Tea Party Movement Promotes Atlas Shrugged Movie

From USA Today:

Tea Party groups are talking up a new movie version of Atlas Shrugged, based on the Ayn Rand novel about a dystopian United States that collapses as government asserts control. The movie will debut in theaters on April 15. Tax Day has been a focal point for the burgeoning Tea Party movement, whose political mantra calls for small government and low taxes.

National Journal reports that FreedomWorks, the Tea Party-allied group headed by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, has been trying to get the movie opened in more theaters. The group hopes to get the movie opened nationwide on 300 screens, according to the National Journal story. Tea Party groups in Texas, Colorado and across the country have been plugging the movie trailer on their websites and Facebook pages. [...] “In a lot of ways, this project reflects the ethos of the Tea Party,” FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe told National Journal. “You had both Republicans and Democrats who felt rejected by the establishment, and the same process is going to happen with Atlas Shrugged: We’re going to build a constituency of people who believe in limited government and individual liberty.” ["Tea Party groups push 'Atlas Shrugged' movie - On Politics: Covering the US Congress, Governors, and the 2010 Election"]

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Politics Webcast from an Objectivist Perspective: “Operation Odyssey Dawn” in Libya

Here’s a link to the broadcast of Amy Peikoff’s Don’t Let It Go Unheard — webcast to talk on politics and politics from an Objectivist perspective.  This is the best podcast on politics from an Objective perspective so it is definitely worth a listen if you could not attend the live broadcast.

Topics discussed: “Operation Odyssey Dawn” in Libya; Whoopi Goldberg’s “puppy mills” comment; update on the fallout from the protest of a muslim “charity” event in Yorba Linda; two philosophy of law questions — one on obtaining civil damages from a defendant who was acquitted of the crime at issue,Not only does Amy have a great voice, she also has a clear mind. Enjoy!

Download the latest episode  and/or to register for next week’s live podcast.

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Francisco d’Anconia’s Voice Mail: Is Money the Root of Evil?

From the creators of the Atlas Shrugged movie:

You can read an excerpt from the book Atlas Shrugged on the issue here: Franciso’s Money Speech

 http://www.capitalismmagazine.com/economics/money/1826-francisco-s-money-speech.html

One of our favorite quotes from the “Speech”:

“Or did you say it’s the love of money that’s the root of all evil? To love a thing is to know and love its nature. To love money is to know and love the fact that money is the creation of the best power within you, and your passkey to trade your effort for the effort of the best among men. It’s the person who would sell his soul for a nickel, who is loudest in proclaiming his hatred of money–and he has good reason to hate it. The lovers of money are willing to work for it. They know they are able to deserve it.

“Let me give you a tip on a clue to men’s characters: the man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it.

“Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper’s bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another–their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun.

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Ayn Rand Institute’s Yaron Brook on the Atlas Shrugged Movie

Yaron Brook of the Ayn Rand Institute discusses the Atlas Shrugged movie and the message of the novel. Notable comments: “Basically sticks to the story of the book…I went into the movie with low expectations…a lot of the movie is mediocre…characterization is not really fleshed out…complexity of Rearden character is missing…” and “When many of us read the book it changed our lives…it changed the way we thought about the world. I don’t believe anyone will walk into this movie…  and walk out of it … and say my life has been changed.”

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Pre-Order Objective Economics: The Implications of Ayn Rand’s Philosophy on the Science of Economics

 Professor Northrup Buechner has just completed Objective Economics: The Implications of Ayn Rand’s Philosophy on the Science of Economics.

 This book is written for any man who wants to know how a free economy works and/or some of the implications of Ayn Rand’s philosophy for economics. The philosophical overview of my book is this: Modern economics is the product of modern philosophy. Since on every important issue, Objectivism is the opposite of modern philosophy, Objectivism changes everything about economics. This includes economics’ method, the conception of the economy, the meaning of competition, the conception of price, the principle of gains from trade, the nature of business costs, the concepts of supply and demand, the theory of price, the role of scarcity, and the theory of aggregate production. Overall, as the result of all the preceding, Objectivism confirms the practicality of capitalism.

You can pre-order your copy today by Contacting Customer Service at Rowman & Littlefield Publishers by telephone 1-800-462-6420 or email customercare@rowman.com and ask for “Objective Economics: How Ayn Rand’s Philosophy Changes Everything About Economics.” Please make sure to give them the order code “UPREPUB.” It is not available on Amazon at this time.

Read an excerpt from the preface at Capitalism Magazine or visit his site at www.ObjectiveEconomics.net.

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What all the fuss in Wisconsin was about…

From Restrictions on Public-Employee Unions in Wisconsin Become Law (WSJ):

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill into law Friday eliminating most collective-bargaining rights for the state’s public employees, while boosting how much they will pay for their benefits and making it tougher for public unions to retain members.

[..] Under the law, unions said it will be more difficult for them to retain members. The new law requires that 51% of all eligible workers—including those who don’t vote—approve a union, which means unions can win a majority of votes cast, but still be barred from representing workers. Previously unions had to win a majority of votes cast. The state also will stop collecting dues automatically as soon as contracts end. Peter Davis, general counsel of the Wisconsin Employee Relations Committee, the state agency that oversees union elections, said he didn’t believe any other state requires unions to win a majority of eligible voters.

[...] Many union members object to the tougher election requirements. “Annual certification is just a complete tactic to bust the unions,” said Chris Fons, a 45-year-old high school teacher from Milwaukee. Mr. Walker defended the changes in union elections. “It really puts the onus on saying if the union wants to provide value they have to prove it,” he said. “If people believe it then they’ll come out and vote.”

Under the previous system state workers were forced to pay money to unions that they did not approve of. In fact, in the 28 non-right-to-work states, unions had negotiated provisions that forced government employees to pay union dues — or get fired.

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Atlas Shrugged Adaption “Competent” and “Credible” according to TOS Review

The Objective Standard (TOS) reviews Part 1 of the Atlas Shrugged Movie Adaption.

The review praises the acting of  Taylor Schilling (Dagny) and Grant Bowler (Rearden) for executing their parts near perfectly, while pointing out that:

…Each plot point is there, as is much of Rand’s dialogue sans most of the overt expressions of her philosophic viewpoint, which first-time director Paul Johansson does his best to illustrate instead through the actions of the characters and the events of the plot. For the most part, the script stays true to the novel while updating it in ways that do not blunt the power of Rand’s theme—no small feat.

The review summarizes that “Atlas Shrugged: Part I is not the novel and it does not pretend to be,” but that:

…It is a fairly competently made, credible adaptation of one of the most complex novels ever written. Even with its flaws, the film is enjoyable and has wonderful moments, including some in which it captures the power of the novel—such as the party during which Dagny gets the Rearden Metal bracelet, the scene during which Hank hands over his ore mine to Paul Larkin, and the already mentioned scene during which Dagny and Hank discover the motor. Fans of Ayn Rand’s masterpiece likely will enjoy these scenes in particular and appreciate the movie generally. Those unfamiliar with the story will probably enjoy the movie as well and may find their curiosity sufficiently piqued to read the book. If so, they will be even more richly rewarded. All in all, Atlas Shrugged: Part I will be a satisfactory journey for many viewers and could help increase awareness of Rand’s work.

Read the full review here.

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Celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Ayn Rand’s We The Living at the Objectivist Summer Conference 2011

This year’s conference — OCON 2011 — will be held from July 2–8 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In addition to the beauty of our beachfront setting, the Fort Lauderdale area offers a wide array of leisure and entertainment activities.

Two years ago, John Allison former CEO of BB&T delivered a lecture titled “Principled Leadership”; this year his lecture is titled “Teamwork and Independent Thinking.”

Longtime Capitalism Magazine writer John David Lewis presents a special perspective on the thought and work of doctors based on his recent experiences as a patient in his new talk, “Individual Rights and Health Care Reform: A Patient’s Perspective.”

This year also marks the 75th anniversary of Ayn Rand’s We the Living, which we will mark with a special panel discussion featuring Drs. Shoshana Milgram, Robert Mayhew, and Onkar Ghate who will discuss the new chapters they have written for the forthcoming expanded edition of Essays on Ayn Rand’s “We the Living,” edited by Robert Mayhew.

Other general session lectures will include: The Objectivist Movement: 50 Years Later by Yaron Brook; Individual Rights and Health Care Reform: A Patient’s Perspective by John David Lewis; Q&A with Interviewees in 100 Voices: An Oral History of Ayn Rand by Michael S. Berliner and others; The Culture of “Package-Dealing” by Peter Schwartz; What It Takes to Win: A Workshop on Defending Capitalism by Yaron Brook and Don Watkins; an Open Q&A by Yaron Brook and Onkar Ghate; Spaceflight as It Was—and as It Ought to Be by Andrew Lewis.

Optional classes include: Principles by Harry Binswanger; Ayn Rand and the Romantic School by Tore Boeckmann; History of the Supreme Court (part 1): The Least Dangerous Branch? by Eric Daniels; Egoism and Altruism by Gregory Salmieri; Bach and the 19th Century by Thomas Shoebotham; The Nature of Literary Heroism by Andrew Bernstein; Topics in Intellectual Property: The Computer and Biotech Revolutions by Adam Mossoff; The Philosophy of Immanuel Kant (part 2): Kant’s Moral Philosophy by Jason Rheins; To Imagine a Heaven—and How “Sense of Life” Can Help You to Claim It by Tara Smith;  The Measure of All Things by Robert Knapp; The History of Ancient Greece: The Early Fourth Century by John David Lewis; The Age of Discovery: Discovering the New World (c. 1300–c. 1600) by Andrew Lewis; and Ayn Rand, Private Investigator: Detection in Fiction and Philosophy by Shoshana Milgram.

There will be a variety of events and social opportunities for conference attendees as well, with opening and closing receptions, and an Independence Day BBQ dinner on July 4 at the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort and Spa.

Links: OCON 2011 Website

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Freedom of Association is a Right; Collective Bargaining Is Not A Right

From Collective Bargaining Is Not A Right (Heritage):

[...] the freedom of association is a right shared by all Americans and protected by the First Amendment. In contrast, collective bargaining is a special power occasionally granted to some unions. In upholding North Carolina’s ban on government union collective bargaining, a federal court wrote in Atkins vs. City of Charlotte: “All citizens have the right to associate in groups to advocate their special interests to the government. It is something entirely different to grant any one interest group special status and access to the decision making process.”

Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) budget bill in Wisconsin in no way infringes on any Americans’ right to associate and lobby government. What it does do is allow Wisconsin employees to choose not to join a union and keep their job at the same time. It also forces the government unions in Wisconsin to collect their own union dues instead of using the power of the state to withhold them directly from employee paychecks.

Now there is a question you’ll never see in a New York Times poll: “Do you favor forcing all state employees to join a union and empowering government unions to take union dues directly from employee paychecks?”

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Aglialoro Atlas Shrugged Movie Screenplay is “Incomprehensible Gibberish” — Film Stage Review

Writes Timothy Farmer a The Film Stage in his [Review] Atlas Shrugged: Part I on whose dialogue he judges as “incomprehensible gibberish.”

[...] I haven’t a clue in hell what was rolling through John Aglialoro‘s and Brian Patrick O’Toole’s craniums when they wrote the screenplay. Somebody please have them admitted for a CAT scan ASAP.Meeting the script mediocrity head-on is production designer John Mott and his vacant style. Many scenes in the film are either too cluttered or severely lacking character. The book is extremely visual, essentially spelling out what needs to be purchased by the art department. Unfortunately, it seems Mott as if relied solely on Cliff Notes.

[...] There is absolutely no chemistry between the characters, not even a single metabolic drop. Blame it on not enough coverage, rehearsal, etc. The list is long. That said, the actors themselves are terrific, but still unable to escape lazy set-ups and sloppy subplots [...]

This is not good news. Thankfully, there are some redeeming qualities to the movie…

On a more upbeat note, Schilling’s Dagny Taggart is stunning, circumventing her wooden lines with pitch-perfect delivery. The way she composes herself while interacting with fellow cast mates radiates a tired screen, most especially those scenes she shares with Bowler as Henry Rearden. Edi Gathegi playing Eddie Willers and Jsu Garcia, who portrayed Fransisco D’Anconia, did well with their minor roles.

[...] It was neither compelling nor entertaining to watch. I was hyped on the thought that the book was finally being transformed after forty years into a film, yet had my doubts. My doubts won. [...]. C-

 Read the full review here.

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