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Paul Ryan’s passionate call to cut taxes on the wealthy and corporations – Washington Post (blog)

During a speech before the National Association of Manufacturers, June 20, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) pledged to lower taxes and streamline the tax filing process. (The Washington Post)

While Republicans in the Senate work out how to take health insurance away from millions of Americans, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) turns his attention to the other great crusade that animates his career: tax cuts. This afternoon, Ryan is giving a speech to a friendly audience of lobbyists at the National Association of Manufacturers, in which he will lay out his vision for the next phase of the great Republican project, once health care is (one way or another) out of the way.

Ryan may not be the hard-nosed, number-crunching policy wonk hes often portrayed as in the press, but he is certainly a man of substantive beliefs. Unlike his Senate counterpart Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who plainly has no sincerely felt goal other than acquiring and holding power, Ryan has policy changes he desperately wants to see. Among them, only destroying the safety net can rival his deep and abiding wish that America might ease the burden of taxation under which our countrys rich, super-rich and corporations suffer so unjustly.

According to excerpts of his speech released in advance, hell tell his audience: We need to get this done in 2017. We cannot let this once-in-a-generation moment slip. While cutting taxes might slip into 2018, Ryan is basically right. It may not be quite a once-in-a-generation opportunity, but it only comes along when Republicans have unified control of government which they might only have until 2018.

While Ryan may not get everything he wants out of tax reform, he stands a very good chance of getting most of it. Republicans will move heaven and earth to pass something not because they feel pressure from their constituents Americans are not exactly crying out for tax cuts but because they believe in it. If we cant cut taxes on the wealthy, they ask each other, then why are we here? Whats the point of having power if you dont use it for this? So heres what Ryan is proposing to do, per the speech excerpts:

Among these, only the increase in the standard deduction is aimed at the non-wealthy. As the Tax Policy Center wrote last year about an earlier version of this plan:

Three-quarters of total tax cuts would go to the top 1 percent, who would receive an average cut of nearly $213,000, or 13.4 percent of after-tax income. The top 0.1 percent would receive an average tax cut of about $1.3 million (16.9 percent of after-tax income). In contrast, the average tax cut for the lowest-income households would be just $50.

While the figures for this latest iteration will vary somewhat, the essential idea will be the same. This is part of the Republican tax template going way back: Make sure that even lower-income people get something in your tax cut, even if its tiny and the vast majority of the benefits go to the wealthy. Then you can say, This isnt about the wealthy were cutting taxes for everybody!

There are differences among Republicans on some points. For instance, many of President Trumps economic advisers dont like the border adjustment tax (which is essentially a big tariff on imported goods that would be paid by consumers), which means it will probably be dropped. But the good news for Ryan and Republicans is that even if cutting taxes for the wealthy isnt popular, it tends not to generate intense, concentrated resistance of the kind that makes members of Congress skittish about voting for it.

Thats because, unlike health-care reform, taxes are not an issue where its easy (or even possible) for citizens to see a direct harm Republican policies might do to them. If I take away your coverage or enable insurers to deny you coverage because of your preexisting condition, youll know thats bad for you. But if I give a tax break to the millionaires who live in that gated community on the other side of town? You may think its unfair and you may not like it, but since it doesnt seem like it will have an immediate impact on you, youre much less likely to march in the streets or call your member of Congress to stop it from happening.

Furthermore, Ryan and the Republicans know that the public has virtually no historical memory, which enables the GOP to make bogus arguments about taxes and convince many people that theyre true. Why is it necessary to make these tax cuts? Because this will create jobs, Ryan will say in his speech, according to the excerpts. That is what this is all about: jobs, jobs, jobs. Good, high-paying jobs.

Just like all those millions of high-paying jobs that were created when George W. Bush passed a similar set of tax cuts for the wealthy in 2001 and 2003, which brought about the economic nirvana of explosive job and wage growth Republicans like Ryan promised the tax cuts would produce. Thats what happened, right?

Thats not what happened, of course just the opposite. But Paul Ryan is undeterred. Hes a man of substance, but hes no empiricist. What experience teaches him about the world we live in is far less important than the dream that implanted itself in his heart when he read Atlas Shrugged as an impressionable youth. Whatever else does or doesnt make it through Congress, Ryan will get his tax cuts.

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Paul Ryan's passionate call to cut taxes on the wealthy and corporations - Washington Post (blog)

Atlas Shrugged Summary – Shmoop – Shmoop: Homework Help …

Rand kicks things off with dread and doom. The world is in serious trouble: the economy is tanking, and the government is becoming crazy-oppressive. But fear not: we meet two heroic businesspeople who might just be savvy enough to keep the country going. Hank Rearden and Dagny Taggart team up on a major mission: to build a railroad to provide all the up-and-coming businesses in Colorado with transportation for their merchandise. Hank and Dagny succeed, with the help of some other good businesspeople, and the John Galt Line, which uses a special metal that Hank invented, is a success.

Who is John Galt? Well, the whole world is wondering that. While all this is going on, more and more talented people are mysteriously disappearing, and John Galt may just have something to do with it. But Hank and Dagny are more concerned with other things now. The two begin a romantic relationship and a new quest: to find the inventor of an abandoned high-tech motor that could transform the world. The search leads them all over the country, where they are increasingly confronted with evidence of the bad economy and government.

Things begin going rapidly downhill for Hank and Dagny. The government, a sleazy crowd of politicians and businesspeople (including Dagny's weasel of a brother James), passes a series of laws that restrict people's freedoms. These laws particularly target successful industrialists and make business, and life, hard and miserable. More and more industrialists disappear and Dagny becomes obsessed with tracking down the "destroyer" of the world.

Hank, meanwhile, is coming to some painful personal realizations about his family life and his morals. He is being helped along by the mysterious Francisco d'Anconia, a supposed playboy who used to date Dagny and is somehow connected to the "destroyer." Dagny sets off on a desperate solo quest to stop a scientist from quitting his job and disappearing. While following the scientist, Dagny crashes her plane in Colorado.

When she wakes up, she finds herself in the secret hideaway of none other than John Galt and his fellow strikers. This valley is often referred to as Galt's Gulch by the strikers, though Dagny calls it Atlantis. Galt is both the inventor of the motor and the "destroyer," and he's calling talented people together to go on strike in order to show the government how harmful their policies are. Galt and his followers refuse to cooperate with an oppressive regime, which they call the "looters."

Galt has been in love with Dagny for years, and she quickly falls for him too. But Dagny can't bring herself to stay on strike in Galt's Gulch, since she still feels she can fight the terrible government. Dagny returns home and has an amicable breakup with Hank, who shortly thereafter joins the strike and leaves for Atlantis.

After things in the world become even worse, Galt makes a long radio address, outlining his philosophy and asking people to stop going along with the bad government policies. But Galt is captured by the government shortly thereafter and is tortured. Dagny, helped by Hank, Francisco, and other strikers, rescues Galt, and the group flees for Atlantis as the country's infrastructure collapses. At the very end, Galt and his strikers make plans to return to the world and to fix it.

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Atlas Shrugged Summary - Shmoop - Shmoop: Homework Help ...

Supreme Court Confirms The Bill Of Rights Is Just About Making … – Above the Law

When the Supreme Court handed down Citizens United, most people decried the end of campaign finance reform or rejoiced at all the Obama is a criminal ads they could buy with the backing of kooky billionaires. But the decision also erected a signpost marking the path that most defines the Roberts Court: the provisions of the Bill of Rights are for making money. That corporations are people has reached the point of clich, but theres a reason Roberts started issuing all his oaths of office on a dog-eared copy of Atlas Shrugged when no one was looking.

So when Simon Tams case reached the Supreme Court, we all knew what was going to happen. Tam, a member of an all Asian-American band called The Slants, challenged 15 U. S. C. 1052(a), which sets standards for trademark protection to bar marks that disparage or bring into contemp[t] or disrepute any persons, living or dead. Tams group believes their use of a known slur against Asians and those of Asian descent is an act of reclamation and not one of disparagement.

An interesting factual challenge wouldve considered Brandeis Brief style the expanding body of academic work on the nature of linguistic reclamation and delve into whether the facile neutrality imposed upon words like disparage in the application of the statute improperly excluded valuable expressions from the financial protection provided by a federal grant of intellectual property protection. That would have been a fascinating dive into the changing meaning of language and the problems inherent in interpreting terms in legal texts from a cemented perspective of whiteness.

As would someone just pointing out that the statute is unconstitutionally vague which is the right answer! and calling it a day. But the Court decided to drop an ode to how fundamental rights really only matter as long as theyre about making money, because after all, the business of America is business.

It wasnt a pretty opinion. Professor Crouch said of the opinion that the Courts logic is largely incomprehensible. But the real nut of the opinion can be found in the opening paragraphs of Justice Alitos majority opinion:

We now hold that this provision violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment. It offends a bedrock First Amendment principle: Speech may not be banned on the ground that it expresses ideas that offend.

Good point! Except no one was trying to ban any speech here. But other than that basic, foundational fact, this is a good point.

What the statute did authorize the USPTO to do is to say, The government wont grant a federally registered trademark with no bearing on your state and common law rights to protect marks for marks that offend. That aside is critically important. An unregistered mark is not some kiss of death to protecting an intellectual property right, and nothing about this statute sought to interfere with that. There are advantages in having the federal government maintain a list of registered marks, but registration is not the source of trademark protection.

Federal trademark protection flows from the congressional power to regulate interstate commerce, and in light of the broad grant of power the Framers gave the government here, its entirely reasonable for the government to impose limits on what marks it gives the imprimatur of nationwide recognition, in the interest of regulating the market. This isnt banning someone from expressing a disparaging view. Its not even banning someone from making money off a disparaging view. The statute barred the federal government from inserting itself into a potential dispute between someone trying to make money off a racial slur and someone trying to make bootleg products to make money off that same racial slur. And, as already discussed, it doesnt even stop someone from suing the bootlegger.

And its in this reasoning, adopted by the majority in a rather fractured decision, that really draws a straight line from Citizens United where the right to express a political opinion metastasized into the right to buy the most access for a propaganda blitz. To the majority of this Court, what interests them about Free Speech isnt protecting the right of individuals to express unpopular or even offensive opinions. When it comes to protecting protestors arrested and bullied for speaking out especially if they do it in front of the Supreme Court this Court isnt eager to lend a helping hand. But if they can spin the hyperbole wheel and transform a government regulation that makes it ever so slightly more difficult to make money into a ban on speech, theyre right there for you. Thats the Bill of Rights this Court wants to build caselaw about.

If only those wrongfully convicted death row prisoners could find a pecuniary justification for staying alive.

(Opinion on the next page.)

Joe Patriceis an editor at Above the Law and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free toemail any tips, questions, or comments. Follow him onTwitterif youre interested in law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news.

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Supreme Court Confirms The Bill Of Rights Is Just About Making ... - Above the Law

Atlas Shrugged Movie Review & Film Summary (2011 … – Roger …

I feel like my arm is all warmed up and I dont have a game to pitch. I was primed to review "Atlas Shrugged." I figured it might provide a parable of Ayn Rands philosophy that I could discuss. For me, that philosophy reduces itself to: "Im on board; pull up the lifeline." There are however people who take Ayn Rand even more seriously than comic-book fans take "Watchmen." I expect to receive learned and sarcastic lectures on the pathetic failings of my review.

And now I am faced with this movie, the most anticlimactic non-event since Geraldo Rivera broke into Al Capones vault. I suspect only someone very familiar with Rands 1957 novel could understand the film at all, and I doubt they will be happy with it. For the rest of us, it involves a series of business meetings in luxurious retro leather-and-brass board rooms and offices, and restaurants and bedrooms that look borrowed from a hotel no doubt known as the Robber Baron Arms.

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During these meetings, everybody drinks. More wine is poured and sipped in this film than at a convention of oenophiliacs. There are conversations in English after which I sometimes found myself asking, "What did they just say?" The dialogue seems to have been ripped throbbing with passion from the pages of Investors Business Daily. Much of the excitement centers on the tensile strength of steel.

The story involves Dagny Taggart (Taylor Schilling), a young woman who controls a railroad company named Taggart Transcontinental (its motto: "Ocean to Ocean"). She is a fearless and visionary entrepreneur, who is determined to use a revolutionary new steel to repair her train tracks. Vast forces seem to conspire against her.

Its a few years in the future. America has become a state in which mediocrity is the goal, and high-achieving individuals the enemy. Laws have been passed prohibiting companies from owning other companies. Dagnys new steel, which is produced by her sometime lover, Hank Rearden (Grant Bowler), has been legislated against because its better than other steels. The Union of Railroad Engineers has decided it will not operate Dagnys trains. Just to show you how bad things have become, a government minister announces "a tax will be applied to the state of Colorado, in order to equalize our national economy." So you see how governments and unions are the enemy of visionary entrepreneurs.

But youre thinking, railroads? Yes, although airplanes exist in this future, trains are where its at. When I was 6, my Aunt Martha brought me to Chicago to attend the great Railroad Fair of 1948, at which the nations rail companies celebrated the wonders that were on the way. They didnt quite foresee mass air transportation. "Atlas Shrugged" seems to buy into the fairs glowing vision of the future of trains. Rarely, perhaps never, has television news covered the laying of new railroad track with the breathless urgency of the news channels shown in this movie.

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So OK. Lets say you know the novel, you agree with Ayn Rand, youre an objectivist or a libertarian, and youve been waiting eagerly for this movie. Man, are you going to get a letdown. Its not enough that a movie agree with you, in however an incoherent and murky fashion. It would help if it were like, you know, entertaining?

The movie is constructed of a few kinds of scenes: (1) People sipping their drinks in clubby surroundings and exchanging dialogue that sounds like corporate lingo; (2) railroads, and lots of em; (3) limousines driving through cities in ruin and arriving at ornate buildings; (4) city skylines; (5) the beauties of Colorado. There is also a love scene, which is shown not merely from the waist up but from the ears up. The man keeps his shirt on. This may be disappointing for libertarians, who I believe enjoy rumpy-pumpy as much as anyone.

Oh, and there is Wisconsin. Dagny and Hank ride blissfully in Taggarts new high-speed train, and then Hank suggests they take a trip to Wisconsin, where the states policies caused the suppression of an engine that runs on the ozone in the air, or something (the films detailed explanation wont clear this up). They decide to drive there. Thats when youll enjoy the beautiful landscape photography of the deserts of Wisconsin. My advice to the filmmakers: If you want to use a desert, why not just refer to Wisconsin as "New Mexico"?

"Atlas Shrugged" closes with a title card saying, "End of Part 1." Frequently throughout the film, characters repeat the phrase, "Who is John Galt?" Well they might ask. A man in black, always shot in shadow, is apparently John Galt. If you want to get a good look at him and find out why everybody is asking, I hope you can find out in Part 2. I dont think you can hold out for Part 3.

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Ayn Rand’s Controversial Play Gets a Queer Makeover – ?

BY GENNA RIVIECCIO|The phrases Ayn Rand and sought after for a revival dont exactly go fit together naturally. Especially in the era of Trump, when Randian political extremism in art is more feared and frowned upon than ever. Nonetheless, the Lincoln Stegman Theater in North Hollywood dares to take on the polarizing figure through a medium shes less known for: Playwriting.

Starting June 3 and running through June 18, the authors seldom-staged Night of January 16th will present Darryl Maximilian Robinson in the role of District Attorney Flint. Originally produced in 1934 (under the title Woman on Trial,) the play garnered positive reviews in part due to its engagement with the audience as interactive participants in the jury of the aforementioned trial.

The play will be imbued with a fresh take by The Emmanuel Lutheran Actors Theater Ensemble (ELATE), featuring Robinson as a prosecutor heavily invested in the case of The People of The State of New York vs. Karen Andre. Karen Andre, of course, is the secretary to business magnate Bjorn Faulkner (on whom Match King Ivan Kreuger was based.) Rands murdered character is based less on a single real person as the overall ambitious and fatally appetitive nature of the businessman in American culture something that remains more resonant than ever in the current Reign of Orange Terror. Arguably the most detrimental character flaw in any man of power is his weakness for women, and Karen proves no exception, with her dual position as secretary and lover making her a force to be reckoned with in Faulkners life. Indeed, it rather sounds like Abel Ferraras Body of Evidence borrowed a lot of ideas from this play.

Directed by Jeff Zimmer, who also collaborated with Robinson for Tad Mosels Impromptu, the play will be given the revival it deserves after so long being forgotten in favor of some of Rands other, more controversial work (chiefly, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.) Plus, for good Shakespearean measure, actresses in roles traditionally played by males will include Gerrie Wilkowski as Judge Heath, Therese Hawes as the writing expert, Chandler, and Lisa Cicchetti as the medical examiner, Dr. Kirkland.

There would probably be no pleasing Rand with any reinvented version of her original work, as, at the time of the plays production, she ended up getting involved in a legal battle with the producer, Al Woods, who not only made numerous alterations Rand did not approve of, but also funneled a chunk of her royalties in order to compensate the very script doctor she never wanted. But ELATE might just have been able to bring a nod of approval from the stalwart playwright/author by intending to stage the play off of the definitive 1968 version of her script. And, best of all, they plan to keep intact the most inventive aspect of the play: the involvement of the audience as the jury.

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Ayn Rand's Controversial Play Gets a Queer Makeover - ?

We Don’t Need Uber – Motherboard

Uber is in turmoil. Soon after former Attorney General Eric Holder's investigation into the company's alleged culture of sexual harassment and misconduct was completed, CEO Travis Kalanick announced he is taking a leave of absence. During a meeting to discuss Holder's findings, board member David Bonderman made a sexist comment. He resigned Tuesday night. Meanwhile, the company was recently hailed for losing just $708 million in the first quarter of this year.

It's probably a good time to consider what Uberthe most valuable private company in the United Statesactually is, and what's happened to it. Uber was the rare startup that so quickly became ingrained in our culture that it's hard to remember a time without it. But Uber today also represents the worst of Silicon Valley, modern business, and capitalism: Its first mover status has conferred it a too-big-to-fail status that it doesn't deserve and that we no longer need.

Thankfully, we have a perfect case study that proves we don't need Uber. Just over a year ago, Uber (and Lyft) voluntarily left the city of Austin, Texas after the city had the audacity to ask the rideshare companies to require their drivers to submit to government background checks, which is what taxi companies in most cities have to do.

The experiences of that city is instructive: Austin did not immediately fall back into the clutches of evil taxi companies. Instead, the vacuum Uber and Lyft left was filled by local startups and nonprofits such as Fasten, Ride Austin, Fare, Wingz, Arcade City, and the Austin Underground Rideshare Community. Getting a ride in Austin today isn't any different than it was before Uber and Lyft left town. Same drivers, same riders, same smartphones, same traffic.

Uber and Lyft continue to hemorrhage their funding in an existential game of chicken that pushes fares lower with subsidization from Silicon Valley's venture capitalistsa high stakes gamble that bets human drivers can be automated out of existence before VC pockets empty completely. Meanwhile, Austin's startups have realized that connecting driver to rider might be good enoughmost people just want to be able to hail a ride from the comfort of the bar while it's raining outside.

By design, Uber's trajectory has always been one designed to crush the competition and capture as much power and money as is possible without consideration for its social costs. In Uber's early days, Kalanick subscribed to an Ayn Rand-ian Libertarian ideology, telling the Washington Post in 2012 that Washington DC's taxi and limo regulations were reminiscent of the regulatory mess depicted in Atlas Shrugged. Kalanick and his friends now say he's backed away from the "libertarian" label. A 2015 Fast Company profile noted that "the only ideology Kalanick subscribes to is contrarianism."

If your founding theory is more-or-less "the rules don't apply to us," it's little surprise that Uber has apparently paid little mind to established norms about workplace respect.

Uber long ago stopped being a company whose fundamental purpose was to connect local drivers with local passengersinstead, it has become a political powerhouse that ignores local and state laws and lobbies their way out of trouble later. Rather than comply with local law in Austin, Uber and Lyft forced through state-level legislation that superseded Austin's local regulations and allowed the companies to return to the city.

"The people designing our technology are not our people"

Uber's decisionsthe self-driving car research, the ignore regulations now, lobby away the problems later tactics, the selling of rides below market value to drive out competitionall make sense as a capitalistic endeavor designed to maximize long-term profits. But for the average driver, rider, or city, Uber is not a good actor. Drivers just want to earn some extra pocket money, and riders just want to get home, ideally without the moral quandary that comes with supporting a company that is perennially wracked with controversy.

The good news is that many people are realizing there's no particular reason why we can't replace Uber with a systems that favor the human over the dollar. At the Left Forum in Manhattan earlier this month, a panel of people seeking to make technology work for people laid this out plainly.

"The people designing our technology are not our people," Samir Hazboun of the Highlander Research and Education Center, which studies social movements and educates activists, said at the forum. "They're against us."

"We need to control the technology, we need to own the internet, we need to design it for what our needs are"

Uber and Lyft may soon reign again in Austin, and Uber will likely survive its current turmoil. But the question we should all be asking ourselves is simple: Why? Why do we need Uber? Its technology was innovative several years ago, but much of the software has been open sourced or reverse-engineered now, and the most important partthe human driversUber never owned nor cared to employ. We use Uber because of pure inertia, because of its first mover status, because its app is slightly less clunky than its local competitors, because it has substantial political clout, because its rides are (temporarily) subsidized.

Uber started a revolution, but it need not be a lasting regime. All these years later, Uber is still essentially just an app. And not a particularly complex one.

"We need to control the technology, we need to own the internet, we need to design it for what our needs are," Alice Aguilar, of the Progressive Technology Project, said at the Left Forum. "They're telling us what they want and we're doing it. But we can use these tools in a way that's appropriate for us without it leading to the demise of our work and our communities."

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We Don't Need Uber - Motherboard

Interview: David Le’aupepe of Gang of Youths talks his uncompromising devotion to beautiful lyrics – Grimy Goods (blog)

Every few years it seems, Australia manages to churn out another solid indie band or artist that manages to make headlines with a stunning debutso its understandable if youre having trouble keeping up. However, it would be criminal to continue overlooking one such act that made its damn-near flawless debut in 2015 withThe Positions, a gift from the aptly named and soulfully riotousgroup Gang of Youths. Comprised of a tightly knit group of five close friends and led by the songwriting prowess ofDavid Leaupepe, the band executes its impassioned songs with a strenuous balancing of poetically dense lyricismand equally complex sonics. Mincing no words and giving listeners a voraciously intimate encounter with his own struggles and demonsof whichLeaupepe is admirably open aboutthe band mingles bittersweet hopes with crushing realities, while also refusing to engage in any cultural glorification or romanticizing of such griefs.

Their songs are chock full of personal anecdotes, withLeaupepe giving little glimpses into his own life and emotions that are somehow dually personal as they are universal. Its also hard not to notice that nearly every second of their longer than average songswith the exception of a few instrumental crescendosis filled with the frontmans singing. He just doesnt stop, and frankly, you wont want him to.

Im not exactly a soft-spoken, reserved person, Im pretty fucking loquaciouson a good day,Leaupepe says with a laugh. On a bad[day] Im downright fucking yappy.

ForLeaupepe, his lyrics are one-half of the lifeblood of Gang of Youths existencewhich sounds like maybe a redundant thing to point out, until you actually listen to his lyrics, which to his and the bands credit, are actually quite intelligible for all their guitar riffs and thundering percussion. Then once youre done listening and singing along, go look them up, seriously, its the kind of literary snippets you might dive into in an English course. Itd require an essay to dive into all the nuances here, but songs like Magnolia, Poison Drum, and The Diving Bell, emit a beauty through Leaupepes choice words alone. And of course, it doesnt just happen by accidentin fact, the effort is quite strenuous at times.

Its a struggle for me to get anything out because Im sort of in this period of my life where Im starting to care a lot more about what people think about my work, and that can be distracting and hard. But I always have to temper it with a sense of authenticity to myself, authenticity to the kind of shit I want to make, and the kind of thing I want to leave behind on the earth when I die,Leaupepe explained. What I think is most authentic to me is I want to write lyrics that are meaningful to me, potentially meaningful to others, and sound beautiful. When I read a book Im looking for beautiful writing that speaks to me in some way, even if its simple and minimalist or dense and verbose. I just want to speak to people in a way thats life-affirming.

In many ways, according toLeaupepe, sub-par lyricism has found its way into our entertainment, and he refuses to contribute to the degradation of an art form he is so passionate about. Acknowledging that sounds harsh, as he puts it, he also genuinely believes that for people who arent interested in lyrics, theres melody and music to keep them entertained, while for people who are, there are themes, concepts, complexity, and density for them as well. But even so, for the former, Gang of Youths has more than a few hot licks, catchy hooks, and gorgeous soundscapes to keep even the most casual of listeners caught by their ear.

One of the first things youll realize as you listen toThe Positions for the first time is that the songs opener, Vital Signs, is a seven-minute journey that entreats you to everything. Its a veritable journey of emotional release thats unraveled simultaneously throughLeaupepes lyrics and the bands various melody changeslike some high-strung drama in four acts, their songs change and evolve alongside their themes. Like his lyrics,Leaupepe and company have deep running ambitions and expectations for the very notes they play. As someone who was once apart of the hardcore punk scene in Australia,Leaupepe refered back to how such bands managed to communicate a wide range of emotions and all these sides of humanity, using solely a two to three minute hardcore punk song as a conduit.

I can respect that and I think thats really admirable, weve just chosen not to do that. Weve decided that we want different moods and different sides of our musicality to come through in order to embody the vast scope of human experience,Leaupepe says of the way they arrange their songs. The songs on our records need to reflect the vast array and litany of human emotions and experiences. We need to reflect all the sides of humanity, not just the ones that rock super hard.I want to reflect the emotional environment I was in when I wrote a particular song, what the song was about, through the sonics.

WithThe Positions now aged two years and now on the road for an exhausting bout of touring that sees Gang of Youths traversing the most of North America in the span of two weeks, Gang of Youths have returned with two new singles. Atlas Drowned and Let Me Down Easy, the bands introduction to the tumultuous nature of the past yearpolitically, socially, culturally, take your pickare as poignant as they are ruthless. Between obvious references to the rise of polarizing and divisive movements, as well as an allusion to last years Paris terrorist attacks,Leaupepe and company avoid getting into the messy specifics of political alignment and instead aim for its larger implication for the individual, the people listening to their songs, and the soul.

Shouting, spitting, cussing, and foaming at the mouth,Leaupepe tackles a philosophy of irrational self-interest that has stricken our society in Atlas Shrugged, its title a well-prepared pile-driver rather than a subtle dig at Ayn Rands novel and monument to rational egoism Atlas Shrugged. Its rare to see any artist in any genre so willfully name drop the likes of Rand and Nietzsche in the explanation of a song, but thats exactly whatLeaupepe did in an Instagram post when the song was releasedbut more so than the broad, overarching themes and philosophies that inspired it is the bands ability to make it not only digestible, but so potently personal.

Gang of Youths at Constellation Room Photo: Steven Ward

With all this accentuated energy going on behind the scenes and in the studio, for a band whose unapologetic zeal for life roars through effortlessly in their baroque-rock anthemsits perhaps understandable that their live shows are absolutely insane. Personally, Ive only seen Gang of Youths once in the Constellation Room in Santa Ana. The room was decently filled and my defining memory is ofLeaupepe dancing on the bar counter (the man shakes his hips and howls like the most on-key demon in existence) and jumping into the crowd to dance and twirl fans. They were one of the top five acts Ive ever seen live and itd honestly be a disservice to your very soul to not see them on their current U.S. tour.

Every show we attack in the same wayI mean it comes from our attitude towards life, attacking life with a sense of ferocity and engagement. It doesnt matter how big the fucking room is, it doesnt matter how many people are in there when you believe in the power of an artform its unifying and emancipatory power you cant help but be excited, a serious and passionate Leaupepe explains. Everybody in this band desires to be the very best at what we do.

Gang of Youths will be playing the Echo this Thursday. Tickets are still available here. For more information on their tour and to stay up to date on future release visit their Facebook and website.

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Interview: David Le'aupepe of Gang of Youths talks his uncompromising devotion to beautiful lyrics - Grimy Goods (blog)

PBOC Loses Control Of Yuan Peg, Setting The Stage For A Global Currency Catastrophe – SilverSeek.com

Its early Wednesday morning, with gold up $14oz; silver up $0.15/oz; and everything else from oil (Brent crude at 2004 lows!), to base metals, equities, junk bonds, and Treasury yields crashing. Whilst, in the wake of yesterdays crashing currency cornucopia article countless currencies, commodity or otherwise, are freefalling.

Lets just start with some of the minor horrible headlines of the past 24 hours; after which, well build up to the BIG KAHUNA that has the global economy and financial markets on the precipice of the abyss

And then theres the official MSM reason for this mornings global stock plunge, which has Dow Futures down nearly 300 points just before the NYSE open. Which, whilst it certainly is bad news and part and parcel with the unfolding explosion of global geopolitical tensions is decidedly NOT the principal catalyst for this mornings financial implosion

Moreover, for some comic relief, even I am in awe of the unprecedented falsity of this mornings ADP employment report in somehow, despite the worst economic data since 2008, proclaiming December to have produced a whopping 257,000 jobs. I mean, has ADP, like the BLS, adopted double seasonal adjustments? Or its own, fictional birth/death model? Or has it started to include panhandlers in the ranks of the employed? And has Mark Zandi officially become a modern-day Wesley Mouch; i.e., Americas de facto head of economic propaganda from Atlas Shrugged?

However, whats really troubling financial markets aside from the inexorable bursting of the epic, unprecedented bubbles created by Central banks cumulative response to the 2000 and 2008 crises is last nights double-barreled bombshells from China. One, in accelerating the pace of the Yuans devaluation from 6.20/dollar at the time of the initial devaluation in August; to 6.55/dollar this morning, nearly a half-percent weaker than yesterday morning. And second, the far more important development of the offshore Yuan market uncontrollably plunging portending, potentially in the very near-term the cataclysmic Yuan devaluation I first predicted last April; and afterwards, mere hours before the initial devaluation four months ago.

Trust me, its no coincidence that the recent, dramatic leg down in the global commodity and currency implosion commenced that very fateful day in early August. Or that the recent acceleration of the Yuans devaluation commenced the day after it was accepted into the IMFs strategic currency basket. Regarding the latter, the Chinese government was clearly waiting for its hollow, but symbolically important acceptance into the Western Ponzi scheme before taking the matter of its own collapsing Ponzi scheme into its own hands. Which is exactly what it is doing, in setting the stage for a global currency catastrophe.

Of course, the loss of control of the offshore Yuan market i.e., the unofficial, or black market rate that all dying currencies eventually fall to (like Argentina and Venezuela last month) is EXACTLY what I described in September 1sts most dangerous, destabilizing force on Earth. In it, I warned of the tightrope the PBOC was walking in attempting to gradually devalue the Yuan whilst simultaneously supporting the offshore Yuan by not only buying offshore Yuan whilst selling onshore Yuan, but cracking down on those nasty speculators attempting to sabotage the great Chinese empire by shorting offshore Yuan.

Taking the cake in the category of Keystone Kops financial planning is the fact that the Chinese are wasting countless hundreds of billions supporting the (Offshore) Yuan, whilst at the same time devaluing it!

My friends, this is why I know historys largest fiat Ponzi scheme, involving all nations, is on the verge of its inevitable annihilation. The ramifications are too broad and terrifying to list here which is why its so convenient that the Miles Franklin Blog archives the hundreds of articles and podcasts I and David Schectman have produced as always, for free. Whether the powers that be can hold on another year an election year, at that without a major financial disaster occurring is something I cant predict. However, the end game is irreversibly set in stone, approaching like a runaway train on an icy, downhill track. And as for what asset class will be most in demand as this unprecedented calamity unfolds, I have never been more certain it will be Precious Metals. In other words, I can only reiterate, as vehemently as possible, to PROTECT YOURSELF, and DO IT NOW!

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PBOC Loses Control Of Yuan Peg, Setting The Stage For A Global Currency Catastrophe - SilverSeek.com

Dynamics 365 A Familiar Minefield – SYS-CON Media (press release)

By Steve Mordue

Article Rating:

I was looking at a thread in the Dynamics MVP mail list the other day, and one of the comments was that it would be nice if Microsoft would actually slow down the pace of development for Dynamics 365.

For those that watch Dynamics 365, the pace of advancement can look pretty impressive, but they are beach bound surf watchers. For those of us that actually work with the product every day, we keep on eye on the water, apprehensive about what wave may come next, as we frantically strain to keep our head above the waterline of the features brought by the last waves. In the past few years the waves have been unrelenting.

I am not exactly sure who can be credited with this product transformation, but at some point there must have been a meeting of the Leadership team, where a decision was made, that if Microsoft is going to be a player in Business Solutions space, they have to aim their guns at Salesforce.com. The first assault by this previously sleeping team came when Dynamics CRM Online was pushed into the cloud and Atlas Shrugged. The landscape did not appear to shift at all, it was as if Microsoft had done nothing at all.

A couple of years ago the rumor mill was churning out reports of a possible acquisition of Salesforce by Microsoft. It made sense from the outside, if you cant beat em, buy em. My sources at the time said this was not true, it was just Benioff trying to boost his stock value, but it was interesting what happened next.

While Microsoft as a company is surely no mouse, Dynamics, in the real world of CRM competitiors, certainly was. Following whatever happened regarding an acquisition, somebody flipped a switch. Suddenly bales of spinach were being poured into Dynamics, and muscles started popping out all over the product. Many will credit Nadella, and his past Dynamics roots for the sudden commitment. But whether it was revenge for a spurned acquisition, or Nadella bubbling up his sense that Dynamics should be a key component of the Microsoft story, much larger guns were brought out and leveled at the 800 lb gorilla.

Up until this point, Salesforce had little to be concerned about and I can imagine that Dynamics was a footnote in their leadership meetings. Something to chuckle about as the tossed their coffee cups in the trash on their way out of the conference room. But now, Microsoft had leveled their biggest guns and taken some real shots, most missed. But a couple of these shots did graze Salesforce. The chuckling slowed.

Up until this point Salesforce had made many opportunistic acquisitions, all in reaction to customer needs. While Microsoft was no real threat yet, if Salesforce did not cover their flanks, they could be. Their acquisition strategy took a decided shift towards shoring up areas where Microsoft could potentially do some damage.

When I was a kid, and other kids parents were saying the best way to handle a bully was to avoid them, my Dad gave me some different advice. He said the best way to handle a big bully when he marched up to your face, was to haul off and punch him as hard as you could, immediately. It would be very simple to do, as he would never expect, or be prepared for little you, to do that. But, he added, dont stop there, climb up on top of him and keep punching, before he gets his wits and footing and pounds you to pulp. Dont stop punching him until a crowd forms and realizes what is happening. The other kids, who had also been terrorized by that bully, will be so impressed that they will rally around you. I said, Is it safe to let him up then?, and he said Nah, keep punching him. I would love to tell you that this actually happened, but truth be told, I avoided the bullies, just like all of my other chicken-ass friends.

In this coorneer, weighing in a 800 pounds, the reigning champion, Saaaalesfoooorce. And in this coorner, weighing in at 180 pounds, the contender, Microoosoooft Dynaaaamics. Ding. Here comes the referee with the rules of the fightThere are no rules. Ding Microsoft runs out out the middle of the ring, but Salesforce takes a wide circle around the ring, looking out at the crowd, smiling and saying this will be quick. Suddenly Microsoft swings a leg wide and crushes Salesforces ankle. Salesforce looks to the referee, who shrugs and says remember, there are no rules. What happens next? I guess well see, but it looks to me like Microsoft is taking my Dads advice.

By now you are probably thinking, damn you Steve, you never seem to write about what your post title is. Sorry, I am not a writer, more of a rambling scribbler really, but I will get back to my title. So as the titans battle, jabbing and counter-punching with new features and capabilities, at an unrelenting pace, a price is being paid by other supporting participants in the battle: Customers and Partners.

Back when Henry Ford invented the automobile, (yes I am going there), he was the only game in town. Eventually he had some competition, in the form of other companies trying to replicate what he was doing. All of the sudden there were several companies making very similar cars, yet barely making a dent in Fords sales. Ford was an inventor, not an innovator. So the only chance to beat him, was to innovate on his original idea. Our cars work perfectly fine, but in order to beat Ford, what if we put a more powerful engine in them? The first pass at this was a bigger engine, nothing else, that should be enough. Suddenly new buyers were driving off cliffs. It seems that while the new engine provided a lot more power, the original brakes, which had worked perfectly fine up until then, were no longer adequate. Of course Ford did not sit on the sidelines, he started copying his new competition, with similar results. All of the sudden, cars became a pretty dangerous proposition. Every new powerful feature, broke things that had previously worked! Thus began this innovation circle: try and anticipate what might break, launch, and then scramble to fix what you did not anticipate, then repeat.

Okay, I hear you, I am getting to the point finally. Completely separate from the fact that partners and customers are struggling to keep up with the pace of change, and absorb and comprehend new capabilities, we also have the dilemma of unintended consequences. As a partner, you log into your customers tenant to tweak a workflow, something you have done a thousand times, and you cant update from picklists. What? Some new feature, added to the front of the car, caused the left rear turn signal to stop working. I can of course report something like this to Microsoft, and of course they will be all over it. But until then, the spinning world, has stopped. In the meantime, for things that I previously charged into doing without the need to even turn on my brain, I find myself tip-toeing down very familiar paths.

Maybe, in their zeal to slay the 800 lb gorilla, Microsoft actually went too fast? Maybe they need to put the brakes on the innovation pace and move more cautiously? Maybe they should check, and let us all catch up before they raise the bet? I can see the wisdom in that but I cannot shake my Dad saying Nah, keep punching.

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Dynamics 365 A Familiar Minefield - SYS-CON Media (press release)

Northern Exposure Cast Could Make Time In Busy Schedules For Revival – Bleeding Cool News

Home > Film > Northern Exposure Cast Could Make Time In Busy Schedules For Revival

Northern Exposure, the CBS series about weirdos in Alaskathat ran for six seasons from 1990 to 1995, could be coming back to the airwaves. Theres no official plans in the works from CBS, but pretty much everyone on the cast is willing to do it, according to a report from Entertainment Weekly. Cast members Rob Morrow, Adam Arkin, Janine Turner, and Cynthia Gearygot together with series creator Josh Brand and producers Robin Green, Mitchell Burgess, and Cheryl Bloch for a Northern Exposure panel at theATX Television Festival in Austin, Texas this week.

We would love it, said Brand about the prospect of a revival, something that it seems every TV show from the 90s is getting nowadays. Rob has been working trying to get them to do it. Im sure wed all agree we would love to see it because I think it is of a time, but its also not of a time. The show was sort of like salted caramel ice cream, which is the best ice cream because its sweet and its got salt. The show was buoyant and it was optimistic, but if you live on the planet, you experience loss and you feel it.Theres a lot of loss in the show but its not depressing because its a part of living. And thats something that in our culture, our television shows dont like to do.

Thats the sort of insight weve all been missing out on since Northern Exposure went off the air. And as for that reboot, with the success of shows like The X-Files and Twin Peaks, it seems only fair that it be Northern Exposures turn. And pretty much everybody ison board.

We all want it to happen, said Geary. Darrens trying. Robs trying.

So yall write letters or send emails! said Turner, hinting at a streaming service as a possible home. We want to get it streamed.

Please, please god, let this happen, said Morrow, probably, as one of his most recent roles was in the second sequel to the movie adaptation of Ayn Rands Atlas Shrugged.

(Last Updated June 10, 2017 3:14 am )

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Northern Exposure Cast Could Make Time In Busy Schedules For Revival - Bleeding Cool News

I find Donald Trump contradictory going by his preferred reading list – Daily Nation

Sunday June 11 2017

US President Donald Trump makes his way to board Air Force One before departing from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on June 9, 2017. PHOTO | MANDEL NGAN | AFP

The Roark character is an architect, a breed of professionals Trump came to know well and work with as a real estate developer.

He came to power claiming affinity with the American working class, not the elites.

The top honchos of the Donald Trump administration have a particular writer they ardently worship.

She is none other than Ayn Rand, a Russian immigrant who made a name in America as a novelist and fringe philosopher. Two of her novels Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead attracted a cultic following in her day. They still do.

Rex Tillerson, the Secretary of State, says Atlas Shrugged is his favourite book.

Mike Pompeo, the boss of the CIA, calls Rand a major inspiration. And Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, famously required his staff members to read Ayn Rand as part of their job description.

Trump himself says he is a Rand fan and that he identifies with Howard Roark, the protagonist in The Fountainhead.

The Roark character is an architect, a breed of professionals Trump came to know well and work with as a real estate developer.

Roark dynamites a building he had designed because the builders did not follow his blueprints. That is the sort of action Trump would admire.

At some point in our lives, Rand was the kind of writer who would leave us drooling.

We would strut around with her books with a superior air when other colleagues were reading unremarkable West African novellas with cheap themes.

Rand has a very powerful mind and a very compelling way of writing that leaves a deep impression in everybody who reads her.

But once her novelty wears off, you discover you are dealing with an arrogant polemicist peddling a dangerous philosophy.

It is a philosophy which exalts the cult of so-called superior individuals who invent things and run big corporations which produce the goods that the world relies on. These are the people Rand praises as the brains of the world while the rest of humanity are dismissed as second-raters and third-raters who just consume what the supermen produce.

This lower hierarchy of humankind, Rand preaches, are of little consequence in the direction of world history. Such ideas, when you think about them, are outright crazy.

I get puzzled by adults who dont overgrow Rand.

One such was former US Federal Reserve Board chairman Alan Greenspan.

Most people I know went through her as an infatuation during a particular phase of their lives, not as a lifelong obsession.

I dont know about Trump, but Bill Clinton has a very mature and wide-ranging reading list, from historians like David M. Kennedy to biologists like Stephen Jay Gould.

He even fell for Philip Gourevitchs masterpiece on the Rwandan genocide, We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families.

Trump remains a big contradiction even in his professed love for Rand.

He came to power claiming affinity with the American working class, not the elites.

But again, one can never be sure with Trump. This professed affinity for the ordinary Joe is probably fake. His real aim seems to be to ensure the rich make even more money. Just look at the billionaires who fill up his cabinet.

Trumps economic nationalism would repel Rand, who thought differently on this score. But his proposed budget cuts on non-military spending and his war on Obamacare would gladden her heart. (It threatens to strip health coverage for 24 million low-income Americans.)

I wouldnt know what some of our leaders read. Once upon a time, I read somewhere of Uhuru Kenyatta praising the book titled From Third World To First, authored by Singapores founding leader Lee Kwan Yew.

I too admire Lee but, like with most political tracts, books by politicians tend to veer to the self-promoting and are not always riveting.

Lee was a greater leader than he was writer. Anyway, he never pretended to be otherwise.

As for Raila Odinga, I have no clue the titles he most prefers in his personal library. Still, his unabashed adoration of Nelson Mandela has remained constant.

He has plenty of company there, not least Barack Obama.

In fact, Obama is one of the better writers among contemporary world political leaders, as his book Dreams From My Father amply attests.

However, I do recall a recent American critic who felt parts of it were a bit contrived.

Trump remains a big contradiction even in his professed love for Rand.

According to the Economic Survey 2017, there were 2,720,600 students who enrolled into secondary

Millers have been accused of hoarding the subsidised maize.

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I find Donald Trump contradictory going by his preferred reading list - Daily Nation

Climate Characters: Skeptical engineer questions government motives – The Daily Climate

June 7, 2017

By Zara Abrams The Daily Climate

Editors note: Climate Characters follows five people with varied views on climate change with the goal of bringing a greater degree of compassion and understanding to the highly polarized conversation.

As an engineer working in the defense industry, John Albright has designed everything from body armor for the U.S. Marines to solar energy plants in Southern Californias Mojave Desert.

Like Michael Casey, a martial arts instructor we profiled Monday, both Albrights career and his upbringing led him to doubt the authority and motives of experts. Specifically, he thinks leading climate researchers and government officials exaggerate the human contribution to global warming in a grab for more money and power.

Albright, whose name has been changed because he worked on classified projects, expected his work as an engineer to be straightforward, honest, cut and dried. To his astonishment, that was not the case.

"People say I'm unscientific. They say I don't believe in science, but that's not true." -John Albright

In the defense industry, he explained in an interview, contractors set unrealistically high goals. For example, a company will promise to provide 150,000 units of body armor in six months, fully aware that the project will take at least a year to complete. Then they request an extensionand more moneyto complete the half-finished work.

The trick in the defense industry is to never complete your project, Albright says. If you just finished your project, youd be out of your job.

Albright sees the government as disingenuous, a suspicion that had roots in his childhood. At his fathers prompting, Albright read Ayn Rands 1957 cult novel, Atlas Shrugged, during junior high. The novel depicts a dystopian society where a petty bureaucratic government over-regulates, making it impossible for brilliant entrepreneurs to prosper and stimulate the economy by creating jobs. He says the books individualistic message, which champions free will, reinforced his beliefs and has shaped his views of the U.S. government ever since.

Recently, he was particularly bothered by internal contradictions he saw firsthand in the environmental movement. During his work on a solar plant in the Mojave Desert, the same environmental lobby that advocated for clean power also fought against the plants construction because it overlapped with the habitat of the desert tortoise, a threatened species.

In Albrights experience, authorities are often inconsistent and even dishonest, especially when the goals they wish to achieve conflict. Sometimes, governments will go so far as to deny the truth when it conflicts with their ideology. In cases where scientific research has unpopular policy implications, authorities may strategically exploit the doubt inherent to the scientific process to make the evidence appear shaky.

Doubt is crucial to sciencebut it also makes science vulnerable to misrepresentation, writes Naomi Oreskes and Eric Conway in Merchants of Doubt, a groundbreaking 2010 book that analyzed the history of science denial in the U.S. government.

Anti-science campaigns entered the public sphere when research linking cigarette smoke to lung cancer and other respiratory diseases started piling up. For decades, tobacco industry executives funded misleading marketing campaigns to convince the public that the science of tobacco smoke was as yet unresolved. Of course, science can never provide a definite yes or no on any subject, but even that innate uncertainty doesnt stop most people from acknowledging that gravity is real.

In America, the denial that plagues the modern environmental movement was historically linked to a fear of communism, and an impassioned defense of free enterprise. In 1962, when marine biologist Rachel Carson published Silent Spring, which spelled out the destructive power of the pesticide DDT, traditionalists were instantly suspicious. If what she said was true, it would mean increased federal regulation could hurt the profits of major corporations such as the agriculture giant Monsanto.

After Silent Spring was published, critics fired back both publicly and privately. A review of the book in Time magazine called Carsons writing emotion-fanning and her argument hysterically overemphatic. In a private letter to President Eisenhower, the Secretary of Agriculture, Ezra Taft Benson, said Carson was probably a communist. Monsanto even released a satirical response, a story called The Desolate Year in its monthly magazine, which claimed incorrectly that Carsons DDT-free world would be riddled with malaria. Others riffed on the idea that women were far too emotional to be scientifically accurate, personally vilifying Carson until her untimely death from breast cancer two years later.

As a female scientist, Carson faced difficulty even before she sounded the alarm. Though she had penned several best-sellers, including The Sea Around Us and Under the Sea Wind, it took her years to find a publisher willing to release Silent Spring.

The attacks Carson endured were only the beginning of anti-environmental sentiment in America. On the first annual Earth Day in 1970, the FBI conducted widespread surveillance of antipollution rallies, according to a report published the following year in the New York Times. Leaders of the intelligence community feared that Earth Day, which happened to fall on Lenins birthday, was a Soviet plot to undermine the U.S. government.

Fred Singer and Robert Jastrow, right-wing physicists who respectively held leadership positions in the EPA and NASA, called proponents of regulating air and water pollution communist sympathizers. They even nicknamed environmentalists watermelons green on the outside, red on the insideas chronicled in Merchants of Doubt.

Protecting the environment is still seen by some as anti-American, the enemy of free-market enterprise. The modern anti-science campaign relies on conservative think tanks such as the Heartland Institute, which releases misleading documents that mimic scientific reports but do not contain peer-reviewed data, and on media voices such as right-wing radio host Glenn Beck, who has called former President Obama a socialist for his efforts to regulate carbon.

Its not just the radical right thats uncertain. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an international task force created by the United Nations, has proclaimed that human action is the dominant cause of global warming in the past century. But a fall 2016 Pew poll revealed that more than half the country, including the current occupant of the Oval Office, still believes that global warming is either caused by natural cycles or not occurring at all.

The deception works because the public doesnt want to change. Just as Americans believed the ploys of the tobacco industry because they didnt want to quit smoking, people believe the Heartland Institute and Glenn Beck because they dont want to give up their SUVs or their houses in the suburbs.

Many conservatives see action on climate change as really an attack on a way of life, says Republican former Congressman Bob Inglis in the Merchants of Doubt film. Along come some people sowing some doubt and its pretty effective, because Im looking for that answer. I want it to be that the science is not real.

Albright, the defense contractor, insists that in his case, hes not falling for a misinformation campaign. People say Im unscientific. They say I dont believe in science, but thats not true.

Hes read the most recent IPCC report on climate change, he says, and researches topics he cares aboutincluding climate changeon a daily basis from sources across the political spectrum. He resents people assuming hes ill-informed, just because his beliefs are unpopular.

And like anyone deeply immersed in an issue they deem significant, Albright genuinely appreciates anyone who listens to him and takes him seriously.

Zara Abrams is a freelance journalist and masters student in USCs Specialized Journalism program. Climate characters was her thesis project. Follow her at @ZaraAbrams.

The Daily Climate is an independent, foundation-funded news service covering energy, the environment and climate change. Find us on Twitter @TheDailyClimate or email editor Brian Bienkowski at bbienkowski [at] EHN.org

Top Photo: eflon/flickr; Second photo: NYCandre/flickr

Find more Daily Climate stories in theTDC Newsroom

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Climate Characters: Skeptical engineer questions government motives - The Daily Climate

Roland Martin Goes Off on White House for Saying Trump Isn’t a Liar – Independent Journal Review

Note: This article contains coarse language that may offend some readers.

The most devastating takeaway from former FBI Director James Comey's testimonyin a Senate Intelligence Committee hearingthat was filled with more devastating takeaways than a Taco Bell drive-thru after last call was Comey's insistence on calling President Donald Trump a liar, which he definitely is.

The White House's first response was to send Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders out to make a statement involving alinguistic paradox that would make Harry Mudd's androids curl up in a ball and weep silently. In a gaggle aboard Air Force One, Sanders told reporters,I can definitively say the president is not a liar, and added, "It's frankly insulting that that question would be asked.

There is, of course, an entire industry devoted to cataloging Trump's lies, but award-winning journalist and News One Now host Roland Martin delivered a scorching rebuttal to Sanders that, while barely scratching the surface, gets the point across beautifully:

Yeah, but that was Sarah Huckabee Sanders actually lying. After the hearing, Trump surrogates were in overdrive in their efforts to dismiss Comey's testimony. So, what does she do? She comes out and says that Oh, my goodness, the president is not a liar.

Sarah, really? Really, would you like to hear some lies?

He started the whole issue with, in terms of drove it, the birther issue, okay, saying that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States.That's a lie. He said his father left him one million dollars to start his real estate empire. Trump actually got 40 million dollars. Another lie.He says his casinos in Atlantic City never went bankrupt. Another lie.Trump said thousands of Muslims celebrated in the streets of New Jersey after the 9/11 terrorist attack. Another lie.

He accused Senator Ted Cruz's father of working with Lee Harvey Oswald to assassinate President John F. Kennedy. Another lie.Trump said he won more electoral college votes than any other president since President Ronald Reagan. Another flat-out lie.Donald Trump said the murder rate in the United States is the highest in 45 years. Another damn lie.Donald Trump said he would have won the popular vote if it weren't for threeto fivemillion people voting illegally. No evidence whatsoever of that. Another lie.

Donald Trump lied about the number of people at his inauguration. He falsely accused President Barack Obama of wiretapping him and, not only that, Donald Trump also, y'all, after watching Fox and Friends, said President Barack Obama released more than a hundred detainees from Guantanamo Bay. That was such a lie because more than a hundred were released by President George W. Bush.

We have a president who lies, lies, lies, lies, lies! So, James Comey, when he called the president a liar? He wasn't lying.

Martin also called out the second-dumbest shit said by a Trump supporter yesterday, by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI). He told reporters that Trump's weird setup with Comey in the Oval Office was simply Trump not knowing protocols, like making sure you hold your left pinkie up while you're obstructing justice.

At least Sanders has the excuse that she works for Trump, so her job is literally to lie for him, but Ryan?

Go get him, Roland:

Sarah Huckabee Sanders will always have a place helping her creepy, racist dad get his books on shelves next to the Survival Seeds at Crate &Bunker, but Paul Ryan is pushing all of his career and reputation chips in on a seven-deuce-offsuit of political gambles. When it inevitably blows back on him like a horse-queef, he's going to have nowhere to go but back to spanking it in the sauna to Atlas Shrugged after his P90X workout.

This is a commentary piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

Originally posted here:

Roland Martin Goes Off on White House for Saying Trump Isn't a Liar - Independent Journal Review

BILL CRAWFORD: American politics declining into profiteers vs moochers – Mississippi Business Journal

BILL CRAWFORD

Americansnow live in a political environment dominated by extremes.

One burgeoning faction, looking through red tinted lenses, seeks freedom from. Another, looking through blue tinted lenses, seeks access to. A fading faction, looking through clear lenses, fears all will become tinted.

The grassroots conservative movement sees national government as the great enemy and seeks freedom from oppressive taxation and regulation, while the grassroots liberal movement sees national government as the great provider and seeks access to expanded government succor.

No representative democracy can survive for long with either extreme in power. Indeed, our founding fathers, whom Providence blessed with the uncanny collective ability to see through clear lenses during the stressful birthing of our nation, designed the U.S. Constitution to force balance among extremes. They put in place checks and balances, deliberately gave different roles and representation to the House and Senate, limited the power of the federal government, and mitigated the power of the majority through the first 10 Amendments.

Regrettably, those willing and able to peer through clear lenses to protect us from extremism are fading away. Red and blue tint has seeped into most of our institutions and the processes by which our leaders are chosen. Even judges, the intended ultimate stronghold of clear-seeing patriots, are now chosen based on their tinted views of the law. Our Constitutions intent for balance is largely ignored.

The founders also intended for this Providence favored nation to be steeped in virtue. The growing and intense hatred of conservatives for liberals and vice versa Americans all shows Americas virtue is fading too.

All this, essentially, because of greed.

Ayn Rand schooled us about greed in her 1957 epic work Atlas Shrugged.Looters and moochers she called them, the profiteering businesses and non-productive masses who thrive off the accomplishments of productive citizens and siphon off their opportunities for prosperity.

A great irony for grassroots conservatives is that they may become the victims in this political environment, not the grassroots liberals who portray themselves as victims. The freedom dogma attractive to so many sounds good, but if established will primarily benefit the profiteers who fund the tinted foundations and advocacy groups spreading this creed. Big business profits would soar exponentially more than livable wages and broad prosperity.

On the moocher side, we already see government unable to sustain Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other entitlement programs at current levels, much less at the expanded programmatic and funding levels desired by grassroots liberals.

Governments role is not to benefit either looters or moochers, but to bring competing politics into balance so as to determine the appropriate level of taxation and regulation needed to sustain the national defense, commerce, homeland security, and public safety while providing adequate support for the general welfare. Representative democracy expects the push and pull of politics, but relies on clear-eyed patriots of good will from all sides who will come together to provide balanced government.

Sadly, there is no mood for compromise between the red and the blue, nor much good will. A nation cannot be indivisible and under God, or debt free, without both.

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BILL CRAWFORD: American politics declining into profiteers vs moochers - Mississippi Business Journal

The Fountainhead: New York, New York – Patheos (blog)

The Fountainhead, part 1, chapter 8

Jobless again, Roark goes back to pounding the pavement. He makes a list of architects the ones whose work he resented least and methodically works his way through it, applying to one firm after another. But at each one, he meets with rejection (not surprising considering his interview technique):

It was not a judgment passed upon his merit. They did not think he was worthless. They simply did not care to find out whether he was good. Sometimes, he was asked to show his sketches; he extended them across a desk, feeling a contraction of shame in the muscles of his hand; it was like having the clothes torn off his body, and the shame was not, that his body was exposed, but that it was exposed to indifferent eyes.

Not to be pedantic, but if these architects asked to see his sketches, they did pass judgment on his merit, didnt they?

As the unsuccessful days run together into weeks and then months, Roark sits at his window and smokes. He feels a sense of threat in the air all around him, a nameless sense of hostility rising from the city below, as if each window, each strip of pavement, had set itself closed grimly, in wordless resistance. The text asserts that this doesnt bother him, because hes implacable and emotionless like all Randian protagonists. Nevertheless, it seems the constant rejection takes a toll:

As the summer months passed, as his list was exhausted and he returned again to the places that had refused him once, Roark found that a few things were known about him and he heard the same words spoken bluntly or timidly or angrily or apologetically You were kicked out of Stanton. You were kicked out of Francons office. All the different voices saying it had one note in common: a note of relief in the certainty that the decision had been made for them.

As always, Rands villains know theyre the villains, whether they admit it or not. She writes as if all the other architects are afraid to acknowledge Roarks secret greatness and need a plausible excuse not to hire him.

But these arent excuses! They say something about his basic fitness to be an employee. Roark was expelled from school for refusing assignments and fired from his last job for insubordination. His bad behavior isnt an isolated incident, but a pattern. Thats the best possible reason not to hire someone: because they wont do the job youre paying them for.

If I were the interviewer, to give him even a chance, Id want a very good explanation of what lessons hes learned and what hes going to do differently in the future. But Roark hasnt learned any lessons and wont behave differently in the future, as Im sure he would confirm if anyone asked him.

The only respite Roark has from the long string of rejections is when he visits Henry Cameron, whos convalescing at his retirement home in New Jersey. Cameron again offers to write him a recommendation Want me to give you a letter to one of the bastards? but Roark refuses. Instead, they pass the time sitting on the porch and gazing at the distant skyline of New York:

When Roark came to him, Cameron spoke of architecture with the simple confidence of a private possession. They sat together, looking at the city in the distance, on the edge of the sky, beyond the river. The sky was growing dark and luminous as blue-green glass; the buildings looked like clouds condensed on the glass, gray-blue clouds frozen for an instant in straight angles and vertical shafts, with the sunset caught in the spires

We saw this in Atlas Shrugged as well, this idolizing New York City as a sacred temple of human industry. Its not surprising that Ayn Rand loved the New York skyline; its probably the first sight she ever had of America.

But while she habitually gave her protagonists the same opinions as herself, in this case it doesnt make sense. Why does Roark feel that New York City is deserving of his admiration?

After all, isnt this the city that was built by evil classical architects? Isnt it the city that spurned his mentor Henry Cameron and consigned him to a miserable retirement? Isnt it the city, we were just told, that emanates a sense of implacable hostility toward him and all his works?

Remember, in The Fountainhead, Guy Francons absurdly ornate Frink Building in lower Manhattan is famous and beloved. Its widely considered the best building of the city. Meanwhile, Henry Camerons crowning achievement, the Dana Building, is half-empty and largely ignored (New Yorkers seldom looked at the Dana Building), if not outright hated. And while Francon is the worst of the lot, we just saw that there are no architects still working in New York whom Roark likes or respects. Every last one of them is hopelessly corrupted by classicism.

By their standards, Roark and Cameron should consider New York City a monument to conformity and philistinism. Rather than something to admire while they smoke and reminisce, the sight of its twinkling skyline from Camerons porch should feel like further mockery. Its one more symbol of how the world has rejected them, and like John Galt in Atlas Shrugged, the only pleasure they should derive from it is the thought of how theyll one day erase it from the earth.

Other posts in this series:

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The Fountainhead: New York, New York - Patheos (blog)

Pat Grady on Atlas Shrugged, Sleep Deprivation, and Spud Webb – FeedFront Magazine (blog)

Pat Grady, Co-Owner, Founder of RhinoFish Media joined me to chat on my podcast, This is Affiliate Marketing with Shawn Collins.

I wanted to learn more about the real Pat, so I asked him a variety of questions I figured he had not been asked in previous interviews.

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Pat Grady on Atlas Shrugged, Sleep Deprivation, and Spud Webb - FeedFront Magazine (blog)

Best and Worst Political Cameos in Movies and TV – LifeZette

Some say politics is just Hollywood for ugly people but today the lines are more blurred than ever. Beloved Hollywood figures run for political office as easily as politicians jump in front of the cameras these days.

Sometimes its all a little cringe-inducing, and sometimes its rather amusing. Heres a look at some of the worst and some of the best political cameos ever in television and film.

Ron Paul, Atlas Shrugged III: Who Is John Galt? (2013).Former Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) has arguably been the biggest influencer on modern libertarianism next to novelist Ayn Rand, whose 1,000-plus-page 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged is reportedly the second highest-selling book after the Bible.

So when producers John Aglialoro and Harmon Kaslow adapted Rand's novel into three films, it was only natural they'd reach out to Paul to do a cameo as himself. Fox News host Sean Hannity also appeared in a collection of segments showing real-life political figures reacting to a fictional speech made by John Galt, the man working to "stop the motor of the world."

It was a fitting moment for Paul, as he's often said the book was a major influence on him. "Shrugged" follows a world in which the concept of the individual is quickly eroding and the public and government are more violent and angry toward entrepreneurs and creators than ever. When various business leaders and artists begin disappearing, business leaders and free market believers Dagny Taggart and Hank Rearden begin down a road that leads them to the mysterious John Galt and the ideal world he's working to build away from government.

Read more here:

Best and Worst Political Cameos in Movies and TV - LifeZette

American politics declining into profiteers vs. moochers – Meridian Star

Americans now live in a political environment dominated by extremes.

One burgeoning faction, looking through red tinted lenses, seeks "freedom from." Another, looking through blue tinted lenses, seeks "access to." A fading faction, looking through clear lenses, fears all will become tinted.

The grassroots conservative movement sees national government as the great enemy and seeks freedom from oppressive taxation and regulation, while the grassroots liberal movement sees national government as the great provider and seeks access to expanded government succor.

No representative democracy can survive for long with either extreme in power. Indeed, our founding fathers, whom Providence blessed with the uncanny collective ability to see through clear lenses during the stressful birthing of our nation, designed the U.S. Constitution to force balance among extremes. They put in place checks and balances, deliberately gave different roles and representation to the House and Senate, limited the power of the federal government, and mitigated the power of the majority through the first 10 Amendments.

Regrettably, those willing and able to peer through clear lenses to protect us from extremism are fading away. Red and blue tint has seeped into most of our institutions and the processes by which our leaders are chosen. Even judges, the intended ultimate stronghold of clear-seeing patriots, are now chosen based on their tinted views of the law. Our Constitutions intent for balance is largely ignored.

The founders also intended for this Providence favored nation to be steeped in virtue. The growing and intense hatred of conservatives for liberals and vice versa Americans all shows America's virtue is fading, too.

All this, essentially, because of greed.

Ayn Rand schooled us about greed in her 1957 epic work Atlas Shrugged. Looters and moochers she called them, the profiteering businesses and non-productive masses who thrive off the accomplishments of productive citizens and siphon off their opportunities for prosperity.

A great irony for grassroots conservatives is that they may become the victims in this political environment, not the grassroots liberals who portray themselves as victims. The freedom dogma attractive to so many sounds good, but if established will primarily benefit the profiteers who fund the tinted foundations and advocacy groups spreading this creed. Big business profits would soar exponentially more than livable wages and broad prosperity.

On the moocher side, we already see government unable to sustain Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other entitlement programs at current levels, much less at the expanded programmatic and funding levels desired by grassroots liberals.

Government's role is not to benefit either looters or moochers, but to bring competing politics into balance so as to determine the appropriate level of taxation and regulation needed to sustain the national defense, commerce, homeland security, and public safety while providing adequate support for the general welfare. Representative democracy expects the push and pull of politics, but relies on clear-eyed patriots of good will from all sides who will come together to provide balanced government.

Sadly, there is no mood for compromise between the red and the blue, nor much good will. A nation cannot be indivisible and under God, or debt free, without both.

Crawford is a syndicated columnist from Meridian crawfolk@gmail.com.

Read more:

American politics declining into profiteers vs. moochers - Meridian Star

Crawford: American politics declining into profiteers vs. moochers – Hattiesburg American

Bill Crawford, Special to the American 7:47 a.m. CT June 4, 2017

Bill Crawford(Photo: Special to Hattiesburg American)Buy Photo

Americans now live in a political environment dominated by extremes.

One burgeoning faction, looking through red-tinted lenses, seeks "freedom from." Another, looking through blue-tinted lenses, seeks "access to." A fading faction, looking through clear lenses, fears all will become tinted.

The grassroots conservative movement sees national government as the great enemy and seeks freedom from oppressive taxation and regulation, while the grassroots liberal movement sees national government as the great provider and seeks access to expanded government succor.

No representative democracy can survive for long with either extreme in power. Indeed, our founding fathers, whom Providence blessed with the uncanny collective ability to see through clear lenses during the stressful birthing of our nation, designed the U.S. Constitution to force balance among extremes. They put in place checks and balances, deliberately gave different roles and representation to the House and Senate, limited the power of the federal government, and mitigated the power of the majority through the first 10 amendments.

More: Crawford: Health care not priority for Mississippi

Regrettably, those willing and able to peer through clear lenses to protect us from extremism are fading away. Red and blue tint has seeped into most of our institutions and the processes by which our leaders are chosen. Even judges, the intended ultimate stronghold of clear-seeing patriots, are now chosen based on their tinted views of the law. Our Constitutions intent for balance is largely ignored.

The founders also intended for this Providence-favored nation to be steeped in virtue. The growing and intense hatred of conservatives for liberals and vice versa Americans all shows America's virtue is fading, too.

All this, essentially, because of greed.

More: Crawford: Closed stores impact local economy

Ayn Rand schooled us about greed in her 1957 epic work Atlas Shrugged. Looters and moochers she called them, the profiteering businesses and non-productive masses who thrive off the accomplishments of productive citizens and siphon off their opportunities for prosperity.

A great irony for grassroots conservatives is that they may become the victims in this political environment, not the grassroots liberals who portray themselves as victims. The freedom dogma attractive to so many sounds good, but if established will primarily benefit the profiteers who fund the tinted foundations and advocacy groups spreading this creed. Big business profits would soar exponentially more than livable wages and broad prosperity.

On the moocher side, we already see government unable to sustain Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other entitlement programs at current levels, much less at the expanded programmatic and funding levels desired by grassroots liberals.

More: Mississippi back on bottom in senior health rankings

Government's role is not to benefit either looters or moochers, but to bring competing politics into balance so as to determine the appropriate level of taxation and regulation needed to sustain the national defense, commerce, homeland security and public safety, while providing adequate support for the general welfare. Representative democracy expects the push and pull of politics, but relies on clear-eyed patriots of good will from all sides who will come together to provide balanced government.

Sadly, there is no mood for compromise between the red and the blue, nor much good will. A nation cannot be indivisible and under God, or debt free, without both.

Bill Crawford is a syndicated columnist from Meridian. Contact him at crawfolk@gmail.com.

Read or Share this story: http://hatne.ws/2sDxnve

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Crawford: American politics declining into profiteers vs. moochers - Hattiesburg American

Trump Administration Embraces Ayn Rand’s Disdain for the Masses – Newsweek

This article originally appeared on The Conversation.

Donald Trumps secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, hassaidAyn Rands novel Atlas Shrugged is his favorite book. Mike Pompeo, head of the CIA,citedRand as a major inspiration. Before he withdrew his nomination, Trumps pick to head the Labor Department, Andrew Puzder,revealedthat he devotes much free time to reading Rand.

Such is the case with many other Trump advisers and allies: The Republican leader of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, famouslymadehis staff members read Ayn Rand. Trump himself has said thathes a fan of Randand identifies with Howard Roark, the protagonist of Rands novel, The Fountainhead, an architect who dynamites a housing project he designed because the builders did not precisely follow his blueprints.

As a philosopher, I have often wondered at the remarkable endurance and popularity of Ayn Rands influence on American politics. Even by earlier standards, however, Rands dominance over the current administration looks especially strong.

Recently, historian and Rand expertJennifer Burnswrote how Rands sway over the Republican Party isdiminishing. Burns says the promises of government largesse and economic nationalism under Trump would repel Rand.

That was before the president unveiled his proposed federal budget thatgreatly slashesnonmilitary government spendingand before Paul Ryans Obamacare reform, which promised tostrip health coveragefrom 24 million low-income Americans and grant the rich a generous tax cut instead. Now, Trump looks to be zeroing in on a significant tax cut for the rich and corporations.

These all sound like measures Rand would enthusiastically support, in so far as they assist the capitalists and so-called job creators, instead of the poor.

Though the Trump administration looks quite steeped in Rands thought, there is one curious discrepancy. Ayn Rand exudes a robust elitism, unlike any I have observed elsewhere in the tomes of political philosophy. But this runs counter to the narrative of the Trump phenomenon:Centralto the Trumps ascendancy is a rejection of elites reigning from urban centers and the coasts, overrepresented at universities and in Hollywood, apparently.

Liberals despair over the fact that they are branded elitists, while, as former television host Jon Stewartputit, Republicans backed a man who takes every chance to tout his superiority, and lords over creation from a gilded penthouse apartment, in a skyscraper that bears his own name.

Clearly, liberals lost this rhetorical battle.

How shall we make sense of the gross elitism at the heart of the Trump administration, embodied in its devotion to Ayn Randelitism that its supporters overlook or ignore, and happily ascribe to the left instead?

Ayn Rand, Russian-born American novelist, is shown in Manhattan with the Grand Central Terminal building in background in 1962 AP

Ayn Rands philosophy is quite straightforward. Rand sees the world divided into makers and takers. But, in her view, the real makers are a select fewa real elite, on whom we would do well to rely, and for whom we should clear the way, by reducing or removing taxes and government regulations, among other things.

Rands thought is intellectually digestible, unnuanced, easily translated into policy approaches and statements.

Small government is in order because it lets the great people soar to great heights, and they will drag the rest with them. Randsayswe must ensure that the exceptional men, the innovators, the intellectual giants, are not held down by the majority. In fact, it is the members of this exceptional minority who lift the whole of a free society to the level of their own achievements, while rising further and ever further.

Mitt RomneycapturedRands philosophy well during the 2012 campaign when he spoke of the 47 percent of Americans who do not work, vote Democrat and are happy to be supported by hardworking, conservative Americans.

In laying out her dualistic vision of society, divided into good and evil, Rands language is often starker and harsher. In her 1957 novel, Atlas Shrugged, shesays,

The man at the top of the intellectual pyramid contributes the most to all those below him, but gets nothing except his material payment, receiving no intellectual bonus from others to add to the value of his time. The man at the bottom who, left to himself, would starve in his hopeless ineptitude, contributes nothing to those above him, but receives the bonus of all their brains.

Rands is the opposite of a charitable view of humankind, and can, in fact, be quite cruel. Consider her attack on Pope Paul VI, who, in his 1967 encyclicalProgressio Populorum, argued that the West has a duty to help developing nations, and called for its sympathy for the global poor.

Rand was appalled; instead of feeling sympathy for the poor, shesays

When [Western Man] discovered entire populations rotting alive in such conditions [in the developing world], is he not to acknowledge, with a burning stab of prideor pride and gratitudethe achievements of his nation and his culture, of the men who created them and left him a nobler heritage to carry forward?

Why doesnt Rands elitism turn off Republican voters or turn them against their leaders who, apparently, ought to disdain lower and middle class folk? If anyonelike Trumpidentifies with Rands protagonists, they must think themselves truly excellent, while the muddling masses, they are beyond hope.

Why hasnt news of this disdain then trickled down to the voters yet?

The neoconservatives, who held sway under President George W. Bush, were also quite elitist, but figured out how to speak to the Republican base, in their language. Bush himself, despite his Andover-Yale upbringing, waslaudedas someone you could have a beer with.

Trump has succeeded even better in this respecthe famously tells it like it is, his supporters like tosay. Of course, as judged by fact-checkers, Trumps relationship to the truth is embattled and tenuous; what his supporters seem to appreciate, rather, is his willingness to voice their suspicions and prejudices without worrying about recriminations of critics. Trump says things people are reluctant or shy to voice loudlyif at all.

This gets us closer to whats going on. Rand is decidedly cynical about the said masses: There is little point in preaching to them; they wont change or improve, at least of their own accord; nor will they offer assistance to the capitalists. The masses just need to stay out of the way.

The principal virtue of a free market, Randexplains, is that the exceptional men, the innovators, the intellectual giants, are not held down by the majority. In fact, it is the members of this exceptional minority who lift the whole of a free society to the level of their own achievements

But they dont lift the masses willingly or easily, shesays: While the majority have barely assimilated the value of the automobile, the creative minority introduces the airplane. The majority learn by demonstration, the minority are free to demonstrate.

Like Rand, her followerswho populate the Trump administrationare largely indifferent to the progress of the masses. They will let people be. Rand believes, quite simply, most people are hapless on their own, and we simply cannot expect much of them. There are only a few on whom we should pin our hopes; the rest are simply irrelevant. Which is why shecomplainsabout our tendency to give welfare to the needy. She says,

The welfare and rights of the producers were not regarded as worthy of consideration or recognition. This is the most damning indictment of the present state of our culture.

So, why do Republicans get away with eluding the title of elitistdespite their allegiance to Randwhile Democrats are stuck with this title? I think part of the reason is that Democrats, among other things, are moralistic. They are moreoptimisticabout human naturethey are more optimistic about the capacity of humans to progress morally and live in harmony. Thus, liberals judge: They call out our racism, our sexism, our xenophobia. They make peoplefeel badfor harboring such prejudices, wittingly or not, and they warn us away from potentially offensive language, and phrases.

Many conservative opponents scorn liberals for their ill-founded nave optimism. For in Rands world there is no hope for the vast majority of mankind. Sheheaps scornon the poor billions, whom civilized men are prodded to help. The best they can hope for is that they might be lucky enough to enjoy the riches produced by the real innovators, which might eventually trickle down to them in their misery. To the extent that Trump and his colleagues embrace Rands thought, they must share or approach some of her cynicism.

Firmin DeBrabander is Professor of Philosophy, Maryland Institute College of Art.

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Trump Administration Embraces Ayn Rand's Disdain for the Masses - Newsweek


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