, however, the interests of business and social justice didnt mix as well. In 2005, as deputy city attorney of Atlanta, Abrams drafted and became a leading proponent of an anti-panhandling ordinance at the behest of the mayor and city businesses, who worried begging would drive away tourism and conferences. The measure banned all panhandling after dark and levied punishment of up to thirty days in jail and even a $1,000 fine for a third strike. Abrams had explicitly modelled it on ordinances passed in cities like Fort Lauderdale, limiting the ban to a specific section of the city so it could survive the same kinds of court challenges those measures had withstood.

Abrams almost sold the ban as a progressive measure. It was a kinder, gentler version of the citys existing Draconian law, she said, true only because of its cruelty at the time, allowing police to arrest people on a first offense. It would direct the truly needy, she said, into the center of the city where a new round-the-clock shelter had just opened; then all that would be left would be the con artists, she explained, ready to be swept up by police.

Religious officials and advocates for the homeless werent convinced. Joe Beasley, the Rainbow/PUSH coalitions Southern regional director, called it a mean, cold, calculated move. One homeless shelter operator termed it a Negro removal policy, given that many of the citys panhandlers were black.

It was a travesty said one former council person. He was one of several arrested the day the council approved the law 12-3, part of the more than two-hundred-strong crowd that had packed into city hall to fight and, eventually, protest its enactment. Many wore red T-shirts with the name of Martin Luther King Jr fitting, since the southern boundary of the ban zone was the citys Martin Luther King Jr Drive, and the council had extended it to the Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site in the eleventh hour.

When Abrams ran for governor in 2018, she had cause to brand herself an unflinching progressive. Abrams resisted and spoke out against the US Rights socially regressive policies. She denounced the GOPs Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act in 2010, which sought to criminalize sex-selective abortions, and pushed an anti-vasectomy bill to highlight the hypocrisy of the states largely male, Republican legislature trying to restrict abortion rights. She also voted against a Republican bill to expand the right to carry guns in bars, churches, college campuses, and government buildings.

As anti-immigrant sentiment became increasingly central to the GOP, Abrams stood against it. She fought bills to force employers to verify new hires immigration status and to make all official state businesses and related forms be conducted in English, and condemned Gov. Nathan Deals decision to appoint the spokesman for the far-right Americans for Immigration Control to an immigration panel.

Yet she also opposed them on conservative, pro-business grounds: she worried what impact the verification bill would have on the bottom line of the state at a time of economic downturn, while the English language bill would put Georgia at an economic disadvantage, and warned it drains our tax base because people that work and pay taxes into the state coffers wouldnt be able to contribute anymore. If were seen not as anti-illegal, but anti-legal, businesses that are looking to relocate will look past Georgia, she warned.

Though Abrams has stopped just short of running on single payer, she was firmly in the Obama consensus on the issue of health care. Despite firm resistance from Georgias GOP-dominated government, Abrams was a major proponent of expanding Medicaid, making it a top priority for House Democrats and introducing and reintroducing a bill to do so in 2016 and 2017, arguing that it would aid the hundreds of thousands of Georgians in public health care no-mans-land too poor to afford private care, but earning too much to qualify for the program create jobs, and provide much-needed federal funding for the states ailing hospitals.

Despite taking a trip to Israel with other Georgia lawmakers early in her career, Abrams voted against a 2017 bill forcing companies competing for state contracts to pledge they werent taking part in a boycott against Israel, earning her the ire of a prominent local developer. Abrams carefully triangulated on the issue: she penned an op-ed reiterating her support for Israel, rejecting the demonization and delegitimization of Israel represented by the BDS narrative and campaign, noting her repeated attendance at American Israel Public Affairs Committee conferences, and rooting her opposition in concerns around potentially hurting future boycotts similar to those of the Civil Rights and Anti-Apartheid Movements.

She was a critic of austerity, lamenting the sorry level of Georgias government worker salaries, criticizing the changes wrought by Bill Clintons 1996 welfare reform bill, and assailing the states punitive treatment of the poor, including drug tests for welfare. To that end, Abrams was instrumental in derailing Republicans 2011 tax reform plans, pitched to voters as a tax cut. Abrams helped embarrass GOP leadership into abandoning the plans by reading out data provided by the Georgia State University Fiscal Research Center, which showed they were poised to increase taxes on middle-income Georgians while slashing them for the rich.

The effort capped years of Abrams speaking out against Republican efforts to cut property taxes, as well as a regressive plan to reinstate a grocery tax. She stressed that the resulting budget hole from tax cuts would mean the elimination of vital programs like Meals on Wheels. (Though conservative rhetoric kept creeping into her comments, as when she chided the GOP for its lack of transparency: That is not only no way to run a democracy, that is no way to run a business, she said.)

But Abramss time in the House was perhaps most notable, and certainly most controversial, for the times she chose to work with Republicans. Abrams became House minority leader at a difficult time. The Democrats were already at a historic nadir of political influence in the state, with fewer Georgians than ever identifying with the party, largely thanks to an exodus of rural, white voters into the arms of the GOP. After dominating the state as late as the beginning of the new millennium, by 2010 the party had lost the last statewide office it had clung to, and fundraising had all but dried up, overwhelmingly flowing into the GOPs coffers.

By the time Abrams had ascended to leadership in 2010, the Democrats had lost the governors office for the third time and held just eighty-five of the state House and Senates 236 seats, with nine of the partys legislators defecting to the GOP after the 2010 election, including the newly elected chairman of the House Democrats. Republicans were ultimately just one seat shy of a 120-vote House supermajority.

In such a weak position, Abrams made repeatedly clear she saw her role primarily as one of working with Republicans. We should, first and foremost, compromise where we can, she later said, stressing it would be the only way the Democrats could have an impact.

Or as she told Governing magazine upon being named their 2014 Public Official of the Year: My fundamental philosophy is that my first job is to cooperate and collaborate with the other side whenever I can.

That approach first ignited controversy when newly elected governor Nathan Deal announced plans to cut the states lottery-funded HOPE Scholarship in 2011. The pride of Georgia politics since it was championed and enacted by former governor Zell Miller in 1993, HOPE had helped 1.3 million students attend college for free or with a substantially reduced debt over eighteen years.

Deal wanted to raise the grade point average (GPA) for students to qualify, take HOPE out of the business of paying for books and remedial classes, and be less forgiving to students whose grades fell and wanted a second shot at the scholarship. He also wanted to steeply cut pre-K programs, in one of four states with a universal pre-K program.

Abrams lined up behind the plan. Deal announced the cuts with Abrams and the Republican House speaker by his side, allowing him to claim he was working in a bipartisan fashion to save the program. We as Democrats as the party that created HOPE, support any process that preserves HOPE, she said.

Deal had included two of the provisions shed requested, including a low-interest student loan program for kids who couldnt meet the 3.0 GPA and extra money for technical college students taking remedial classes. By supporting the legislation, we were able to insert several key changes that will protect working families and at-risk students, Abrams explained. With her backing, the bill easily cleared the House 152-22.

Senate Democrats, for their part, said they were blindsided. As high school and college students chanted Shame on you! and Kill the bill! outside the state Capitol, a dozen Democrats in the upper chamber unveiled a counter-proposal, this one upping the amount the scholarship received from the lottery. But with Republican dominance, the bill was dead on arrival.

It was an ideal study of Abramss political approach in action. By backing Deals plan, Abrams got a seat at the table, allowing her to soften the cuts. This was also why Deal scaled back his plans to cut the states pre-K program, she claimed though an outcry from parents over the unpopular idea played some role, too.

Instead of slashing teachers salaries by 30 percent, Deals new plan would cut them by 10 percent; and pre-K classes would see their funding reduced to 94 percent of what they were getting. For the minority party to be able to come to the table and get real tangible results, thats what we were looking for and thats what we want, she said, after standing by Deal at a news conference in which he announced the cuts. Fortunately for Abrams, education cuts wouldnt be the last issue she and the states GOP could collaborate on. Both also happened to be equally enthusiastic proponents of charter schools.

From 2012 on, a statewide to-and-fro ensued over the states authority over education funding. When Deal proposed a constitutional amendment giving the state the power to create charters, even to the point of overruling local bodies, Democrats, following Abramss lead, bitterly opposed it, defeating it in the House.

But Abrams didnt oppose it because of the many well-known problems with charter schools. Her only objections were the unprecedented, unchecked power it delivered to the state government, and the lack of money to pay for it. She instead backed an alternative proposal that allowed the state government the same power, while checking its influence over local school decisions.

After Republicans agreed to make sure local school systems wouldnt be on the hook financially for the cost of any newly approved charter, Abrams let her caucus vote freely for the measure. Despite Senate Democrats opposition, it passed, and voters later approved it with 58 percent of the vote.

Abrams continued flirting with similarly far-reaching measures. In 2013, when the Republican majority whip proposed a controversial bill allowing parents to vote on converting their local schools to charters and even firing their principals, she didnt dismiss it, saying the ethos is good, which is to increase engagement. Two years later, when Deal proposed a constitutional amendment creating a statewide Opportunity School District that could take over, close, or turn failing schools into charters, Abrams called it an interesting idea that has shown some promise in some areas.

While Senate Democrats put forward a counter-proposal to add health clinics and counselors to failing schools, Abrams went with Deal on a fact-finding mission to Louisiana, where a similar idea had been trialed after Hurricane Katrina, with disastrous results a trip paid for by a pro-charter group.

Though Abrams and her caucus ultimately came out in opposition, eleven of sixty Democrats defected, crucial votes that made up for nine Republicans who had gotten cold feet, giving the measure the two-thirds majority it needed to pass. The measure ultimately had to be stopped by Georgians themselves, who voted it down in November 2016.

In the face of opposition from voters, Deal and the GOP simply decided to circumvent them, this time with Abramss full support. The start of the following year, Republicans pushed a bill allowing schools deemed unacceptable by the state to come under the authority of a chief turnaround officer (CTO), who could fire staff, remove schools from local board authority, let parents enroll their kids somewhere else, or, naturally, convert them to charters.

With a few morsels thrown to Democrats deleting language for vouchers to send kids to private schools, and inserting language that promised some unspecified action on child poverty, though without actually committing any money Abrams endorsed it, calling it a step in the right direction and urging her party to back it. Columbuss Ledger-Enquirer called her its most influential backer on the Democratic side. It sailed through the House 138-37, over the objections of half the Democratic caucus and even some conservative Republicans, and despite the opposition of the Georgia Federation of Teachers and the state NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People).

Critics called it a backdoor to Deals original amendment. Abrams, in an op-ed for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution called it a testing ground for what works and the empirical results necessary for smart policy changes. It was, again, only in the Senate that Democrats resisted, with all of the party leadership voting against and more than two-thirds of the party overall voting it down. Teachers will be fired, warned Sen. Vincent Fort, the Democratic whip, who called the $2.2 million Deal belatedly inserted to turn around failing schools a pittance.

Its insufficient to simply be the party of opposition, Abrams had said two years earlier, outlining an alternative to the typical, adversarial approach taken by minority parties. My first job is to work together with the majority party.

The CTO legislation was the fruit of this approach, and the worst fears of its critics were only averted because of a series of unrelated events: opposition from the state school superintendent, a whistleblower investigation over allegations of discrimination and conflict of interest surrounding the man appointed to the office, and repeated slashing of its budget thanks to a lack of enthusiasm from Deals Republican successor who, incidentally, had beaten Abrams for the position. The marginally less Republican state legislature finally eliminated the position at the end of June this year.

For the political press, Abramss willingness to work with the state GOP is a marker of her political skills and seriousness. But it rubbed some fellow Democrats the wrong way, such as Fort, who in 2014 complained she probably meets with Republican leadership more than Senate Democratic leadership.

Abramss collaborative philosophy continued right up to the gubernatorial run that made her a household name. In 2017, Republicans, backed by a coalition of business groups like the Georgia Bankers Association and the state Chamber of Commerce, pushed a bill that sought to undo a 2014 Georgia Supreme Court ruling allowing a failed banks board of directors and officers to be held liable for its recklessness and negligence, itself a response to the rash of racist, predatory lending that has plagued the state and its capital for decades.

The bill became a flashpoint in the following years primary contest, when Abrams was running as an unabashed progressive seeking to win the governors office by inspiring a massive turnout of nonwhite voters. Her rival, fellow State Rep. Stacey Evans, had delivered the Democratic speech against the measure on the House floor; Abrams, on whom that task would typically have fallen thanks to her leadership status, instead had walked over to Evans and briefly spoke with her when she was done talking. Evans later claimed Abrams had asked her if the bill was really that bad, and that she replied that it was; Abrams denied thats how the conversation had gone.

Whatever the case, Abrams went back and voted with Republicans to pass the bill. Bottom line, the bill would allow for the same kind of abuses in subprime banking that we saw in the 90s and 2000s, and would have given even less accountability for bank officers and directors, Fort, who had spent decades fighting predatory lending in Georgia and backed Evans in the race, told the Intercept in 2018. He and State Rep. Spencer Frye recalled for the outlet how the bill had been pushed by a swarm of bank lobbying groups groups that, incidentally, had given generously to Abrams, along with employees of the states finance industry.

Yet Abrams didnt always take this approach, even on some losing issues. One need only look at her and her caucuss doomed but ardent resistance to GOP redistricting, an issue that happened to directly threaten their political power.

When Republicans rolled out a redistricting plan in 2011 creating seven more mostly minority districts, and potentially purging white Democrats by pitting them either against black Democrats in those districts or Republicans in GOP-voting districts, Abrams went on the offensive. Calling it a craven and cynical misappropriation of the Voting Rights Act, she accused Republicans of trying to re-segregate Georgia. With the GOPs maps, she warned, the number of white Democrats in the House would fall from twenty-two to only ten.

In stark contrast to her passive opposition to and even support of some of Deals education bills, Abrams emailed her caucus urging them to stay united against these plans. There certainly are some folks Im going to have to coax a little bit, but any individual members success at the expense of the Democratic caucus and millions of Georgians is not worth the sacrifice, she wrote. It is in the Democratic nature to say we stick together, lest we all fall.

So intent was Abrams on stopping it, that she had threatened to primary any Democrats who voted for the new maps, the Journal-Constitution later reported. The role of a caucus leader is to protect the ideals and policies of our constituents, she told the paper. I can see no justification for any member to put his or her personal interests above our constituents and vote for a map that decimates the Democratic caucus and creates a Republican super-majority. There were some things, Abrams suggested, that it was more important to go down fighting on principle, than to be complicit in.

Fighting a losing battle, Abrams and House Democrats nonetheless put forward their own alternative map and unsuccessfully voted against the GOPs proposal. Accusing Republicans of acting as bullies, Abrams vowed to challenge it in court if they won approval from Obamas justice department, which they did.

It was from around this time that Abrams recast herself as a voting rights advocate, something that would remain at the core of her political identity to the present day. The turnaround was unexpected for political observers in the state. In 2011, Abrams had voted with Republicans to roll back the states 2008-era expansion of early voting, reducing it from forty-five to twenty-one days, something groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for American Progress had cited as examples of voter suppression at the time, and which the NAACP had warned would disproportionately affect voters of color, given that 60 percent of black voters in 2008 had cast their ballots in the early period.

Now, Abrams became a member of American Values First, a Democrat-led organization connected to the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee that looked to combat countrywide GOP voter suppression, including the kind of early voting restrictions she had helped impose on her state. She traveled to Washington to hold a closed-door forum with legislators about boosting voter turnout, and sponsored bills creating one-time and online voter registration.

Yet even after her apparent conversion, Abramss penchant for collaborating with the opposition could send these goals crashing into a wall. In 2015, Republicans passed a redistricting plan that gerrymandered two GOP-held districts on the road to turning blue, funneling more white voters into them. Its passage followed a familiar pattern: while Senate Democrats opposed the plan, it sailed through the House with unanimous approval.

When the NAACP and Eric Holders National Democratic Redistricting Foundation challenged the new maps in court in 2017, three Republican legislators behind it testified under oath that Abrams had given her nod to the changes. Several Democrats told the Intercept and the Journal-Constitution that Abrams had backed the bill and ordered Democrats to vote for it. Abrams, for her part, claimed she had been misled by its author.

Whatever had happened, Abramss support helped undermine the ultimately doomed legal challenge. And neither version was particularly flattering: Abrams had either consciously helped Republicans disenfranchise voters of color, or she had been tricked into it, the GOP successfully using her yearning for compromise against her.

This wouldnt be the last time Abramss voting-rights advocacy would embroil her in controversy. The other involved a theme that runs though her entire career: the mixing of her public service and private enterprise. Abramss extensive business career shouldnt have been a surprise. After all, Abrams has long considered Ayn Rands libertarian Bible Atlas Shrugged one of her favorite books. She does so not because of its selfishness theory, which she rejects, she once said, but because when we stop celebrating innovation and genius and thought and creativity then we run very real risks as humans.

Im a tax attorney romance novelist politician and a serial reluctant entrepreneur, Abrams once said. That is a reality show waiting to happen. It was also a potential scandal waiting to happen. Even after leaving Sutherland in 2003 to become an Atlanta deputy city attorney and, eventually, a state representative, Abrams never left the private sector behind.

She started a company that produced bottled water for infants, served on the Womens Advisory Board for the Moore Financial Group, was chief operating officer (COO) for a tech firm she founded, cofounded and served as senior VP of a financial services firm, and was the CEO and COO of two separate consulting companies that specialized in public infrastructure projects potentially conflict-laden business for someone serving as the minority leader in the state house.

This is exactly what happened with NOWaccount Network Corporation, the financial services firm Abrams cofounded in 2010, just prior to becoming minority leader. For years, and unbeknownst to her fellow Democrats, as Abrams worked with the Deal government on a host of controversial issues, the firm from which she drew a yearly executives salary of $60,000 and held a minority stake in was benefiting from contracts with the state government, and depended in large part on millions of dollars in federal business loans passed by Congress that year, ones that Abrams admitted she had seen as a business opportunity for the firm. Emails later showed state officials were frustrated with NOWaccounts work, and that in the midst of this clash, Abramss cofounder at one point threatened to engage the legislature.

You should be aware that Stacey Abrams is a co-founder and SVP in the company, read one intra-government email about the conflict. (I expect she is smart enough not to weigh in, but [her co-founder] is otherwise well-connected).

Abrams also remained CEO of Third Sector Development, a nonprofit consultancy she founded back in 1998. It was Third Sector, or more specifically, its subsidiary the New Georgia Project (NGP), that was at the center of one of the more high-profile scandals in Abramss career, when Georgias then-secretary of state (and now governor) Brian Kemp targeted it with a trumped up investigation into voter fraud.

Kemp was your typical hard-right Republican using the playbook the GOP had developed against the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now(ACORN) under Obama: jumping on a handful of cases of voter registration fraud to allege vast voter fraud, which could in turn be used to justify voter suppression efforts.

Kemps chief investigator soon made publicly clear that nothing actually suggested the NGP had deliberately aimed to commit registration fraud, and, contrary to Kemps initial alarmist announcement, announced they had only found twenty-five forgeries in the 85,000 applications the organization collected, around 0.03 percent.

The brouhaha, which lasted into 2017, distracted from the actual legitimate concerns with the project, which by 2014 had catapulted Abrams into national attention and given her adoring coverage. Pledging to submit 120,000 voter applications for the 2014 election, the NGP raised $3.6 million from major donors like George Soros, with Abrams pocketing $177,500 as CEO. But its results fell short of the monumental outcomes these figures heralded.

According to Abrams herself, the NGP managed to add only 46,000 new voters to the rolls. In fact, the Constitution-Journal reported, around 53,000 fewer voters were registered in 2014 than four years prior, and voter turnout fell six points between those years, to a dire 34 percent.

Despite an endorsement from former governor Zell Miller and name recognition she was the daughter of a former senator Democratic Senate candidate Michelle Nunn went down in flames that year by eight points, as did gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter, grandson of former president Jimmy Carter.

As early as June 2014, one Savannah State University student paid by the nonprofit to register voters had raised the alarm to a local TV station, questioning if it was a legitimate business after he was told to direct people to a polling station that didnt exist, among other irregularities. A host of Democratic officials, and staffers and activists who had worked with the NGP aired their concerns over the organization with Atlanta alt-weekly Creative Loafing, which included a lack of transparency.

Two NGP staffers accidentally tried recruiting county election office staffers, the outlet reported, unwittingly confessing to them that the nonprofit required them to meet a quota to stay employed creating an incentive for exactly the kind of application forgeries that Kemp later exploited for his own ends. [The NGP] underperformed what was done in 2010, one former Abrams staffer complained to the magazine. Absolutely nothing was done in 2010. Its hard to grasp how unsuccessful her effort was, given the amount of money raised.

Around half of the gargantuan amount of money raised went to Field Strategies, a Washington DC-based consultancy favored by the Democratic Party and Obamas campaigns. Nunns family, which had used its influence in the state to secure donations for the organization, reportedly wanted answers. The following year, after the controversy had peaked, Abrams scaled her compensation back to $85,000.

This wasnt the last time Abramss extracurricular activities would get her in trouble. In 2016, it would come out that all the while, Abrams had been collecting $5,000 a month from the Nunn campaign for six months work, a fact obscured by Abramss decision to have the money paid to a company registered under her sisters name, which, she later said, she simply forgot to disclose on her annual financial paperwork.

Had it been known at the time, the revelation would have been a legal headache for a nonprofit whose work was meant to be nonpartisan, already made complicated by the fact that Abrams was personal friends with Nunn and sat on the board of a volunteer organization she ran.

There are many ways to evaluate a politician: their rhetoric, their ideas and policy plans, and where they get their money from, to name a few. But whether its Pete Buttigieg, Hillary Clinton, or Bernie Sanders, one of the surest ways to do so is to look at what theyve actually done with the responsibilities of elected office.

Unfortunately for the public, coverage of Abrams has been all but devoid of discussion about the most crucial of factors. Ironically, liberal-leaning media has tended to mirror the terms of right-wing attacks on Abrams which both portray her as a far-left firebrand, based almost entirely on her rhetoric.

At only forty-six years old, and with a powerful national profile, Stacey Abrams will be around for a long time. Shes said her plan is to become president by 2040, and theres more than a good chance shell mount another run for governor. If shes going to wield power someday, voters may as well know something about how shes used it.

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Stacey Abrams's Record Is Not as Progressive as She Wants You to Think - Jacobin magazine

Celebrating the John Galt Line – Stock Investor

Its July 22, and for lovers of literature, and specifically those who love the work of novelist/philosopher Ayn Rand, todays date has a certain glorious significance.

In Rands magnum opus, Atlas Shrugged, July 22 is the date that the John Galt Line is officially opened.

Now, if youre not familiar with the novel, just start reading it today. You can write and thank me in about a month when youve finished.

If you are familiar with this masterpiece, you know that the John Galt Line is the transcontinental railroad that is built by the protagonist, Dagny Taggart. The fact that this transcontinental railroad is made with a new kind of metal, Reardon Metal, which lasts three times longer than any other metal and which costs less to produce than other metals, allows its inventor, Hank Reardon, to capture huge profits.

Heres an excerpt from the novel. In this scene, Dagny announces the opening of the John Galt Line:

Now I must tell you about the opening of the John Galt Line, said Dagny. The first train will depart from the station of Taggart Transcontinental in Cheyenne, Wyoming, at four p.m. on July twenty-second. It will be a freight special, consisting of eighty cars. It will be driven by an eight-thousand-horsepower, four-unit Diesel locomotive which Im leasing from Taggart Transcontinental for the occasion.

(An extended, and quite beautiful, dramatic reading of this passage by voiceover artist and producer Heather Wagenhals can be found here).

So, aside from the coincidence of today also being July 22, whats so important about the launch of the John Galt Line?

The significance of the John Galt Line in Rands novel is that it represents mans victory and mastery over nature in the pursuit of a concrete physical goal. In this case, the goal was to traverse the continent in a train that is faster and more capable than any before it. To achieve this, the lead characters had to use their only tool for survival, and the only tool humans have to alter, to enhance and to celebrate their existence, the tool of reason.

The building of a transcontinental railroad is a perfect example of mans ability to achieve greatness, so its not surprising to me that Rand used it as a plot device to demonstrate mans mind at its best. Yet, we dont have to visit the pages of Atlas Shrugged to celebrate real-world railway achievements.

In fact, in May 2019, I wrote about the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad (which occurred on May 10, 1869).

The so-called Golden Spike event took place in Utah, and to help commemorate the occasion, the Union Pacific Corporation (UNP) sent its historic steam locomotive Big Boy No. 4041 to the event. Heres what I wrote about this anniversary last year:

Now, you may think this event is just a quaint little remembrance of things past or a nostalgic reminder of the countrys expansion into the West. But I dont think of it that way. I think of it as a chance to celebrate reason, reality and the victory over matter and molecules in the pursuit of a concrete physical goal a goal to explore and settle new territory and to enhance human existence.

The way that I see it, the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad is the quintessence of human achievement.

Now, when it comes to having reverence for reason and human achievement, Rand is unequaled. In another passage from the novel, we can see Rands worship for human values and human achievement, while also destroying those who regard achievement and the pursuit of values in the physical world as an ignoble concern or a surrender of mans spirit to his body.

She looked at the cab around her. The fine steel mesh of the ceiling, she thought, and the row of rivets in the corner holding sheets of steel sealed together who made them? The brute force of mens muscles? Who made it possible for four dials and three levers in front of Pat Logan to hold the incredible power of the sixteen motors behind them and deliver it to the effortless control of one mans hand?

These things and the capacity from which they came was this the pursuit man regarded as evil? Was this what they called an ignoble concern with the physical world? Was this the state of being enslaved by matter? Was this the surrender of mans spirit to his body?

She shook her head, as if she wished she could toss the subject out of the window and let it get shattered somewhere along the track.

In addition to the brilliant writing on display here, Rands not-so-subtle critique of those who scorn rational achievements in the real world as some sort of reprehensible aspect of human nature also is on display. As an advocate of laissez-faire capitalism being not only the most effective social system, but also the most moral social system, Rand always connected the purpose of human life with living a rational, achievement-oriented existence here on Earth.

In fact, Rand informally called her ideas, a philosophy for living on Earth, as those ideas venerate our existence and our nature, qua man.

So, today is July 22, the date of the maiden voyage of the John Galt Line. And on this day, I am going to celebrate by venerating mans distinguishing characteristic, and the one that makes all other values possible, the power of reason.

*********************************************************************

Dont Flatter Yourself

Dont flatter yourself that friendship authorizes you to say disagreeable things to your intimates. The nearer you come into relation with a person, the more necessary do tact and courtesy become. Except in cases of necessity, which are rare, leave your friend to learn unpleasant things from his enemies; they are ready enough to tell them.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

While I would rather learn about my inequities and unpleasant things as soon as possible, instead of when they are presented by my enemies (so that I can fix them), I do love the idea of the growing importance of tact and courtesy the closer you become to someone. If we want to cultivate mutually satisfying relationships, we have to treat those in our lives with tact, courtesy and tenderness. Sure, we can provide tough love when appropriate, but tough love has a way of quickly morphing into resentment and anger.

So, the next time you feel the desire to be critical, or to say something disagreeable to someone you value, pause for a moment and try not to flatter yourself into thinking you have permission, because you probably dont.

Wisdom about money, investing and life can be found anywhere. If you have a good quote that youd like me to share with your fellow readers, send it to me, along with any comments, questions and suggestions you have about my newsletters, seminars or anything else. Click here to ask Jim.

In the name of the best within us,

Jim Woods

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Celebrating the John Galt Line - Stock Investor

Second Coming Resurrected in AHOY Comics’ New Wave of Releases – Bleeding Cool News

We all remember when DC Comics canceled Jesus.Second Coming, a would-be Vertigo release about Jesus Christ returning to Earth for a second round, was canceled by the corporate publisher due to fears of blasphemy. Interestingly enough, Vertigo collapsed soon after the decision to pull the comic, so perhaps the Heavens above wanted this story to happen. Regardless, the controversial Second Coming was picked up by indie publisher AHOY Comics, and now the title, written by Mark Russell with art by Richard Pace and Leonard Kirk, is, appropriately, back for a second round with Second Coming: Only Begotten Son, along with a new slate of debut issues.

AHOY Comics, in their press release, announced:

"Police brutality! Science denial! The unshakeable feeling that we've slipped into a parallel world where up is down, right is wrong, and Dragonflyman is Dragonfly! These are the big, heady topics preoccupying people across the globe right nowso, of course, we felt it our duty to try to make a buck off them," said editor-in-chief Tom Peyer. "If billionaires can get richer while civilization collapses, so can we!"

"All we wanted was to be funny, but we keep accidentally speaking to the deeper issues plaguing society," added AHOY Comics Publisher Hart Seely. "Should we be less funny? Or should society be less full of plagues? You decide."

The publisher that saved Jesus followed up the statement with solicits, revealing months of upcoming titles. Here's what's to come from the fearless publisher soon.

PENULTIMAN #1Ship date: 7 October 2020Author(s): Tom PeyerArtist(s): Alan RobinsonCover Artist(s): Alan Robinson, Jamal IgleBack from the futureagain! Penultiman, The Next-To-Last-Stage In Human Evolution, is the greatest, best-looking, and most admired super-hero in the world! So how can he stop hating himself? His android understudy, Antepenultiman, thinks he knows the answer! Created by Tom Peyer (THE WRONG EARTH) and Alan Robinson (PLANET OF THE NERDS). Featuring a variant cover by Jamal Igle (THE WRONG EARTH, Black). Resolicited from the Plague Times all previous orders have been cancelled.

EDGAR ALLAN POE'S SNIFTER OF BLOOD #1Ship Date: 21 October 2020Authors: Paul Cornell, Dean MotterArtists: Russ Braun, Dean MotterCover Artist: Jill ThompsonThe SNIFTER OF TERROR returns with an all-star snark-fest under a bloody new title! Paul Cornell (Doctor Who) and Russell Braun (The Boys) reimagine Poe's "Black Cat"as a dog! In "Atlas Shrugged" (no relation), Mr. X creator Dean Motter settles science vs. religion once and for all! Plus: prose, pix, and a cover by Scary Godmother's Jill Thompson!

HAPPY HOUR #1Ship date: 4 November 2020Author: Peter MilliganArtist: Michael MontenatCover Artist: Michael MontenatIn future America, being happy isn't just a rightit's the law. While the Joy Police brutally enforce the cheery code, two young people go on the run, searching for a haven of melancholy where they can safely bask in the blues.

SECOND COMING: ONLY BEGOTTEN SON #1Ship date: 16 December 2020Author: Mark RussellArtists: Richard Pace, Leonard KirkCover artist: Richard PaceThe savior and the superhero return for a new round of shared adventuresbut first, we turn back time to witness the interplanetary origin of Sunstar! Warning: portrays science denial, mass extinction, and real estate sales!

THE WRONG EARTH: NIGHT & DAY #1Ship date: 6 January 2021Author(s): Tom PeyerArtist(s): Jamal Igle, Juan CastroCover Artist(s): Jamal IgleThe stars of THE WRONG EARTH and DRAGONFLY & DRAGONFLYMAN return! Racing to prevent identical catastrophes that threaten the separate earths they inhabit, gritty Dragonfly and his campy doppelganger Dragonflyman follow the clues to a third earth, where they at last come face-to-face

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.

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Second Coming Resurrected in AHOY Comics' New Wave of Releases - Bleeding Cool News

Voices: ‘Non-essential’ businesses need your support to thrive – Northern Nevada Business Weekly

CARSON CITY, Nev. No one wants this pandemic to go away more than the once robust non-essential business community that, up until March 20, had no idea they were non-essential.

What was deemed essential to our everyday quality of life was deemed non-essential by government, whose every job was deemed essential whether they were to report to work or not. Essential, too, were the manufacturing and construction trades.

Even the medical community was not spared from this term, as hospitals were only opening their doors to COVID-19 patients, with some hospitals in the more rural communities seeing almost none, and doctors were not able to schedule elective surgeries, usually the money makers.

While construction workers were busily at work and manufacturers continued to operate, those in the hospitality and retail industry found themselves completely shut out of the workforce without means to pay bills until the federal government stepped in.

The self-employed within the beauty and health industries had to immediately cancel long-standing appointments. Casinos, the backbone for tax collection for school funding, were to shut down operations immediately, and that mandated shutdown will affect school funding for years as they scramble to make up the shortfall.

But you know all that, since much of Carson City became a ghost town and as we were encouraged to go on a forced sabbatical in our homes praying for the passing of the pandemic. What we had taken for granted was no more.

Retail parking lots were empty, casino lights were dark, restaurants could only provide limited take-out, schools were closed. Those who had read Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand saw the effect of a government shutdown predicted in the novel. We were becoming hermits although the internet kept us connected and streaming services became our entertainment.

Then came the realization the hospitality and retail trades were, indeed, essential to Nevadas employment and tax base. Reaching the highest unemployment figures in the country and seeing the government bottom line shrink was an eye-opener to government accountants, and it seemed there was a new modicum of respect for these heretofore unsung sectors.

Those of us living outside of Clark County often lament we wish what happens in Las Vegas, stays in Las Vegas, but as the tax revenue generator of the state, we saw what the employment stats and tax revenue shortfall this powerful worldwide acclaimed tourism city had on our future economic well-being.

And, we saw the other side: the highest spread of COVID-19 in the state, mostly emanating out of Clark County, that will affect the continued well-being of the rest of the state as the governor called for a continuation of Phase 2 on June 29 until the virus is contained.

If Las Vegas shuts down, will the rest of the state suffer the consequences?

On June 24, the governor mandated all must wear face coverings when in public places. Non-essential businesses already in compliance were mandated to turn away customers who might refuse to wear a covering, thus suddenly taking on the unwelcome role of first-line enforcers.

The rules of good customer service were to be waived as Nevada is now considered to have the highest COVID-19 cases per capita. If the mandates are not followed by customers and NV OSHA is in the building, this fragile respite from shut-down and stay-at-home orders could easily and quite suddenly be reinstated and the business shuttered or fined.

The business community must heed the edicts of the governor or be forced out of business, for the Nevada Constitution allows for these types of demands citing the governor has the supreme executive power of this state.

The mental and financial cost of this pandemic cannot be measured on the non-essential business community and their employees as they struggle against all odds including not being able to find needed products to maintain a germ-free environment in their brick-and-mortar establishment, adding to the cost of doing business as customers are increasingly turning to online shopping as the most convenient and safest method of staying safe and hassle-free.

Thanks to online shopping, Carson City recently reported no downturn in the sales tax figures, citing they were ahead of last year.

While online shopping does add sales tax to the government general fund, if we lose our brick-and-mortar stores, we lose our character the character we have worked so hard to attain and millions of tax dollars to gain. We also lose many jobs.

As the legislature argues along party lines as to the next move, let us hope struggling businesses will not be hit with yet another tax increase for when it comes to looking for more revenue, the business community becomes the top target.

Although the catch phrase is, We are all in this together, that may be true when it comes to being able to catch the virus, but it is not true when it comes to various employment sectors deemed non-essential enough to be shut down on a whim, affecting thousands.

While the purse strings may be held by government, it is the pennies collected from the taxpayer that fill the always hollow purse and unless the private sector is working, those pennies will be few and far between.

We urge you to support local businesses and wear your face covering. Many of us are totally uncomfortable doing so, but in the end, it is a small price to pay for staying healthy and righting this listing economic ship, no matter the politics.

Ronni Hannaman is the Executive Director of the Carson City Chamber of Commerce. This Voices column first published July 10 in the Nevada Appeal, a sister publication of the NNBW.

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Voices: 'Non-essential' businesses need your support to thrive - Northern Nevada Business Weekly

Are the Indian rich immune to the tax us syndrome? – BusinessLine

The peculiar affliction among millionaires around the world that has seen them practically begging their governments to tax them more.

Really, are there such millionaires?

You bet. Earlier this week, nearly 100 of the worlds richest people issued a statement directed at their governments, in which the operative phrase was: Tax us. Tax us. Tax us. They wanted governments to raise taxes on people like us. Immediately. Substantially. Permanently.

Whoa, why are they begging to be taxed more?

Their argument and there is much merit in it is that the Covid-19 pandemic has devastated economies around the world, and has left governments resource-constrained. And since millionaires are not frontline workers they are not taking care of the sick or driving the ambulances or restocking grocery store shelves or delivering food they ought to contribute in other ways, they reason.

Doesnt it? So, as the signatories to the Millionaires for Humanity statement note, where they can help out is in terms of resources. We do have money, lots of it. Money that is desperately needed now and will continue to be needed in the years ahead, as our world recovers from this crisis, they observe. And since the coronavirus crisis and the economic aftermath could push half a billion more people into poverty, governments should take these moneyed people up on their offer.

Who exactly are these model millionaires?

The signatories include Ben and Jerrys ice cream co-founder Jerry Greenfield, Disney scion Abigail Disney, British director Richard Curtis, Irish venture capitalist John OFarrell, and many others. They banded together under the umbrella of groups called the Patriotic Millionaires, Human Act, Tax Justice UK, Club of Rome, Resource Justice, besides Oxfam.

But no Indian millionaires on the list, I take it?

Not one.

Why do you think that is?

Well, typically the moneyed class anywhere would argue and India millionaires would, too that their philanthropic activities do more societal good than any government could. And, of course, the classic libertarian argument extends so far as to say that all taxation is theft.

Youd think. Libertarian writer Ayn Rands 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged channelled that philosophical argument passionately. The Atlas in the book represented the prime movers the few who bear the burden of the global economy who go on strike to protest the excessive regulation and taxation, and leave the world in disarray.

In 1957, the top marginal federal income tax rate in the US was 91 per cent, far higher than it is today.

India, too, had similar tax rates, didnt it?

In 1974-75, the peak tax rate was 97.75 per cent. In other words, the government appropriated virtually all of a moneyed persons earnings beyond a threshold. But theres a difference between India and the US.

In the US, periods of high marginal rates of taxation coincided with periods of high productive growth in the economy. Progressive taxation worked. In India, however, such high rates of taxation, which gave little incentive to earn beyond a threshold, only spawned a humongous black economy, which has never truly been exorcised since then.

If governments are able to persuasively establish that tax revenues are being put to good use, it would be difficult to argue as millionaires, including in India, do that their philanthropy is a better channel for societal good than progressive taxation is.

A weekly column that helps you ask the right questions

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Are the Indian rich immune to the tax us syndrome? - BusinessLine

NEWS WATCH: AHOY COMICS Announces 5th Wave Titles Due Out this Fall and Winter – Comic Watch

AHOY COMICS, the comic company responsible for such titles as THE WRONG EARTH, the sci-fi spoof CAPTAIN GINGER, and HASHTAG: DANGER is back with Wave 5, scheduled to hit stands this fall and winter.

The Syracuse-based independent publisher that pledged for readers to expect more from its line of comic book magazines and graphic novels, with the return of some old favorites and some that are new. The jam-packed line-up builds on AHOYs tendency to tackle serious topics with their signature off-kilter humor.

In a press release from the publisher, editor-in-chief Tom Peyer promised:

Police brutality! Science denial! The unshakeable feeling that weve slipped into a parallel world where up is down, right is wrong, and Dragonflyman is Dragonfly! These are the big, heady topics preoccupying people across the globe right nowso, of course, we felt it our duty to try to make a buck off them. If billionaires can get richer while civilization collapses, so can we!

AHOY Comics Publisher Hart Seely added to the editor-in-chiefs comments saying.

All we wanted was to be funny, but we keep accidentally speaking to the deeper issues plaguing society. Should we be less funny? Or should society be less full of plagues? You decide.

PENULTIMAN #1

Back from the futureagain! Penultiman, The Next-To-Last-Stage In Human Evolution, is the greatest, best-looking, and most admired super-hero in the world! So how can he stop hating himself? His android understudy, Antepenultiman, thinks he knows the answer! Created by Tom Peyer (THE WRONG EARTH) and Alan Robinson (PLANET OF THE NERDS). Featuring a variant cover by Jamal Igle (THE WRONG EARTH, Black).

Ship date: October 7, 2020, Resolicited from the Plague Times all previous orders have been canceled.

EDGAR ALLAN POES SNIFTER OF BLOOD #1

The SNIFTER OF TERROR returns with an all-star snark-fest under a bloody new title! Paul Cornell (Doctor Who) and Russell Braun (The Boys) reimagine Poes Black Catas a dog! In Atlas Shrugged (no relation), Mr. X creator Dean Motter settles science vs. religion once and for all! Plus: prose, pix, and a cover by Scary Godmothers Jill Thompson!

Ship Date: October 21, 2020

HAPPY HOUR #1

In future America, being happy isnt just a rightits the law. While the Joy Police brutally enforce the cheery code, two young people go on the run, searching for a haven of melancholy where they can safely bask in the blues.

Ship date: November 4, 2020

SECOND COMING: ONLY BEGOTTEN SON #1

The savior and the superhero return for a new round of shared adventuresbut first, we turn back time to witness the interplanetary origin of Sunstar!

Warning: portrays science denial, mass extinction, and real estate sales!

Ship date: December 16, 2020

THE WRONG EARTH: NIGHT & DAY #1

The stars of THE WRONG EARTH and DRAGONFLY & DRAGONFLYMAN return! Racing to prevent identical catastrophes that threaten the separate earths they inhabit, gritty Dragonfly and his campy doppelganger Dragonflyman follow the clues to a third earth, where they at last come face-to-face!

Ship date: January 6, 2021

Stuart Moore, who is in charge of Ops at the publisher, said,

At AHOY, weve either been lucky or smart lately, but both BILLIONAIRE ISLAND and ASH & THORN hit at just the right time. HAPPY HOUR and PENULTIMAN are just as well suited to this moment in time. Who cant relate to being locked up in a place where you have to pretend to be happy all the time? Or feeling like youre a secret fraud, even when you have super-evolved mental powers? As a reminder, PENULTIMAN #0, the very first installment in the PENULTIMAN saga from STEEL CAGE, is still available for free from Comixology.

For more updates on AHOY Comics, visit them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagramand stay tuned to Comic Watch.

NEWS WATCH: AHOY COMICS Announces 5th Wave Titles Due Out this Fall and Winter

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Chad lives in upstate NY and has been a life long comic book reader and collector. As a result of this, Chad has many issues, many of which are bagged, boarded, and sorted.

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NEWS WATCH: AHOY COMICS Announces 5th Wave Titles Due Out this Fall and Winter - Comic Watch


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