Ed Hudgins

Paul Ryan's Objective Virtues

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LAWRENCE O'DONNELL'S OBJECTIVE VIRTUES

(preview of Necessary Facts blog post)

Of all the left wing talking heads, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell gave the best presentation of Ayn Rand's ideas, showing from interviews with Johnny Carson and Mike Wallace, why Ayn Rand would not have approved of Paul Ryan. Educated as a Catholic and calling himself a "European socialist"Lawrence O'Donnell worked as a writer on many West Wing scripts (On RoR, I posted a review of The West Wing; as a television series with positive portrayals of values in action.) Some, he apparently wrote alone. "In God We Trust" (Season 6, Episode 20) was one of them. It comes to light that presumptive GOP presidential nominee Arnold Vinnick (Alan Alda) does not go to church.

Later announcing the agreement to the press, Vinick gets asked about going to church.

"I don't see how we can have a separation of church and state in this government if you have to pass a religious test to get in this government. And I want to warn everyone in the press and all the voters out there if you demand exp

ressions of religious faith from politicians, you are just begging to be lied to. They won't all lie to you but a lot of them will. And it will be the easiest lie they ever had to tell to get your votes. So, every day until the end of this campaign, I'll answer any question anyone has on government, But if you have a question on religion, please go to church."

UnOfficial Continuity Guide

http://westwing.bewa...620wetrust.html

O'Donnell, who was charged with writing Vinick, called it "my greatest pleasure on The West Wing, especially since I once said that it would never be a Republican political show."

He said his mind was changed after attending the 2004 GOP convention in New York and seeing the party's future in people like former New Jersey governor Christie Whitman, mayors Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg, and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger: politicians who are liberal on some issues, conservative on others.

"Sun sets on West Wing" by Aaron Barnhart, May 14, 2006, Kansas City Star

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Another note of civility in the campaign. I like how both sides are keeping their young children out of it, the carefully selected leaks are chosen first with an eye to their protection, which is as it should be. They all seem to have lovely families. The most high profile of course is Malia Obama, newly 14 and stunningly beautiful. Something tells me that the Secret Service officers on her detail are carefully chosen, ugly old happily married men.

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Are you planning to vote Republican or Libertarian in the Presidential race? I have been presuming the former, probably because of Ed's subject for this thread, but I notice that you have not said that you will be voting for Romney-Ryan.

I wasn't planning on voting, but now Romney's selection of Ryan as his running mate has got me rethinking that. I might vote Romney-Ryan, and I might not.

J

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In connection with #52, the story is that George VI and Elizabeth, parents of the present queen, started a policy of hiring only gay servants in order to protect their daughters' purity. Didn't work in Margaret's case.

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In connection with #52, the story is that George VI and Elizabeth, parents of the present queen, started a policy of hiring only gay servants in order to protect their daughters' purity. Didn't work in Margaret's case.

Oh, those randy Brit royals'''' QE2 actually fell for Philip at age 13...maybe somebody should warn Obama?

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...(On RoR, I posted a review of The West Wing; as a television series with positive portrayals of values in action.) Some, he apparently wrote alone. "In God We Trust" (Season 6, Episode 20) was one of them. It comes to light that presumptive GOP presidential nominee Arnold Vinnick (Alan Alda) does not go to church.

Thanks for bringing up the topic of the later seasons of the West Wing. I haven't watched them in a long time, and I think it's time for me to put them into my rotation and enjoy the character of Vinick again.

It's so freaking weird that you, the Schoolmarm and I share a passion for the show, and that practically everyone else in Virtual O-land can't see any of its many virtues.

J

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It's so freaking weird that you, the Schoolmarm and I share a passion for the show, and that practically everyone else in Virtual O-land can't see any of its many virtues.

That's probably because Aaron Sorkin is the embodiment of morally-self-satisfied, smug, condescending, arrogant progressives. To the point where even some liberals find him annoying.

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It's so freaking weird that you, the Schoolmarm and I share a passion for the show, and that practically everyone else in Virtual O-land can't see any of its many virtues.

That's probably because Aaron Sorkin is the embodiment of morally-self-satisfied, smug, condescending, arrogant progressives. To the point where even some liberals find him annoying.

And yet, The West Wing is a great series. Some detractors attempt to make a lot out of Ayn Rand's personal life, but ignore the personal life of Wittgenstein. In all my years, I never read a biography of Rachmaninoff. It just does not seem relevant.

In addition to "In God We Trust" (6:20). Lawrence O'Donnell wrote "Full Disclosure" (5:15), "In the Room" (6:8), "Message of the Week" (7:3), "Debate" (7:7), "Two Weeks," (7:14) and "Last Hurrah" (7:20). He also collaborated on nine scripts in seasons one and two.

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Peter Reidy wrote:

In connection with #52, the story is that George VI and Elizabeth, parents of the present queen, started a policy of hiring only gay servants in order to protect their daughters' purity. Didn't work in Margaret's case.

end quote

Ah, yes, Peter, royal courts and harems guarded by Unix in uniform, to make up a program tester’s joke. (eunuchs is its correct spelling, ay?)

I agree, Duance. If the Obama’s win four more years I foresee their eldest getting into minor scrapes as did Chelsea Clinton, like deliberately “losing” her Secret Service protectors to meet a date. Such is the stuff of teenage, Hollywood movies.

Paul Ryan seems to be a plus to the ticket so far. He has energized Mitt. I got two bumper stickers with just “MITT” written on them Friday. One is on my Chevy Malibu with its license plate starting with the initials, “GWB.” The toss up state’s trend seems to be going towards Romney except in Missouri which has the Dem up by one.

Peter Taylor

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Peter Reidy wrote:

In connection with #52, the story is that George VI and Elizabeth, parents of the present queen, started a policy of hiring only gay servants in order to protect their daughters' purity. Didn't work in Margaret's case.

end quote

Ah, yes, Peter, royal courts and harems guarded by Unix in uniform, to make up a program tester’s joke. (eunuchs is its correct spelling, ay?)

I agree, Duance. If the Obama’s win four more years I foresee their eldest getting into minor scrapes as did Chelsea Clinton, like deliberately “losing” her Secret Service protectors to meet a date. Such is the stuff of teenage, Hollywood movies.

Apparently Luci Baines Johnson was quite the handful, and I believe Susan Ford had some tales to tell. Not the Nixon girls, though.

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Are you planning to vote Republican or Libertarian in the Presidential race? I have been presuming the former, probably because of Ed's subject for this thread, but I notice that you have not said that you will be voting for Romney-Ryan.

I wasn't planning on voting, but now Romney's selection of Ryan as his running mate has got me rethinking that. I might vote Romney-Ryan, and I might not.

J

FYI:

David Weigel

|

Posted Monday, Aug. 13, 2012, at 9:04 AM ET

145432016.jpg.CROP.rectangle3-large.jpg

The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand -- the high priestess of free-market capitalism and unfettered individualism.

Photo by MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/GettyImages

Jane Mayer beat everybody to the punch this weekend with a taut explainer of Paul Ryan's once-loud, now-denied admiration for Ayn Rand. Recently, she wrote, "Ryan distanced himself from Rand, whose atheism is something of a philosophical wedge issue on the right, dividing religious conservatives from free-market libertarians." And that has been a strange spectacle. Who denies all of a writer's works because some of those works are girded by atheism? Up to 2011 or so, Ryan never had a problem with this. Now, he can no more denounce Rand than he can denounce his own white grandmother.

Still, now that Ryan claims he's more of a Thomas Aquinas guy than a Randian, it pays to understand what he took from the late Russian-American objectivist. The Rosetta Stone of Ryan-Randianism is his 2005 speech to the Rand revivalist Atlas Society, made when Ryan was in his fourth term and his Republicans were clearly losing their grip on power. He makes a few references that only compute if you've read Atlas Shrugged.

I always go back to, you know, Francisco d’Anconia’s speech, at Bill Taggart’s wedding, on money when I think about monetary policy. Then I go to the 64-page John Galt speech, you know, on the radio at the end, and go back to a lot of other things that she did, to try and make sure that I can check my premises.

The Galt speech is fairly famous, but the d'Anconia speech is more obscure. So: In the novel, Francisco Domingo Carlos Andres Sebastian d'Anconia is the heir to a copper mining fortune who slowly dismantles it by purposefully giving in to the demands of "looters." He admits this to Dagny Taggart, the heroine (and his former love), fairly early on. He spent $8 million, for example, on a "housing settlement" that the Mexican government demanded he build at one of the mines. It'll all fall apart soon, he admits, except for the miners' new church -- "they'll need it," he says contemptuously. "Whether I did it on purpose, or through neglect, or through stupidity, don't you understand that that doesn't make any difference? The same element was missing."

In early chapters, d'Anconia pretends to be a Bruce Wayne-esque reckless playboy. He occasionally slips, because he's a Rand character. Thus, "Bill Taggart's wedding speech," when d'Anconia goes to the party of a businessman using state connections to make money. A left-wing magazine writer tells him that "money is the root of all evil." That sets off d'Anconia, who launches rant about money that runs to 23 paragraphs. "When you accept money in payment for your effort," he says, "you do so only on the conviction that you will exchange it for the product of the effort of others. It is not the moochers or the looters who give value to money. Not an ocean of tears nor all the guns in the world can transform those pieces of paper in your wallet into the bread you will need to survive tomorrow. Those pieces of paper, which should have been gold, are a token of honor – your claim upon the energy of the men who produce."

The problem, says d'Anconia, is that statists -- looters and moochers -- see dollar signs and think they can, must redistribute them. "Whenever destroyers appear among men," he says, "they start by destroying money, for money is men's protection and the base of a moral existence. Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owners a counterfeit pile of paper. This kills all objective standards and delivers men into the arbitrary power of an arbitrary setter of values. Gold was an objective value, an equivalent of wealth produced. Paper is a mortgage on wealth that does not exist, backed by a gun aimed at those who are expected to produce it. Paper is a check drawn by legal looters upon an account which is not theirs: upon the virtue of the victims. Watch for the day when it becomes, marked: 'Account overdrawn.'"

Now, take all of that and apply it to our current debates about the Federal Reserve. Since the Nixon years, the dollar has been de-linked from the price of gold. The Federal Reserve can print money and use it to buy up government bonds -- which it has recently, in several rounds of Quantitative Easing. It does this because Congress gave the Fed a dual mandate to fight inflation and to reduce unemployment. Creating "free" money helps with that latter goal. I hope it doesn't surprise you that Ryan, since at least 2008, has wanted the Fed to abandon the employment madate. He doesn't say this in a stupid way, like Rick Perry. He says it by citing Ayn Rand.

=============================================================

No matter what Ryan denies, we know he is a Randian in much of his philosophy.

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It is interesting that the Francsico speech was to those who "used state connections to make money". They Ryan family business was founded on government contracts.

There's something Jungian in all this.

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It is interesting that the Francsico speech was to those who "used state connections to make money". They Ryan family business was founded on government contracts.

There's something Jungian in all this.

Is this the "narrative" that you believe supports your statement that they "used state connection to make money."?

RyanIncCentral-e1344957634268.jpgDespite the repeated mantra from the Romney-Ryan campaign that “hard-working Americans are what create jobs, not government,” Paul Ryan’s family business — for whom he briefly worked as a “marketing consultant” — was built in large part on government contracts. Salon reports Ryan Incorporated Central began in 1884 doing government-subsidized railroad construction, then moved into building federal interstate highways, and helped build O’Hare Airport.

The story notes:

A current search of Defense Department contracts suggests that “Ryan Incorporated Central” has had
at least 22 defense contracts with the federal government since 1996
, including one from 1996 worth $5.6 million. … Mr. Anti-Spending secured millions in earmarks for his home state of Wisconsin, including, among other things, $3.3 million for highway projects. And Ryan voted to preserve $40 billion in special subsidies for big oil, an industry in which, it so happens, Ryan and his wife hold ownership stakes.

Yet in his first speech as Romney’s running-mate, Ryan joined in on the attacks on President Obama for believing that those whose businesses are successful, in part succeed because “somebody invested in roads and bridges.” Ryan proclaimed that he was “proud to stand with a man who understands what it takes to foster job creation in our economy, someone who knows from experience, that if you have a small business—you did build that.”

Last month, ThinkProgress noted the irony that a Romney campaign ad hitting President Obama for his argument that government investment plays a part in business success starred a small businessman who benefited from millions of dollars of government loans and contracts to get his business on its feet. It is more ironic still that his campaign now stars a running mate demonstrating the same kind of hypocrisy.

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It is interesting that the Francsico speech was to those who "used state connections to make money". They Ryan family business was founded on government contracts.

There's something Jungian in all this.

Does that mean you don't approve of State-aided wealth? or, self-made wealth, or inherited wealth -

and any wealth at all?

I could rightly say I don't 'approve of' State-aided poverty, or self-made poverty, or

inherited poverty - and any poverty at all, too.

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I approve thoroughly of state-aided wealth. My comment was that Ryan, who inherited it, apparently does not.

And the quote wherein he specifically stated that is where?

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I approve thoroughly of state-aided wealth. My comment was that Ryan, who inherited it, apparently does not.

Well, I do not. If Ryan indicates he doesn't either, does it make him hypocritical?

Whichever way, he is right. (Going on your comments. I don't know much about him.)

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I approve thoroughly of state-aided wealth. My comment was that Ryan, who inherited it, apparently does not.

Well, I do not. If Ryan indicates he doesn't either, does it make him hypocritical?

Whichever way, he is right. (Going on your comments. I don't know much about him.)

No, not at all. My impression was, he is repudiating the foundations of his own wealth, in order to bring in new, better foundations for others according to his philosophy ; that is not hypocritical .

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No, not at all. My impression was, he is repudiating the foundations of his own wealth, in order to bring in new, better foundations for others according to his philosophy ; that is not hypocritical .

Where did you get the idea that Ryan's wealth has foundations in state-aided wealth? Wikipedia says that "His great-grandfather, Patrick William Ryan (1858–1917), founded an earthmoving company in 1884, which later became P. W. Ryan and Sons and is now known as Ryan Incorporated Central. However, Paul Ryan's branch of the family has not been involved with the company."

J

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I read various articles that mentioned his grandfather had a construction company which gained lucrative government contracts ...seemed fine to me, and I know Ryan has never been involved in the business.

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I read various articles that mentioned his grandfather had a construction company which gained lucrative government contracts ...seemed fine to me, and I know Ryan has never been involved in the business.

Yet you're saying that the construction company is the "foundation" of Paul Ryan's wealth. What do you mean?

J

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I read various articles that mentioned his grandfather had a construction company which gained lucrative government contracts ...seemed fine to me, and I know Ryan has never been involved in the business.

and so on. I con't deny that bootstraps were involved if that is what you are driving at.

Yet you're saying that the construction company is the "foundation" of Paul Ryan's wealth. What do you mean?

J

Just that his money was inherited,, and presumably helped him through university and to start his political career. i don't deny that bootstraps were involved if that is what you are driving at.

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I read various articles that mentioned his grandfather had a construction company which gained lucrative government contracts ...seemed fine to me, and I know Ryan has never been involved in the business.

and so on. I con't deny that bootstraps were involved if that is what you are driving at.

Yet you're saying that the construction company is the "foundation" of Paul Ryan's wealth. What do you mean?

J

Just that his money was inherited,, and presumably helped him through university and to start his political career. i don't deny that bootstraps were involved if that is what you are driving at.

His money was inherited? What money?

He banked the social security portion of the monies he received from his dad's death. He used those monies to fund college.

What the hell are you talking about Carol?

Some facts please...

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He also had tax-deferred college savings plan money and investment plans derived from trusts set up from inheritances from grandparents and an aunt (as did other Ryan family members).

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He also had tax-deferred college savings plan money and investment plans derived from trusts set up from inheritances from grandparents and an aunt (as did other Ryan family members).

Carol:

Do you have a source for this because I am unaware of it.

I have no problem with it. However, I would like to see this for myself.

Thanks.

Adam

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