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In sign of the times, Ayn Rand Institute approved for PPP loan – Reuters

(Reuters) - The institute promoting the laissez-faire capitalism of writer Ayn Rand, who in the novels Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead introduced her philosophy of objectivism to millions of readers, was approved for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan of up to $1 million, according to data released Monday by the Trump administration.

The Ayn Rand Institute: The Center for the Advancement of Objectivism in Santa Ana, California, sought to preserve 35 jobs with the PPP funding, according to the data.

The institute advocates the Russian-American writers philosophy and applies its principles to many issues and events, including ones Rand herself never discussed, according to its website. It focuses on areas that have a long-term multiplying impact on the direction of our culture notably, education and policy debates, the website says.

The institute referred Reuters to a May 15 article, in which board member Harry Binswanger and senior fellow Onkar Ghate wrote that the organization would take any relief money offered from the CARES Act. We will take it unapologetically, because the principle here is: justice, they wrote, adding that the government has no wealth of its own. It can only redistribute the wealth of others.

In Rands novels and works of nonfiction which included The Virtue of Selfishness and Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal she expressed her belief in rational self-interest and the goal of pursuing happiness as a persons highest moral aim.

In a 1962 essay, Rand wrote of seventeenth century French businessmen: They knew that government help to business is just as disastrous as government persecution, and that the only way a government can be of service to national prosperity is by keeping its hands off.

Reporting by Helen Coster; Editing by Aurora Ellis

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In sign of the times, Ayn Rand Institute approved for PPP loan - Reuters

‘We Took PPP Funds and Would Do It Again’ – New Ideal

Social media and major news outlets are ablaze with reports that the Ayn Rand Institute applied for and received funds from the Paycheck Protection Program, established by Congress under the CARES Act for pandemic relief. People are questioning how an educational nonprofit that advocates ending the welfare state can maintain its integrity while accepting a government bailout.

The question is understandable, which is why months ago, before ARI received any funds Institute scholars recorded an explanatory webinar and published an essay (To Take or Not to Take), stating clearly that ARI was applying for funds and explaining why an uncompromising advocate of laissez-faire capitalismabsolutely has a right to take such money as a matter of moral principle.

These explanations are based squarely on Rands philosophy of Objectivism, including statements she made directly on the issue during her lifetime (she died in 1982).

Together these materials provide a factual basis for journalists, commentators and other interested persons to understand the Institutes position.

The Institutes president and CEO, Tal Tsfany, has recorded a short video explaining why the pursuit of PPP funds was a matter of justice for ARIs donors.

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

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'We Took PPP Funds and Would Do It Again' - New Ideal

Readers sound off on international students, Ayn Rand and murals’ – New York Daily News

Our academic institutions research and learning depend on international collaboration. They also depend on international students tuition funds. American students will be adversely affected, as their tuition will likely be raised if the funds from international students are lost. Our academic institutions are already jeopardized by impending budget cuts and tuition hikes that have come with the coronavirus pandemic. I call upon all NYC representatives and senators to oppose this senseless policy, which will further devastate academic communities in the U.S. and especially in NYC. Lisa Karakaya, adjunct assistant professor, Queens College

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Readers sound off on international students, Ayn Rand and murals' - New York Daily News

Auchter’s Art: The confusing narrative of Betsy DeVos – Michigan Radio

I feel the need to let you know this cartoon was inspired by the first Betsy DeVos story this week:

Several Democratic-led states and the District of Columbia have joined in a lawsuit against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, accusing the Trump administration of trying to unlawfully divert pandemic relief funds from public schools to private schools.

I completed it before I realized there was a second Betsy DeVos story:

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday assailed plans by some local districts to offer in-person instruction only a few days a week and said schools must be "fully operational" even amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Now as I write this, I see there is a third Betsy DeVos story:

If schools arent going to reopen, were not suggesting pulling funding from education but instead allowing families ... (to) take that money and figure out where their kids can get educated if their schools are going to refuse to open, Betsy DeVos told Fox News in an interview.

But probably the best Betsy DeVos story this week wasn't actually about her (but might as well have been):

The institute promoting the laissez-faire capitalism of writer Ayn Rand, who in the novels Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead introduced her philosophy of objectivism to millions of readers, was approved for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan of up to $1 million, according to data released Monday by the Trump administration.

I apologize for not being able to keep up.

John Auchter is a freelance political cartoonist. His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Michigan Radio, its management, or its license holder, the University of Michigan.

Want to support programming like this? Consider making a gift to Michigan Radio today.

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Auchter's Art: The confusing narrative of Betsy DeVos - Michigan Radio

Wisconsin school board member asked to resign after posting that ‘George Floyd is drug free for 2 months’ – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The Shawano School Board is calling on a board member to resign after he postedwhat hesaid was "a joke" about the death of George Floyd.

Shawano School Board member Mart Grams wrote on Facebook on Saturday: "You know George Floyd is drug free for 2 months."

Floyd died in May after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes. The video of his deathspawned protests around the world including many marches and protests in Milwaukee, Madison and elsewhere in Wisconsin.

RELATED: See the more than 45 communities in Wisconsin that have had protests against police brutality and racial inequality

Grams emailed Green Bay TV station WBAY a statement on Sunday, calling his Facebook post"A joke, period. Anyone can say it was insensitive, or poor taste, but, once the racist cards come out, the raw hatred, we have a very poorly trained generation who cannot deal with the slightest contradiction to what the (sic) are told."

Shawano School Board members called a special session Sunday evening to condemn Grams' use of "racially derogatory terminology and of his irresponsible statements mocking the death of Mr. Floyd."

The board called on Grams to immediately resign.

As of 7:45 p.m. Sunday, Grams' post had drawn more than 800 comments, many of them calling on him to resign or for the school board to force him out.

One commenter wrote, "Contrary to what you tried to pass off as a reason when you spoke to Action Two News, this isn't just a joke nobody understood. It's racist trash."

The school district, in the city of 9,300located 40 miles northwest of Green Bay, issued a statement earlier Sunday to the Green Bay television station saying Grams was speaking as an individual and doesn't represent or reflect the values of other school board members or the school district.

Since Grams is an elected official, the school district said, "under Wisconsin law, the board does not have the authority to remove or to discipline a member of the board. An elected school board member may be removed through the electoral process, including through recall, but not by action of the school board."

But the measure passed by the school board Sunday evening, following complaints about his Facebook post, contends that Grams' conduct is harmful to the school district and its commitment to equal opportunity and treatment.

According to his LinkedIn profile and Facebook bio page, Grams taught civics in the Shawano-Gresham School District from 1987 to 2016 after teaching one year in the Winneconne School District.He was aU.S. Army intelligence specialist from 1976 to 1980. He earned a bachelor's degree in Spanish at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a master's in history atViterbo University in La Crosse.

His Facebook bio also claims he earned a Ph.D in economics at Patrick Henry University though when a reporter from the Shawano Leader couldn't find that institution and questioned Grams about it when ran for school board in 2017, he admitted that he made it up.

Patrick Henry University is a fictional college in Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged." His LinkedIn profile says Gramsearned a doctorate of philosophy from Patrick Henry University.

Grams acknowledged toShawano Leader reporter Scott Williams that students had called him "Dr. Grams" for years but he said he didn't think he misled them by saying he had a Ph.D from a fictional university.

Everybody knows that theres no such place, Grams said.

When Williams asked how anyone would know he was talking about a fictional university, Gramssaid: I dont know how they would know, unless theyre well-read.

Our subscribers make this reporting possible. Please consider supporting local journalism by subscribing to the Journal Sentinel at jsonline.com/deal.

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Wisconsin school board member asked to resign after posting that 'George Floyd is drug free for 2 months' - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Tips and Murmurs: Ayn Rand Institute gets government handout – Crikey

Thank heavens the public purse is so open for the well-connected, and the sky's the limit for Fox's Sky News numbers well they couldn't get much lower.

The invisible hand that feeds The Ayn Rand Institute, committed to preserving the memory of libertarianism's patron saint, has taken a US government loan of up to $1 million.

The institute, which promotes free markets, applied for a loan under the pay cheque protection program, which gives businesses money to keep workers on. The decision was justified, director Harry Binswanger argued, because "it would be morally wrong for pro-capitalists to humbly step aside and watch the new money go only to anti-capitalists".

The Rand people aren't the only opponents of big government crying out for the public purse during a time of crisis. Conservative group Americans for Tax Reform got up to $300,000. So did a group called Citizens Against Government Waste which, along with Americans for Tax Reform, opposed stimulus bills which underpinned the loans.

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Tips and Murmurs: Ayn Rand Institute gets government handout - Crikey

St. Joseph reaps short-lived cash infusion – News-Press Now

If you want to download the Small Business Administrations data on 4.9 million coronavirus relief recipients, get ready for a computer crash. Theres that much data.

This spring, the SBAs Paycheck Protection Program provided $520 billion in forgivable loans so small businesses could continue paying employees as the coronavirus became a cement block around the economys neck. Politicians of all stripes demanded more transparency, so details on larger loan recipients were released earlier this month.

Its still transparency even if its granted grudgingly.

The SBA released the names of PPP recipients that received between $150,000 to $10 million in funds, which accounted for about 75% of the companies that took benefits. Companies that received smaller amounts were not identified.

Nationally, it makes for interesting reading. Recipients of coronavirus relief funding include a foundation linked to anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, Ruths Chris steakhouse, the Church of Scientology and friends and family of Jared Kushner, Nancy Pelosi and Kanye West.

Closer to home, the big news isnt powerful connections but the sheer volume of federal money that poured into St. Joseph in a short period of time.

SBA data shows that $48 million to $118 million in federal funding supported 138 St. Joseph companies, from manufacturers, contractors and machine shops to nonprofits and professional services firms. These companies, firms and organizations employed at least 6,000 people, by conservative estimates.

Those were just the largest recipients. In total, 800 St. Joseph businesses may have received funding. Thats not counting those that indirectly capitalized on government stimulus efforts through enhanced unemployment benefits for furloughed employees, all because of the coronavirus.

This suggests an unprecedented level of federal support for the economy. Even the Ayn Rand Institute in California took a check, although its leadership had something deep and philosophical to say about it.

In the coming months, there will be a time to ask hard questions about oversight of the PPP, how this money was spent and whether some of these well-connected recipients took advantage of the system. After all, the PPP was a rush job involving a fire hose of money.

It will be equally important to look at what happens next. The vast sums of the PPP tended to obscure that reality that this program was short-lived, an eight-week bridge to get businesses to the other side of troubled waters.

Theyre there now, but what happens next? On a local level, the list of recipients points not to political influence or scandal but to survival in unprecedented times. The need to survive doesnt go away.

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St. Joseph reaps short-lived cash infusion - News-Press Now

Climbing aboard the PPP train | Opinion | citizensvoice.com – Wilkes-Barre Citizens Voice

A group of organizations that condemn taxation and government spending werent so circumspect when the supposed gravy train pulled into their stations. They eagerly climbed aboard, taking several million dollars worth of loans under the Paycheck Protection Program that they wont have to repay if they retain their work forces.

The money was included in the initial CARES Act, the $2 trillion emergency relief package that Congress passed to mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a May 1 statement by Citizens Against Government Waste, the CARES Act is stuffed with wasteful and unnecessary spending. Apparently, loans of up to $350,000 that the organization obtained do not fit either category.

Grover Norquist, founder of Americans for Tax Reform, condemned a provision of the law that provides supplemental unemployment benefits for laid-off workers. He did not voice any objection, however, to the Cares Act provision under which the organization borrowed up to $300,000.

The Ayn Rand Institute, named for that conservative champion of rugged individualism, received a loan from the collective people of the United States of between $350,000 and $1 million, calling it partial restitution for government-inflicted losses.

It would be a terrible injustice for pro-capitalists to step aside and leave the funds to those indifferent or actively hostile to capitalism, said institute board member Harry Binswanger. Indeed, every federal dollar that the institute claims for itself is one that cant unjustly go to someone who actually needs it. Its a wonder that the institute didnt think of that sooner.

If such hypocrisy were a vaccine, COVID-19 would have been vanquished before Atlas decided to just shrug and take the cash.

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Climbing aboard the PPP train | Opinion | citizensvoice.com - Wilkes-Barre Citizens Voice

Whats the Deal With Parler and its Rising Popularity? – The Wire

The basic idea of Parler is an awful lot like Twitter. But instead of tweets, users post Parleys. Instead of retweets, there are echoes. And upon registering, the suggested accounts to follow include new outlets such as Breitbart, the Epoch Times, and the Daily Caller, as well as the political accounts for Rand Paul, Mark Levin, and Team Trump.

In June, right-wing users started flocking to this alt-Twitter, whose main selling point is that it vows to champion free speech. As mainstream platforms banned more far-right accounts, removed hate speech with newfound vigour, and attached warning labels to a few of President Donald Trumps tweets, Parler became, for many, an attractive solution to Twitters supposed ills.

Now, its the second most popular app in the App Store, and last week it was estimated to have reached more than 1.5 million daily users, snagging somehigh-profile newbies: Senator Ted Cruz, Representative Elise Stefanik, Representative Jim Jordan, Donald Trump Jr., and Eric Trump. What led to Parlers founding in August 2018 was, predictably, disillusionment with the likes of the Silicon Valley giants. Henderson, Nevadabased software engineers Jared Thomson and John Matze created the platform, according to Parlers website, [a]fter being exhausted with a lack of transparency in big tech, ideological suppresssion [sic] and privacy abuse.

Yet while the platform is being billed as the big free speech alternative to Twitter, it isnt exactly unique. Nor is it as uncensored as it claims to be. Parler is just the latest in a long line of rival social networks that have appeared (and, often, disappeared) in the past decade as alternatives to Big Tech. And, if the past is any indicator, its unlikely that Parler will become anything more than a fringe platform in the near future.

Some of the platforms to emerge as alternatives to the major social networks have taken a hard line on data privacy.Ello, for example, was founded in 2014 as an ad-free network that promised never to sell user data to advertisers. (After beingdubbed a Facebook killer,the site was overwhelmed with new users and crashed frequently; it could never scale up and instead became acommunity for digital artists.) MeWe, another Facebook rival, offers theindustrys first Privacy Bill of Rights. (It also takes alaissez-faire approach to content moderation.) And while its 8 million users are dwarfed by Facebooks2.6 billion, MeWe is one of the few successful alternative networks in that its continued to grow since its founding in 2016.

Also read: UnderstandingRight-Wing Resurgence in the US and India

Matze, Parlers CEO whocounts Ayn Rand and conservative economist Thomas Sowellamong his influences, fancies his platform a sort of free-speech utopia: Were a community town square, an open town square, with no censorship, Matzetold CNBC. If you can say it on the street of New York, you can say it on Parler. And while Parler says it is unbiasedMatze isoffering a $20,000 progressive bountyfor a popular liberal pundit to joinits evidently become an unofficial home to the far right, which has long claimed to be mistreated by mainstream platforms. When alt-right celebrities, such as Milo Yiannopoulos and Laura Loomer, are banned from Twitter, Parler is their next step. (Loomer announced last week that she has become the first person whose Parler following572,000exceeds her pre-ban Twitter following.)

In this regard, Parler is most similar to Gab, the free speechdriven platform launched in 2017 thats known as ahaven for extremists. [F]ar angrier and uglier than Parler, Gab quickly became a breeding ground for anti-Semitism and neo-Nazism, where postscalling for terrorist attacks and violence against minoritiescirculate.

Gabs fate, however, represents one iteration of the circle of life for platforms of its ilk: After it was connected to an instance of terrorism in 2018, when the suspect in the Pittsburgh synagogue shootingposted about his intentions to actjust before he killed 11 people, Gab never quite recovered. Its server, GoDaddy, dropped it, and though it eventually found another home online, its popularity waned following the shooting and the period offline. In 2019, a software engineer for Gabs web hosting companysaidthat the platform probably had a few tens of thousands of users at mostrather than the 835,000 that Gab claimedthough the hosting company laterdenied that.

But Parler doesnt quite have Gabs teeth. (Andrew Torba, Gabs founder, hasreferred to Parleras a network for Z-list Maga celebrities.) While even Gab has limits to free speech, since its content policypurports to ban extremism, Parler is stricter. It goes far beyond what you might expect from a platform whose entire ethos is freedom of expression. Matze listed a few of the basic rules in a Parley on Tuesday:

As the top Twitter comment points out, Twitter allows four of the five things that Parler censors. Parlers thoroughcommunity guidelinesalso prohibit spam, terrorist activity, defamation, fighting words, and obscenity, among other kinds of speech. And Parlersuser agreementincludes clauses that may seem antithetical to its mission.

Also read: As the Far-Right Culture War Escalates in Germany, Concerns Grow

The platform may remove any content and terminate your access to the Services at any time and for any reason or no reason, it states. But perhaps most surprising is this:

17. You agree to defend and indemnify Parler, as well as any of its officers, directors, employees, and agents, from and against any and all claims, actions, damages, obligations, losses, liabilities, costs or debt, and expenses (including but not limited to all attorneys fees) arising from or relating to your access to and use of the Services. Parler will have the right to conduct its own defence, at your expense, in any action or proceeding covered by this indemnity.

The indemnity provision means that if Parler faces a lawsuit for something you post, you pay. Basically, youre free to say whatever you wantas long as it falls within the community guidelines, and as long as youre willing to take the risk.

That Parler has beenreportedly banning usersen masse this week only further illuminates the faade of free speech on the platform; but regardless of the extent to which one can or cannot Parley whatever they want, the fact remains that the platform is becoming an important space for the American far right.

Its worth considering, then, what its members might do with it. Part of the concern over polarised platforms is that they can lead to radicalisation: In general, theyre seen as part of the pipeline to extremism. First, extremist movements find a foothold in mainstream platforms, where they present their norms in a slightly more palatable way, explained Jeremy Blackburn, a computer science professor at Binghamton University who researches fringe and extremist web communities. Then they gain ground in platforms like Parler that straddle the fringe and mainstream.

Once you remove any question of there being an echo chamber, theres just obvious consequences, Blackburn said.

While this may be cause for concern,Amarnath Amarasingam, an extremism researcher and professor at Queens University, is skeptical that Parler will really galvanise the right. I think part of what animates the rightand the left to some extentand particularly the far right, is the ability to argue with the other, Amarasingam said.

Interacting (and fighting) with the left reinforces the far rights identity, giving it meaning and purpose, he said, and from studying similar platforms like Gab, Amarasingam has found that talking to yourself in the dark corners of the internet is actually not that satisfying. And while he believes it might lead to the radicalization of certain individuals within the far right, the platform itself wont necessarily further the ideologies of extremist right-wing groups.

What Parler could do, Amarasingam believes, is serve as a kind of sounding board for the far right, a place for fringe movements to try out and refine different arguments. Essentially, it could be a factory of sorts, churning out ideas before theyre deployed into the mainstream. Maybe one day, at leastfor now, a good portion of the conversation of Parler is about how fantastic the platform is and how dumb the old tech giants are. Amarasingam acknowledged this.

[W]hat that indicates to me is that they actually are just using Parler to vent their anger of being suspended from what really matters, which has been more mainstream platform, he said. And so I think theyll very much try to get back into wherever the conversation is happening.

Also read: Why Regulating Social Media Will Not Solve Online Hate Speech

Theres also the matter of growth. Normally, these networks just dont get that big. Theyre considered fringe platforms for a reason, and theres rarely a solid business model behind them.

In Parlers case, the network was started with angel funding, and Matze hasnt devised a clear business plan since. Currently, histentative modelis to match conservative influencers with advertisers, and have Parler take a cut of the influencer fee. But given brandsrecent reluctance to advertise on Facebook, this plan seems far from foolproof. With only 30 employees, Parlers ability to handle more users will be tested.

It might growespecially if Trump does decide to join after allbut, as Amarasingam put it, if youre not in the mainstream, youre not in the mainstream.

Generally speaking, what I expect to see in these sites is they hit a certain threshold of users, just like any other social networking platform, said Blackburn. And then for these types of platforms that are explicitly attracting these certain types of users, probably one of them will do something stupid, then they get shut down or deplatformed, and the next one pops up.

Chloe Hadavasis a writer based in Washington.

This piece was originally published onFutureTense, a partnership betweenSlatemagazine, Arizona State University, and New America.

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Whats the Deal With Parler and its Rising Popularity? - The Wire

Indiana PPP loan recipients: See the full searchable list of who received them – Courier & Press

A model by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington is now predicting Indiana coronavirus deaths could near 2,500 by August. Here's why. Wochit

Indianabusinesses that applied for and received a loan as part of a national effort to save small companies during the coronavirus pandemic is now public information.

The U.S. government has released a list of businesses that have received emergency pandemic loans of $150,000 or more.

Designed to cover expenses such as payroll and rent, the loans do not have to be paid back if at least 60 percent of the money is spent keeping or rehiring workers. Otherwise, it carries a 1 percent interest rate and must be repaid within two years.

Search through Indiana businesses that benefited from the Paycheck Protection Program with our database by searching below. Narrow the list by typing in a business or city name.

(Note: Not seeing the search bar above? Click here.)

Results show the range of the loan received, jobs retained, date approvedand other details released by the Treasury Department and Small Business Administration Monday, July 6.

Across the country, more than 660,000 businesses received $150,000 or up to the $10 million maximum from the small-business lending program.

Known-names across the U.S. include:

The Ayn Rand Institute received a loan and defended it on Twitter.

Restaurant chains like P.F. Changs, Legal Sea Foods and Silver Diner either received PPP loans or had investors connected to the company that did.

Internationally, South Korean airline Korean Air received a PPP loan.

Wall Street investment groups, including Semper Capital Management LP and Domini Impact Investments LLC, which manage billions of dollars, also received PPP loans according to Reuters.

Politically, according to the Washington Post, companies with connections to a handful of federal lawmakers, like Foremost Maritime, which is a shipping business controlled by the family of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, have received PPP loans.

John Farrell, a Republican donor and real estate developer also received a PPP loan.

Several law firms, including ones with ties to President Trump (Kasowitz, Benson & Torres) and former vice president Al Gore and film producer Harvey Weinstein (Boies Schiller Flexner) also received PPP loans.

The Roman Catholic dioceses in California, New York, Nevada, Tennessee and Kentucky also received loans.

Grace Pateras and Joe Harrington contributed to this story.

Daniella Medina is a digital producer for the USA TODAY Network. Follow her on Twitter @danimedinanews.

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Indiana PPP loan recipients: See the full searchable list of who received them - Courier & Press

Mississippi PPP loan recipients: See the full searchable list of who received them – Hattiesburg American

Staff Report Published 6:37 p.m. CT July 8, 2020

If you are a small business owner and have not yet applied for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan yet...According to Business Insider, you may be out of luck and too late to receive funding. The US government recently added a second round of $310 billion to PPP loan program. The goal is to fund small businesses that have been economically impacted due to the coronavirus pandemic. Bankers, lawyers, and consultants told Business Insider that the volume of pre-approved loans will soak up the second round of funding.If you don't receive emergency government funding, it's suggested for small businesses to seek funding through tax relief, private companies, local governments, and organizations offering small business grants. Wochit

Mississippi businesses that applied for and received a loan as part of a national effort to save small companies during the coronavirus pandemic is now public information.

The U.S. government has released a list of businesses that have received emergency pandemic loans of $150,000 or more.

Designed to cover expenses such as payroll and rent, the loans do not have to be paid back if at least 60 percent of the money is spent keeping or rehiring workers. Otherwise, it carries a 1 percent interest rate and must be repaid within two years.

Search through Mississippi businesses that benefited from the Paycheck Protection Program with our database by searching below. Narrow the list by typing in a business or city name.

Across the country, more than 660,000 businesses received $150,000 or up to the $10 million maximum from the small-business lending program.

Known-names across the U.S. include:

The Ayn Rand Institute received a loan and defended it on Twitter.

Restaurant chains like P.F. Changs, Legal Sea Foods and Silver Diner either received PPP loans or had investors connected to the company that did.

Internationally, South Korean airline Korean Air received a PPP loan.

Wall Street investment groups, including Semper Capital Management LP and Domini Impact Investments LLC, which manage billions of dollars, also received PPP loans according to Reuters.

Politically, according to the Washington Post, companies with connections to a handful of federal lawmakers, like Foremost Maritime, which is a shipping business controlled by the family of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, have received PPP loans.

John Farrell, a Republican donor and real estate developer also received a PPP loan.

Several law firms, including ones with ties to President Trump (Kasowitz, Benson & Torres) and former vice president Al Gore and film producer Harvey Weinstein (Boies Schiller Flexner) also received PPP loans.

The Roman Catholic dioceses in California, New York, Nevada, Tennessee and Kentucky also received loans.

Grace Pateras and Joe Harrington contributed to this story.

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Mississippi PPP loan recipients: See the full searchable list of who received them - Hattiesburg American

Paycheck Protection Payouts Give Taxpayers Plenty To Ponder | K. Lloyd Billingsley – The Beacon

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), part of the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security package (CARES), is intended to blunt the economic damage from the current pandemic. As CNBC reports, the payouts include a $5-10 million loan for the Archdiocese of New York, $350,000 to $1 million to the Ayn Rand Institute and $1-2 million for the Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy, named after the son-in-law of President Trump. The media payouts were also of interest.

Forbes Media bagged at least $5 million, according to CNBC and the Washington Times got at least $1 million. The Washingtonian and the Daily Caller both got at least $350,000, and The American Prospect received at least $150,000. While propping up media, the PPP payouts did not neglect the political side.

The Ohio Democratic Party got at least $150,000 and the Florida Democratic Party Building Fund got at least $350,000. The Womens National Republican Club of New York got at least $350,000, with some $150,000 going to the Black Republican Caucus in Florida. PPP also shelled out $5-10 million to the Boies Schiller Flexner law firm, headed by David Boies, whose clients include former vice president Al Gore. As embattled taxpayers assess the merits of these payouts, they might consider an item CNBC managed to miss.

As Evan Symon reports in the California Globe, PPP loans of $150-350,000 went to PlumpJack Winery, owned by California governor Gavin Newsom. Last year Newsom reported more than $200,000 in income through PlumpJack, so the governor remains a beneficiary even though he relinquished control while in office.

Before the July 4 weekend, Gov. Newsom shut down bars, restaurants, zoos, movie theaters, museums and winery tasting rooms in 19 California counties. Missing from the shutdown list is upscale Napa County, where PlumpJack is located.

All told, the PPP payouts show some distancing from the kind of accountability taxpayers have a right to expect.

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Paycheck Protection Payouts Give Taxpayers Plenty To Ponder | K. Lloyd Billingsley - The Beacon

We Talked With the Cast of ‘Brave New World’! – The Mary Sue

Brave New Worldis something I remember vividly from reading in high school. It was paired withAnthemby Ayn Rand, and I was assigned to do projects on Rands book when I wanted nothing more than to explore the world that Aldous Huxley created within the pages of Brave New World. And now, yet again, were returning to that world in 2020 with Peacocks new show starring Alden Ehrenreich, Harry Lloyd, Jessica Brown Findlay, Kylie Bunbury, and more!

In talking with the cast in preparation for the July 15 release, many expressed excitement over bringing this world to life, and I have to agree. I was instantly infatuated with the story (despite knowing it from reading the novel) and wanted to follow these characters as they began to explore a life not completely dependent on the laws of New London or John the Savage escaping the world hed known.

You can see our interviews with Jessica Brown Findlay, Harry Lloyd, Nina Sosanya, Sen Mitsuji, Hannah John-Kamen, and Joseph Morgan below!

Throughout my interviews, I asked everyone why they thought we continue to go back to the world of Aldous Huxley time and time again. While each cast member had wonderful takes on why we kept going back, I think that Jessica Brown Findlay hit the nail on the head. The world is evolving constantly and thrust into this digital age, and it is important to look at the cautionary tale that is Brave New Worldand see how we need to adapt.

Theres so much, I guess, focused on technology in our world and there are advances that we immediately see in this world. But its sort ofI think the really interesting question is the technology of humans, our own wiring, and why it is we behave and think and desire and feel the way that we do. I guess, posing the question: How much can you unravel that? Through design and through a numbing and telling people theyre happy. And, you know, people are going to slip past that and question things and I think were always going to be fascinated in that because thats how we function.

Brave New Worldhits Peacock on the 15th, and it is truly a beautiful adaptation of one of my favorite novels. I cannot wait for more, and I hope that everyone enjoys it as much as I did!

(image: Steve Schofield/Peacock)

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We Talked With the Cast of 'Brave New World'! - The Mary Sue

‘We Took PPP Funds and Would Do It Again’ – New Ideal

Social media and major news outlets are ablaze with reports that the Ayn Rand Institute applied for and received funds from the Paycheck Protection Program, established by Congress under the CARES Act for pandemic relief. People are questioning how an educational nonprofit that advocates ending the welfare state can maintain its integrity while accepting a government bailout.

The question is understandable, which is why months ago, before ARI received any funds Institute scholars recorded an explanatory webinar and published an essay (To Take or Not to Take), stating clearly that ARI was applying for funds and explaining why an uncompromising advocate of laissez-faire capitalismabsolutely has a right to take such money as a matter of moral principle.

These explanations are based squarely on Rands philosophy of Objectivism, including statements she made directly on the issue during her lifetime (she died in 1982).

Together these materials provide a factual basis for journalists, commentators and other interested persons to understand the Institutes position.

The Institutes president and CEO, Tal Tsfany, has recorded a short video explaining why the pursuit of PPP funds was a matter of justice for ARIs donors.

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

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'We Took PPP Funds and Would Do It Again' - New Ideal

What a real small business thinks of loan for Jelly Belly – Los Angeles Times

To the editor: As a small-business owner for the past 26 years, I do everything right: hire a diverse workforce, provide health insurance without a waiting period, offer new-business bonuses and pay my taxes on time. I self-financed my business and run it with no debt. (Jelly Belly and Yeezy got PPP loans. Which other California companies benefited? July 6)

I considered applying for a loan from the Paycheck Protection Program, as two of my six employees can only do their work physically in the office. However, the complex web of applications, the shifting rules and no actual guarantee of loan forgiveness for following those rules dissuaded me from trying.

The travesty that rich and public companies even applied for and received millions that were in spirit reserved for those in real need perfectly illustrates why the federal governments definition of small business must change to reflect reality.

Mine is a truly small business seven employees, including me. My profit margins are slim. My paltry attempts to save for the mirage of retirement are discouraging. There are no advantageous loopholes to lower my tax burden.

We always hear that small business is the backbone of America. Well, our discs are ruptured and our backs are broken.

Julie Taylor, Los Angeles

..

To the editor: Which part of championing unbridled private-sector capitalism, disdain for the public sector and the supremacy of self-reliance do you think the Ayn Rand Institute found most convenient when applying for a PPP loan?

Ted Rosenblatt, Pacific Palisades

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What a real small business thinks of loan for Jelly Belly - Los Angeles Times

Tips and Murmurs: Ayn Rand Institute gets government handout – Crikey

Thank heavens the public purse is so open for the well-connected, and the sky's the limit for Fox's Sky News numbers well they couldn't get much lower.

The invisible hand that feeds The Ayn Rand Institute, committed to preserving the memory of libertarianism's patron saint, has taken a US government loan of up to $1 million.

The institute, which promotes free markets, applied for a loan under the pay cheque protection program, which gives businesses money to keep workers on. The decision was justified, director Harry Binswanger argued, because "it would be morally wrong for pro-capitalists to humbly step aside and watch the new money go only to anti-capitalists".

The Rand people aren't the only opponents of big government crying out for the public purse during a time of crisis. Conservative group Americans for Tax Reform got up to $300,000. So did a group called Citizens Against Government Waste which, along with Americans for Tax Reform, opposed stimulus bills which underpinned the loans.

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Tips and Murmurs: Ayn Rand Institute gets government handout - Crikey

Indiana PPP loan recipients: See the full searchable list of who received them – Courier & Press

A model by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington is now predicting Indiana coronavirus deaths could near 2,500 by August. Here's why. Wochit

Indianabusinesses that applied for and received a loan as part of a national effort to save small companies during the coronavirus pandemic is now public information.

The U.S. government has released a list of businesses that have received emergency pandemic loans of $150,000 or more.

Designed to cover expenses such as payroll and rent, the loans do not have to be paid back if at least 60 percent of the money is spent keeping or rehiring workers. Otherwise, it carries a 1 percent interest rate and must be repaid within two years.

Search through Indiana businesses that benefited from the Paycheck Protection Program with our database by searching below. Narrow the list by typing in a business or city name.

(Note: Not seeing the search bar above? Click here.)

Results show the range of the loan received, jobs retained, date approvedand other details released by the Treasury Department and Small Business Administration Monday, July 6.

Across the country, more than 660,000 businesses received $150,000 or up to the $10 million maximum from the small-business lending program.

Known-names across the U.S. include:

The Ayn Rand Institute received a loan and defended it on Twitter.

Restaurant chains like P.F. Changs, Legal Sea Foods and Silver Diner either received PPP loans or had investors connected to the company that did.

Internationally, South Korean airline Korean Air received a PPP loan.

Wall Street investment groups, including Semper Capital Management LP and Domini Impact Investments LLC, which manage billions of dollars, also received PPP loans according to Reuters.

Politically, according to the Washington Post, companies with connections to a handful of federal lawmakers, like Foremost Maritime, which is a shipping business controlled by the family of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, have received PPP loans.

John Farrell, a Republican donor and real estate developer also received a PPP loan.

Several law firms, including ones with ties to President Trump (Kasowitz, Benson & Torres) and former vice president Al Gore and film producer Harvey Weinstein (Boies Schiller Flexner) also received PPP loans.

The Roman Catholic dioceses in California, New York, Nevada, Tennessee and Kentucky also received loans.

Grace Pateras and Joe Harrington contributed to this story.

Daniella Medina is a digital producer for the USA TODAY Network. Follow her on Twitter @danimedinanews.

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Indiana PPP loan recipients: See the full searchable list of who received them - Courier & Press

Climbing aboard the PPP train | Opinion | citizensvoice.com – Wilkes-Barre Citizens Voice

A group of organizations that condemn taxation and government spending werent so circumspect when the supposed gravy train pulled into their stations. They eagerly climbed aboard, taking several million dollars worth of loans under the Paycheck Protection Program that they wont have to repay if they retain their work forces.

The money was included in the initial CARES Act, the $2 trillion emergency relief package that Congress passed to mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a May 1 statement by Citizens Against Government Waste, the CARES Act is stuffed with wasteful and unnecessary spending. Apparently, loans of up to $350,000 that the organization obtained do not fit either category.

Grover Norquist, founder of Americans for Tax Reform, condemned a provision of the law that provides supplemental unemployment benefits for laid-off workers. He did not voice any objection, however, to the Cares Act provision under which the organization borrowed up to $300,000.

The Ayn Rand Institute, named for that conservative champion of rugged individualism, received a loan from the collective people of the United States of between $350,000 and $1 million, calling it partial restitution for government-inflicted losses.

It would be a terrible injustice for pro-capitalists to step aside and leave the funds to those indifferent or actively hostile to capitalism, said institute board member Harry Binswanger. Indeed, every federal dollar that the institute claims for itself is one that cant unjustly go to someone who actually needs it. Its a wonder that the institute didnt think of that sooner.

If such hypocrisy were a vaccine, COVID-19 would have been vanquished before Atlas decided to just shrug and take the cash.

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Climbing aboard the PPP train | Opinion | citizensvoice.com - Wilkes-Barre Citizens Voice

Local anti-tax groups find even they need big government aid sometimes – Seattle Times

Were all socialists now, apparently. No, really it turns out even the most rugged of the free marketeers have been coaxed by the coronavirus to fall into the government safety net.

The national press has been filled with stories this week about how the well-connected, the billionaires, the white-shoe lobbying firms and the most anti-government think tanks all got relief money under Congress $2 trillion coronavirus rescue act.

The latter includes no-new-taxes activist Grover Norquist, who infamously wants to drown the government in the bathtub. Also the libertarian Ayn Rand Institute, and anti-debt crusader Citizens Against Government Waste. All these groups that pillory big government suddenly found common cause in lining up to get a piece of one of the biggest government spending programs of all time.

And Im actually OK with that. Its what it was for to provide a measure of relief to businesses in need, of any and all types. The Seattle Times got a Paycheck Protection Program loan, too and we definitely didnt head into 2020 thinking wed be the recipient of government aid.

But I wonder whether this awkward moment will spark any internal reflection about the lift-yourselves-by-your-bootstraps, no taxes ever mantra that dominates the conservative political world.

Take, say, Washington states own free-market think tanks. The Washington Policy Center, a Seattle-based conservative group, got between $350,000 to $1 million from the federal relief program (the loans, which can convert to forgivable grants, were reported in ranges in data released Monday).

Meanwhile, heres the philosophy the think tank uses to describe itself in its annual reports:

We dont receive government money. We dont ask for it and we wouldnt take it even if it were offered. WPC relies on the generous support of our donors people like you who understand that free-markets are superior to a government rigged economy, and liberty is the air that a free people must breathe.

Except for this one time, I guess. To keep on breathing those liberty vapors required being put on a government ventilator.

Or take the Freedom Foundation, a business-backed outfit out of Olympia. Its been rallying against government spending and taxes since the early 1990s. Recently its been on a jihad against unions. During the pandemic it has called for governors to halt all public-sector union dues payments, on the grounds the union organizations dont need the money and the workers do.

But unions specifically werent eligible for the paycheck protection program, so they were left to fend for themselves. Not so the Freedom Foundation, though it got between $350,000 to $1 million from the federal relief fund, records show.

We have a vision of a day when opportunity, responsible self-governance, and free markets flourish in America because its citizens understand and defend the principles from which freedom is derived, the Freedom Foundation says on its website. We accept no government support.

Maybe just this one eensy-weensy time.

The laissez-faire capitalist Ayn Rand Institute, in California, went still further, rationalizing that going on the dole this one time would somehow strike a moral blow against big government.

It would be a terrible injustice for pro-capitalists to step aside and leave the funds to those indifferent or actively hostile to capitalism, it explained in a statement, titled To Take, or Not to Take.

Look, Im a capitalist too, but what a crock all that is. As I said up top: Its fine for any qualified business or association to get the relief money. Yes, even Kanye West, whose Yeezy clothing and footwear line got between $2 million and $5 million. Even the paid anti-government scolds. The programs point was to disperse the money as rapidly and widely as possible, to keep the economy somewhat functioning during this pandemic. It did that to more than 16,000 businesses in Washington state alone.

But To Take, or Not to Take that is not the question. The coronavirus has shown, if nothing else, that we all sometimes need a little boost. We have just been treated to a national case study in how we all depend on strong governmental social and health safety nets and not only when theres a pandemic.

This is not about taking at all, or shouldnt be. Its about giving back paying for basic good government and then, sometimes, when you need it, receiving help.

So can we at least dispense now with the breath of liberty canards? The drowning the government in the bathtub nonsense? The whole no-tax bluster?

Because now we know: Even groups that put freedom right in their name have apparently concluded theyre A-OK with some big-government, debt-financed, taxpayer-backed collectivism after all.

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Local anti-tax groups find even they need big government aid sometimes - Seattle Times

Paycheck Protection Payouts Give Taxpayers Plenty To Ponder | K. Lloyd Billingsley – The Beacon

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), part of the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security package (CARES), is intended to blunt the economic damage from the current pandemic. As CNBC reports, the payouts include a $5-10 million loan for the Archdiocese of New York, $350,000 to $1 million to the Ayn Rand Institute and $1-2 million for the Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy, named after the son-in-law of President Trump. The media payouts were also of interest.

Forbes Media bagged at least $5 million, according to CNBC and the Washington Times got at least $1 million. The Washingtonian and the Daily Caller both got at least $350,000, and The American Prospect received at least $150,000. While propping up media, the PPP payouts did not neglect the political side.

The Ohio Democratic Party got at least $150,000 and the Florida Democratic Party Building Fund got at least $350,000. The Womens National Republican Club of New York got at least $350,000, with some $150,000 going to the Black Republican Caucus in Florida. PPP also shelled out $5-10 million to the Boies Schiller Flexner law firm, headed by David Boies, whose clients include former vice president Al Gore. As embattled taxpayers assess the merits of these payouts, they might consider an item CNBC managed to miss.

As Evan Symon reports in the California Globe, PPP loans of $150-350,000 went to PlumpJack Winery, owned by California governor Gavin Newsom. Last year Newsom reported more than $200,000 in income through PlumpJack, so the governor remains a beneficiary even though he relinquished control while in office.

Before the July 4 weekend, Gov. Newsom shut down bars, restaurants, zoos, movie theaters, museums and winery tasting rooms in 19 California counties. Missing from the shutdown list is upscale Napa County, where PlumpJack is located.

All told, the PPP payouts show some distancing from the kind of accountability taxpayers have a right to expect.

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Paycheck Protection Payouts Give Taxpayers Plenty To Ponder | K. Lloyd Billingsley - The Beacon


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