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The Dire Message In Ayn
Rand's Atlas Shrugged

Irish Examiner USA, by Alicia Colon

Original Article

Posted By:abuela10, 10/18/2012 6:58:34 AM

Next to my computer is a bookshelf overstuffed with books I've read and enjoyed but one book stands out because I just can't get past its first 25 pages. Friends have told me how much they enjoyed 'Atlas Shrugged' so I have tried on numerous occasions to tackle this tome that has had such a lasting impact on libertarians and VP candidate Rep. Paul Ryan. Alas, all efforts have failed so I resorted to my college year's backup plan - I bought an 'Atlas Shrugged' Cliff Notes.

      


Post Reply  

Reply 1 - Posted by: MamaElephant, 10/18/2012 7:14:31 AM     (No. 8941711)

There's a good audio version of the book read by actor Edward Hermann for those who enjoy listening while they drive.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: STLstudent, 10/18/2012 7:14:55 AM     (No. 8941712)

This novel's message is as current as tomorrow's news. It is almost prophetic in its insight and perspective. When the government promotes "fairness" we must realize our overlords' evil intent. Atlas Shrugged is certainly a must-read.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: plumnellie, 10/18/2012 7:20:07 AM     (No. 8941716)

A friend ask me how I managed to remain conservative in the middle of a working environment and big city influence that was liberal. Ayn Rand and my Christian background were my answer. I did plow through all her books..slogging at times but determined to finish. Once Rand gave me the key to see what was happening I could apply the clues to the biased news and see through the propaganda. This was before the internet.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: planetgeo, 10/18/2012 7:20:13 AM     (No. 8941717)

The book may be plodding and difficult to wade through, but the message isn't. Productive members of society will not continue to be productive if the fruit of their labor is relentlessly taken from them. They will either cease their labor or take it elsewhere.

One doesn't need Cliff's Notes to understand that.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: M2, 10/18/2012 7:31:07 AM     (No. 8941736)

Alicia is a little late to the party, but she is always welcome. We who have read Atlas Shrugged, or who have recently re-read this wordy classic, realize that Rand was prophetic in her assessment of what would happen to America if Obama's socialist agenda plays out. It IS playing out, right now, and it's scary as hell.

One can appreciate and accept Rand's dogged defense of the capitalist system and still reject her dismissal of faith and religion.

Exactly. Rand was an avowed Atheist, not a particularly endearing person, but she did have prescience. I agree with Alicia that one can agree with Rand's love of capitalism and individualism and still believe in God. Many of us here on this site believe the same thing.

For those not familiar with the story, the gist is that because the government was so confiscatory with the profits of capitalists and entrepreneurs and business, the creative people - the ones who earned their wealth by themselves - these producers decided to stop working, further degrading the quality of life for everyone in America. One by one, they disappeared, leaving the system that stole their profits from them. After all, why work if the fruits of your labor will be taken by the government, which is exactly where we stand today if Obama gets re-elected?

Be afraid.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: Bad Dog, 10/18/2012 7:34:01 AM     (No. 8941742)

Yay Alicia!! I saw this over the weekend, and while the movie can't possible compare to the ongoing drama of the book, it was a darn good movie.

As I read the book a couple of years ago, I marked the pages with little sticky tags of passages I wanted to remember. There are almost as many tags on my book as there are pages. I'd read a passage, shake my head at its current relevance, and try to go on. I was shaking my head, a lot.

The movies are good, as movies with a bit of message thrown in. But read that book! I relied on the online Cliff Notes too as I read and studied the book...Conservapedia has a good Wiki-type entry on it as well. (I just don't use Wiki....) Read, and look something up..... read, then look something up. It does take time, but stay with it!

Rand claims she was atheist, and I take her at her word but she could not have written about Good and Evil as she did, as a total atheist. There is much God- and faith-based cause-effect in her book.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: squid, 10/18/2012 7:47:21 AM     (No. 8941776)

Ayn Rand does seem like a prophet for our times. I believe that she correctly identified the root cause of our economic dilemma: that decisions are made on the basis of feeling or emotion instead of rational thought. I agree whole heartily.

Where Rand and I part company is that she essentially believed that all emotions (love, hate, loyalty, etc.) had to be re-interrupted in strictly rational terms. None of this balancing of the rational and emotional as much of the Western thinkers argued, the emotional had to be bounded by the rational.

This is why Rand rejects God and religion. Religious experience is ultimately reliant on a believer's Spiritual Experience, the "God-Touches-Man" experience. That cannot be reproduced in a "laboratory" on demand, so Rand rejected the experience as an emotional response.

Like I said, I think that Rand was dead on when she said that the Left make decisions based primarily on emotion. My personal belief is that decision making, based on working to balance the emotional and rational is the correct way to go. Unfortunately the Left will never go there.

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Reply 8 - Posted by: msctex1, 10/18/2012 7:59:46 AM     (No. 8941805)

Read the book. Or, watch the news and lack a profound sense of awareness as to why these things are happening, and what will inevitably result.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: TruthandJustice, 10/18/2012 8:23:00 AM     (No. 8941866)



CURRENT COMMUNIST GOALS

1. U.S. acceptance of coexistence as the only alternative to atomic war.

2. U.S. willingness to capitulate in preference to engaging in atomic war.

3. Develop the illusion that total disarmament [by] the United States would be a demonstration of moral strength.

4. Permit free trade between all nations regardless of Communist affiliation and regardless of whether or not items could be used for war.

5. Extension of long-term loans to Russia and Soviet satellites.

6. Provide American aid to all nations regardless of Communist domination.

7. Grant recognition of Red China. Admission of Red China to the U.N.

8. Set up East and West Germany as separate states in spite of Khrushchev's promise in 1955 to settle the German question by free elections under supervision of the U.N.

9. Prolong the conferences to ban atomic tests because the United States has agreed to suspend tests as long as negotiations are in progress.

10. Allow all Soviet satellites individual representation in the U.N.

11. Promote the U.N. as the only hope for mankind. If its charter is rewritten, demand that it be set up as a one-world government with its own independent armed forces. (Some Communist leaders believe the world can be taken over as easily by the U.N. as by Moscow. Sometimes these two centers compete with each other as they are now doing in the Congo.)

12. Resist any attempt to outlaw the Communist Party.

13. Do away with all loyalty oaths.

14. Continue giving Russia access to the U.S. Patent Office.

15. Capture one or both of the political parties in the United States.



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Reply 10 - Posted by: steph_gray, 10/18/2012 8:23:24 AM     (No. 8941869)

One of the skills I developed at a challenging but wildly leftist college was speed-reading.

This stood me in good stead four years later when a friend recommended both the Fountainhead and Atlas. The first was good but the second was spectacular, and I read it in one long weekend to start. Because of the nature of speed reading this means it's important to go back and re-read more slowly to absorb more. So I did, practically every year since - I believe I've read the whole thing more than 30 times now - and it never disappoints.

The poster who mentioned the sticky notes is entirely correct. Page after page today really does seem "ripped from the headlines." I do applaud Alicia for the Cliff Notes approach but it can never quite express to the reader the enjoyment I've had over the book's most pivotal and exciting moments. The movies are better than the Cliff Notes in my opinion, because they tell the story more sharply in far broader but still creative and clever strokes. The first is now on DVD and the second in theaters. Rent or buy the first and then go see the second, and bring an undecided voter or two. The story won't be done in time for November 6 - but then follow up with the end of the Cliff Notes! It's all entirely worth it...

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Reply 11 - Posted by: Immanuel Goldstein, 10/18/2012 8:23:40 AM     (No. 8941871)

Atlas Shrugged is the most badly written great novel of all time. It's ideas about the superiority of capitalism and reason are timeless. But the writing, in places, is simply god awful. I think that the ideal audience for Atlas Shrugged is intelligent teen aged girls. The book is a thousand pages long Harlequin Romance. It's a bodice ripper, interspersed with lectures on economics. The main character, Dagney Taggert has her choice of a group of intellectual super men, titans of industry, all of whom have no other love interests other than her because no other woman measures up to her. She is Ayn Rand's personal fantasy life put to page. Other than that, it is a great and important book.

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Reply 12 - Posted by: TruthandJustice, 10/18/2012 8:26:18 AM     (No. 8941878)



16. Use technical decisions of the courts to weaken basic American institutions by claiming their activities violate civil rights.

17. Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers' associations. Put the party line in textbooks.

18. Gain control of all student newspapers.

19. Use student riots to foment public protests against programs or organizations which are under Communist attack.

20. Infiltrate the press. Get control of book-review assignments, editorial writing, policymaking positions.

21. Gain control of key positions in radio, TV, and motion pictures.

22. Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all forms of artistic expression. An American Communist cell was told to "eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings, substitute shapeless, awkward and meaningless forms."

23. Control art critics and directors of art museums. "Our plan is to promote ugliness, repulsive, meaningless art."

24. Eliminate all laws governing obscenity by calling them "censorship" and a violation of free speech and free press.

25. Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio, and TV.

26. Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as "normal, natural, healthy."

27. Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with "social" religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity which does not need a "religious crutch."

28. Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the ground that it violates the principle of "separation of church and state."

29. Discredit the American Constitution by calling it inadequate, old-fashioned, out of step with modern needs, a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis.

30. Discredit the American Founding Fathers. Present them as selfish aristocrats who had no concern for the "common man."



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Reply 13 - Posted by: JLoophole, 10/18/2012 8:29:40 AM     (No. 8941887)

When I finally buckled down and read it about 2 years ago, I couldn't put it down. It was as though I was reading current events in 1940s (? can't remember the decade) clothes. For the life of me, I cannot remember a word she vastly overuses throughout, but I do remember her prophetic words and the concept that freedom to excel is what drives America and makes it so unique.

As to her atheism or agnosticism or whatever it was... It may be distracting in a way for those of us who believe in God, but it shouldn't be a deterrent to reading the book. There is so much in there that is worthy of understanding. I would put it on my list of best.

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Reply 14 - Posted by: thelmalou, 10/18/2012 8:30:13 AM     (No. 8941889)

HA! Thank you, Alicia!!! I'm so glad I'm not the only person who hasn't been able to wade through this book!!! I have always felt like such a dork for getting so bogged down. I think I shall try again using #10's speed reading technique. I don't usually use it on books like that, but perhaps that will help me get through it.


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Reply 15 - Posted by: TruthandJustice, 10/18/2012 8:30:21 AM     (No. 8941890)


31. Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history on the ground that it was only a minor part of the "big picture." Give more emphasis to Russian history since the Communists took over.

32. Support any socialist movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture--education, social agencies, welfare programs, mental health clinics, etc.

33. Eliminate all laws or procedures which interfere with the operation of the Communist apparatus.

34. Eliminate the House Committee on Un-American Activities.

35. Discredit and eventually dismantle the FBI.

36. Infiltrate and gain control of more unions.

37. Infiltrate and gain control of big business.

38. Transfer some of the powers of arrest from the police to social agencies. Treat all behavioral problems as psychiatric disorders which no one but psychiatrists can understand [or treat].

39. Dominate the psychiatric profession and use mental health laws as a means of gaining coercive control over those who oppose Communist goals.

40. Discredit the family as an institution. Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce.

41. Emphasize the need to raise children away from the negative influence of parents. Attribute prejudices, mental blocks and retarding of children to suppressive influence of parents.

42. Create the impression that violence and insurrection are legitimate aspects of the American tradition; that students and special-interest groups should rise up and use ["]united force["] to solve economic, political or social problems.

43. Overthrow all colonial governments before native populations are ready for self-government.

44. Internationalize the Panama Canal.

45. Repeal the Connally reservation so the United States cannot prevent the World Court from seizing jurisdiction [over domestic problems. Give the World Court jurisdiction] over nations and individuals alike.

These goals 1-45...have OBAMA written all over them

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Reply 16 - Posted by: Grace Veritas, 10/18/2012 8:36:51 AM     (No. 8941906)

Rand is admirable for the prescient political analysis. But for me the hypocrisy of Rand's "objectivism" is seen in her refusal to apply it to sex. On the one hand, bedding Dagny Taggart is the holy grail (just about every heroic male in AS discovers it), but on the other there are no clues offered in AS's hundreds of pages about where babies come from (to name just one of several objective observations one could make about sex). IOW, Rand was an objectivist when it came to politics/economics and a fantasist when it came to sex. I suspect the latter emotionally-based value was the driving force behind her atheism, Christianity insisting on a more wholistic and objective view of sex.

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Reply 17 - Posted by: Passion, 10/18/2012 8:38:11 AM     (No. 8941914)

Rand was clearly prophetic. Atheist, so totally unaware of the source of her gifting, but prophetic nonehteless. Written in the mid 50's, Atlas Shrugged shows she understood today's Democrat party better than todays Republican party understands it.

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Reply 18 - Posted by: Rather Read, 10/18/2012 8:40:35 AM     (No. 8941920)

I'm not a Randian but I do give her credit for some good ideas. But Lord, she was a plodding writer.

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Reply 19 - Posted by: TrueBlueWfan, 10/18/2012 8:55:00 AM     (No. 8941978)

I read the book almost 20 years ago, and was blown away by how prescient Ayn Rand was.

One major thing she taught me was that when you hear a politician say "it's for the greater good" run like there's no tomorrow because it means they're coming for you.

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Reply 20 - Posted by: Seething Citizen, 10/18/2012 8:57:57 AM     (No. 8941992)

I read it a few years ago. I was amazed, reading it and then watching the news unfold. And this written in 1957.

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Reply 21 - Posted by: FunOne, 10/18/2012 8:58:20 AM     (No. 8941993)

If Romndy / Ryan fail to be elected next month, the day after the election a new bumper sticker will go on my SUV"

"Galt / Taggert - 2016.

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Reply 22 - Posted by: country boy, 10/18/2012 9:04:03 AM     (No. 8942017)

I read that book years ago (1975?). Couldn't put it down. Finished it in maybe 6 nights (all nighters). We have a copy here. Might pick it up again (probably need stronger reading glasses though)

Amazon has paperback, kindle and used available. If you never read it, treat yourself.

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Reply 23 - Posted by: gerty, 10/18/2012 9:06:40 AM     (No. 8942024)

Thank you, Alicia!

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Reply 24 - Posted by: blackops, 10/18/2012 9:07:08 AM     (No. 8942029)

I started reading AS for the second time this past January. I am 75% through it, it is a slow read but chock full of memorable passages. The movies are ok but probably never could do justice to this masterpiece. It is as if Ayn Rand saw Obama coming down the pike way back then. We are at the edge of the cliff and about to either make this book a reality or turn back and reclaim our liberty. Alicia Colon always does a nice column.


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Reply 25 - Posted by: skedaddle, 10/18/2012 9:13:29 AM     (No. 8942051)

I hate to tell Alicia but you don't have to buy Cliff Notes books; they're all online for free. And even though the book can be plodding, I managed to read it in its entirety without a problem but I guess we all have to start somewhere.

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Reply 26 - Posted by: asu86pe, 10/18/2012 9:26:51 AM     (No. 8942087)

As much as I enjoy a good read and support for my own struggle as an individual in this system, I oppose A.Rand's assertion that government alone is guilty of taking my rights. I gave many away by choice.

Example:
I choose to give away my right to oppose the government with automatic weapons and this means no one else can also; I think that's a good thing. But that waters down the veracity of my vote and that's a bad thing.

I balance this moral dilemma of a weakened vote for not dying in a presumed spray of 45's with greed; yes greed! Knowing my opponents do not legally carry automatic weapons means I can forcibly oppose my opponents without a fear of a superior opposing weapon; I accept a survivable hit I presume.

Of course I do not ever wish to front anyone with a loaded firearm nor do I expect to be confronted by firearms in business because I also couple my knowledge with faith and with the knowledge of law enforcement forces, the court system, and the government to force my will through legal contracts and my wizardry to stay ahead of my opponents; I call this GREED.

If I play greed straight, I can call down the "angels of government" to relieve me of a "cheating" opponent.

So sometimes government is good; sad to say.

I just hate it when government "takes the best and taxes the rest!"

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Reply 27 - Posted by: StormCnter, 10/18/2012 9:34:05 AM     (No. 8942112)

I'm with Ms. Colon. I've tried to read the Rand book and failed. It's not as if I haven't read ponderous novels before, either. Life is too short to wade through a book I'm not enjoying. So, I'll take others' word for the import of "Atlas Shrugged".

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Reply 28 - Posted by: msliberty1937, 10/18/2012 9:34:09 AM     (No. 8942113)

Looters - Producers. Make your choice. It should be simple.

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Reply 29 - Posted by: JAN, 10/18/2012 9:35:44 AM     (No. 8942120)

Many of America's industrialists have already gone Galt.

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Reply 30 - Posted by: FamilyGuy, 10/18/2012 9:36:38 AM     (No. 8942123)

Atlas Shrugged is a tremendous book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Even those 40+ page soliloquies were no trouble to get through. Everyone has already complained about the religious/sexual aspect, so I'll go on to another issue I have with the book.

As good and prophetic as the book is, it's a little too black and white as far as government is bad and industry is good. It seemed that none of the industrialists were all that interested in profits, only in building their businesses. Everyone can look to Enron, etc. and see that profits can cloud an industrialist's mind. Her points were all valid, but she should have covered this one big hole in her armor. The lefties in this country can sort of disregard her valid message by stating that her treatment of all industrialists as angels is not reality.

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Reply 31 - Posted by: Felixcat, 10/18/2012 9:39:22 AM     (No. 8942131)

Ironic that Alicia would celebrate the accomplishments of Bill Gates, Zuckerberg, Jobs, etc and they all supported or continue to support OBama...

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Reply 32 - Posted by: catfur27, 10/18/2012 9:46:37 AM     (No. 8942151)

..good point #31

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Reply 33 - Posted by: WAN2, 10/18/2012 9:48:02 AM     (No. 8942155)

Um, you cannot remove atheism from Rand's focus since she believed religion takes away one's ability to be objective.

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Reply 34 - Posted by: tatterdemalion, 10/18/2012 9:49:12 AM     (No. 8942160)

Waiting for our Libertarian friends to start yelling, "Yes, The world is ending, but Republicans are bad too!"

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Reply 35 - Posted by: O.S. Banker, 10/18/2012 10:06:11 AM     (No. 8942221)

In re: 30 & 31,

The thing to remember is that once an industry is established with a dominant player, the players look to government to protect their dominance. That is why you see those cited individuals supporting a government expansionist like Obama.

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Reply 36 - Posted by: JonBoy54, 10/18/2012 10:09:04 AM     (No. 8942232)

There is a commonality between Ayn Rand's philosophy and Christianity in that both center on the individual and both stress the unique importance of mankind in the universe.

They should be natural allies, as contemporary liberalism is collectivist and considers humanity a stain on the environment.



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Reply 37 - Posted by: RancherJack, 10/18/2012 10:17:51 AM     (No. 8942268)

A writer from Ireland lectures America on the sanctity of freedom and free enterprise

This ... is how far down the crapper the 535 men and women of Congress have taken America.

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Reply 38 - Posted by: John318, 10/18/2012 10:33:46 AM     (No. 8942321)

How sad that so many people would spend so much time and devotion to books written by an atheist. (Sure, even a stop clock is right twice a day) I wonder how much time these same people spend in reading the "inspired by God" Bible where real truth is found.

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Reply 39 - Posted by: FormerDem, 10/18/2012 10:37:33 AM     (No. 8942333)

Yeah, I get the impression that why Obama wants to tax the rich is he just doesn't want other centers of power. Nothing to do with a budget for helping the poor. That's just for idiots to believe.

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Reply 40 - Posted by: secondtimelucky, 10/18/2012 10:42:09 AM     (No. 8942356)

I picked up and put down this book probably 6 times - 20 years ago. Maybe 2 years ago I finally read it thru.

Alicia isn't FROM Ireland, 37. She's a New Yorker who happens to write for the Irish Examiner USA...

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Reply 41 - Posted by: cheeflo, 10/18/2012 10:49:27 AM     (No. 8942377)

#37 -- I believe Ms. Colon lives in New York City. She writes for the NY Sun, Breitbart's various online sites, and the Irish Examiner.

#7 -- I think her point was that one's emotions should reflect one's values, and those values are determined by rational consideration. Emotions are a response, not a guide.

#26 -- not sure what point you're making. Rand acknowledges the proper role of limited government in many of her works. She's not an anarchist.

#30 -- She was portraying a government that had power far beyond what is appropriate in order to make her point about collectivism. And there were numerous corrupt industrialists portrayed -- crony capitalists -- who were interested only in profits without earning them. The heroes of the story saw the profits as an appropriate reward for their efforts and made no apologies for being rich.

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Reply 42 - Posted by: Bad Dog, 10/18/2012 11:00:49 AM     (No. 8942420)

With all due respect, #38, why do you presume they two are usually exclusively......that only one or the other could be read, understood, followed, and promoted....? Please expand....not your comments here, but your own horizons. Both tomes are necessary at this time in our history...our country is at stake.

And great thanks to the poster who submitted the 45 goals of communism. These goals were read into the Congressional Record in 1963 by a Florida Senator. It can be found in its entirety on Scribd.com with a simple search on their search engine.

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Reply 43 - Posted by: cheeflo, 10/18/2012 11:05:39 AM     (No. 8942436)

I've read Atlas Shrugged several times -- I think it's a terrific mystery story and its ideas are important. It was the book that made me begin to really think about altruism and collectivism and their pernicious effects on society. I still love this book.

#11 -- In The Romantic Manifesto she "asserts that one cannot create art without infusing a given work with one's own value judgments and personal philosophy" (from the Wikipedia entry).

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Reply 44 - Posted by: Bad Dog, 10/18/2012 11:06:11 AM     (No. 8942439)

'mutually exclusive'....darn auto-correct. Typing to L.com on phone....apologies. This subject is just too enticing!

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Reply 45 - Posted by: Maybeth, 10/18/2012 11:10:48 AM     (No. 8942457)

Although I understand the possible dilemma of those who have not read the book, Atlas Shrugged is worth the time. As I have posted before, it helped me get through a.m. feedings of a nighttime baby ... first reading. Since then, I have reread the book twice.
.... I am guilty, however, skimming through Galt's radio speech during ther 2nd and 3rd readings.

I would imagine many have taken a look at the book's size and became disillusioned. I get that, as it's the reason I never read the 1200+ pages of War and Peace.

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Reply 46 - Posted by: woofwoofwoof, 10/18/2012 11:21:41 AM     (No. 8942501)

I don't get a journalist who writes for a living, who can't get into reading Atlas Shrugged, it's amazingly well written, whatever you think of the ultimate message.

It is longer than a tweet, I suppose that could be part of the problem.

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Reply 47 - Posted by: drbulb, 10/18/2012 11:23:42 AM     (No. 8942510)

Poster 26 said:

"I gave many away by choice.

Example:
I choose to give away my right to oppose the government with automatic weapons and this means no one else can also; I think that's a good thing."

Well, I don't and didn't and legally own several fully automatic weapons. Might want to try a different example, and please stop giving away MY rights...


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Reply 48 - Posted by: peterfleming, 10/18/2012 11:24:07 AM     (No. 8942512)

Cogratulations to Lucianne for making this news ! Truth IS news! Colon's review is refreshing, a new invitation to the book.
Her reference to Andrew Bernstein's CLIFF NOTES is brilliant. What better way to test this 1,168 page book than in synopsis form.
Totally great idea never discussed before in memory. The key to all collectivists, that is, communist seekers, is AGITATION and DISRUPTION, the OPPOSITE of harmonious cooperation found in free market capitalism
Imagine going into your favorite restaurant that you have enjoyed for years, and suddenly someone, or a group, are agitating and loudly complaining in an obviously pre-
planned manner. That's Communism! Agitate, disrupt. Truth and Justice details some of it above. CLEON SKOUSEN lists FORTY FIVE points identifying Communism in his 1950's classic, THE NAKED COMMUNIST. And the surprise IS that the 45 points are listed in WIKIPEDIA. Totally timeless and fascinating. That is the disruptive, no help
only agitating trouble making commie organizer we have in the current Imposter In Chief. What a fraud with the fondling phony newscasters adoring every bad word he lies. The Diane Sawyers of TV's Mafia Media
are aiding and abetting the communization of this great country, and they're all doing it in lockstep, very nazi-like, all spouting exactly the same poison at the same time. The Benghazi stonewall and the total failure of his debating skills without
the teleprompter must have wakened millions
from their stupor. ATLAS SHRUGGED is proof
of the timeless value of books. Once published and widely distributed throughout the country, unlike e books, they can never be changed by Google Cisco Amazon tyrants,
The thrilling extra value of ATLAS SHRUGGED
is in the permanancy of millions of copies
everywhere.

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Reply 49 - Posted by: M2, 10/18/2012 11:28:15 AM     (No. 8942521)

#33 excellent point.

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Reply 50 - Posted by: jimincalif, 10/18/2012 11:40:07 AM     (No. 8942581)

I've read Atlas twice and consider myself a fan. That said, it's a shame Ms. Rand did not work with a really strong editor. The book would be more influential if it was an easier read.

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Reply 51 - Posted by: integrity7, 10/18/2012 12:04:25 PM     (No. 8942637)

Have not read it, but have heard and read much about it.

I agree with the expressed notion that the Bible and Rand's book both focus on the individual. This is a crucial bond the two books share. And collectivism is a mortal enemy of that individual focus.

The collectivists are to be greatly feared. From Cambodia to Mao's China and Russia's Stalin to Che and Fidel's Cuba and on and on.

Radical Islamism is also collectivist to the core, and shares much in common with Facism from the 30's and 40's.

What I think about Americans falling for this in our day is...some have and will, but to me the good news is that individualism is to an extent baked into American's DNA. We love choices, the more the better. We want to choose from a vast array of them in every area of life.

Whether people understand it or not, that helps immunize them from the Obama types when THEY go all extreme on us.

See: stories on young school students absolutely rebelling against the Mrs. Obama's food edicts, while they are being fed all that collectivist propaganda from their teachers.



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Reply 52 - Posted by: Pete Stone, 10/18/2012 12:28:23 PM     (No. 8942708)

No. 11 is spot on. It's a bodice-ripper, and John Galt is Dagny's Fabio.

The real hero of the book is the idea of individual freedom and the superiority of capitalism. The human characters are mostly cartoonish, but they are the supporting cast anyway.


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Reply 53 - Posted by: frenesi1, 10/18/2012 12:55:57 PM     (No. 8942803)

I read this book 40 years ago and wondered if I would ever finish. However, I once I got into it, I could not put it down. It was well worth it.

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Reply 54 - Posted by: sunsetclub, 10/18/2012 1:50:36 PM     (No. 8943023)

OMG #11 you nailed it! I first read the book when I was 14. A thousand page long Harlequin Romance!! Too funny! But TRUE. I have read it several times since then, and it gets harder each time to see that the writing is very sophomoric and dragging on in parts (many parts). Still, a great message that has such relevance today. Read it! Skip parts if you have to, but get the message!

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Reply 55 - Posted by: LadyVet, 10/18/2012 2:14:41 PM     (No. 8943105)

#37, Alica is not Irish. She is red-white-and-blue American and lives on Staten Island, married to a Marine, if I recall correctly. And she is a poster on Lucianne. The Irish Examiner just has the good fortune that she publishes through them.

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Reply 56 - Posted by: Marzipan, 10/18/2012 2:39:24 PM     (No. 8943203)

#27, get the audio book from the library and listen. It is omniscient (sp??) I listened to it 2 years ago and could not stop posting, Who is John Galt? The book daunted me but the audio was fantastic. Thank you Mrs. Rand.

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Reply 57 - Posted by: mickturn, 10/18/2012 3:19:23 PM     (No. 8943335)

Hopefully the Licianne staff will agree this link is of benefit to all. Seeing the movies in order is a great benefit to close the loop on the characters, especially the dastardly govt. officials that are basically dictators!

http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/literature/Atlas-Shrugged-Book-Summary.id-7,pageNum-1.html

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Reply 58 - Posted by: Timber Queen, 10/18/2012 4:05:06 PM     (No. 8943473)

I've read it twice in the last ten years. The last time after Obama's immaculation.

The lasting lesson I learned from Atlas was the importance of resistance: Don't give the collectivists your approval. Speak up and be loud because they take silence as consent. They need "consensus" to salve their aching consciences.

Rand's atheism never bothered me, only made me feel sorry for her. So many aspects regarding individualism mirror the message of Scripture. She was much closer to religiousity than she realized. Many belong to Christ who don't necessarily belong to the church.

I never

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Reply 59 - Posted by: Sayit, 10/18/2012 4:12:54 PM     (No. 8943493)

#50- Calm down. Obama has not won anything. Nor will he.

Through the smoke and mirrors....look closely...

"On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave" ~ The Star-Spangled Banner

It's going to be ok Cricket.

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Reply 60 - Posted by: TrueBlueWfan, 10/18/2012 4:24:50 PM     (No. 8943534)

#50 - please don't forget that many in that 47% don't like being there and are mad as all get-out about it. They will vote for Romney.

I'm thinking this will be a big win - knock wood!

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Reply 61 - Posted by: clayusmcret, 10/18/2012 4:43:32 PM     (No. 8943589)

I understand how she felt about trying to read Atlas Shrugged. It took me an entire year to finally read it all. I wholeheartedly recommend getting it on a Nook or eReader or whatever you might have. That's how I finally got through the second half.

Today's headlines rang out in every new law, every new corruption of America's values and Founder's intent throughout the book. It was extremely disheartening to repeatedly ask myself "How they have allowed themselves to get in that position?", and then see the very same issue in its early stage on the news.

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Reply 62 - Posted by: JLoophole, 10/18/2012 5:18:54 PM     (No. 8943674)

#33...with all due respect, Some religions DO take away a person's ability to be objective. Radical islam, anyone? How about that nutcase preacher who pickets military funerals in the name of God? Doesn't he call himself a baptist? How about the polygamous mormon cults where there is absolutely no objectivity, and child abuse is allowed under the name of God?

True Christianity is freedom. But Ayn Rand cannot be blamed for saying religion takes away objectivity. If she saw it in the way that I see any of the above religions, then she was absolutely right.

When I read the books, at first I felt a little offended by her attitude toward the church and God. As I got into the book, I felt sorry for her, that she didn't know God and couldn't see that man's mind was made in the image of God, but oddly, at the same time, I didn't feel that her attitude toward religion detracted from the bottom line message. In fact, I would say that it made me more aware, really of just how amazing the mind of man is, and how freedom is what allows that mind to fully blossom.

I love Ayn Rand discussions. =)

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Reply 63 - Posted by: peterfleming, 10/18/2012 5:54:12 PM     (No. 8943748)

There is a wealth of written, printed material by Ayn Rand. Having been in her sphere for most of this life, start with pamphlet FAITH AND FORCE. It relates to all the above religious comment and tells us that throughout history, the priests told the flocks what was wrong, what arbitrary horrors were coming beforehand, set it all up so to speak, then the ruler monarchs come in with the armed forces and commit the crimes against the peasants that the church warned were coming. Hitler had Goebells to do the dirty early warning Nazi work. We have the Diane Sawyers to set the scene for political criminals to run rampant. And worse, cover for them, make excuses for them AFTER they have committed their horrifying crimes. FAITH and FORCE.
Look for the vast other smaller materials of
Ayn Rand

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Reply 64 - Posted by: Hugh Akston, 10/18/2012 5:56:29 PM     (No. 8943755)

As with J, I always like the Rand threads. First read Atlas in 1974, then reread it during the summer of 2005. Read The Fountainhead also back in the 70's. Couple of years ago I reread The Fountainhead and also read We The People, her first novel. Must have been a masochist, I read them back to back. We The People is not as long as Atlas, but it's more than Fountainhead. For something completely different than her multi-page, plodding, descriptive prose, read Anthem. Very short and absolutely no description. Minimalist writing. Just naked characters with no descriptive narrative, but still the individual vs the collective.

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Reply 65 - Posted by: Coach Springer, 10/18/2012 6:24:16 PM     (No. 8943814)

I wanted to support the Part II movie and just got back. I expected to like it, but it went better than that. They could have used a few more dollars in the budget for graphics and effects is all.

It's amazingly scary to see such outlandish government behavior in fiction and realize it's so closely related to "you didn't build that", a series of real outrages based on government manipulation of the public good, and a bunch of takers justify their taking problems that they caused. It comes through in the movie clearly. If we stay on the socialist media-based path, the outrageous exaggeration of this fiction will be topped by reality.

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Reply 66 - Posted by: Caveman, 10/18/2012 7:44:54 PM     (No. 8944000)

Correction to #66's post.
Her first novel was ''We the living''


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Reply 67 - Posted by: Caveman, 10/18/2012 7:46:40 PM     (No. 8944004)

Have read the novel 3 times. Gets better every time.
Just loaned one of my copies to a friend.


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Reply 68 - Posted by: agrippa123, 10/18/2012 8:22:29 PM     (No. 8944069)

A few years ago two couple friends of ours from different circles were over for dinner, when the wife of one couple and the husband of the other, each exceptionally successful, credited AS with turning their lives around. I was intrigued as I'd never heard of Rand, and I devoured the book. Sorry to cast personal aspersions, but anyone who describes AS as a "bodice-ripper" was given their brain by mistake. The hypothalamus and spinal cord would have sufficed.
I disagree with Rand's rejection of God and Christianity, as did her philosophical mentor, Isabel Paterson. But I strongly urge anyone who found value in AS to read Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, to get explicit explanations of some of the philosophy captured in Rand's opus.

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Reply 69 - Posted by: 4Justice, 10/18/2012 8:39:55 PM     (No. 8944100)

I read AS about 23 years ago, after I read The Fountainhead. Yes, it was hard for me to get into her writing at first--especially in TF when she'd go on and on about architechtural history and details...ugh. But eventually, I couldn't put the books down. I loved the political, sociological and economic commentary that I overlooked the silly views on sex and some of the harsher consequences of objectivism. I also read Anthem. I'd love to read them all again. I can't imagine doing the cliff notes version though. Though she had a problem with man-made religion, Rand also recognized the communist godlessness was worse. I think this was a personal struggle for her.

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Reply 70 - Posted by: bubber, 10/18/2012 8:40:25 PM     (No. 8944101)

I think it was Whitaker Chambers, who reviewed the book when it came out, said it would have been a better book if she had ripped out every other page...he might have been right...

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Reply 71 - Posted by: Penney, 10/18/2012 8:50:51 PM     (No. 8944123)

What a great discussion. ...This thread is a MUST READ!

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Reply 72 - Posted by: BorninOKC, 10/18/2012 9:01:38 PM     (No. 8944139)

For a quantitative approach, reaD Friedrich August von Hayek's ROAD TO SERFDOM.

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Reply 73 - Posted by: Italiano, 10/18/2012 9:09:12 PM     (No. 8944152)

Many critics falsely claim that Rand is advocating "greed" as the prime motivation for her protagonists. Don't fall for it. What Rand is advocating is what she termed "rational self-interest." Big difference. And if you can't get through the entire book, read the parts about the "21st Century Motor Company." You'll recognize it, and others like it.

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Reply 74 - Posted by: cheeflo, 10/18/2012 9:35:43 PM     (No. 8944190)

That's right, #72, for The National Review. It was a hatchet job. I doubt he even read the book. William F. Buckley never did.

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Reply 75 - Posted by: Rusino, 10/18/2012 10:40:35 PM     (No. 8944343)

I read it a few monts ago. Ayn Rand was a Seer. We need to take heed of her warning!

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Reply 76 - Posted by: Hugh Akston, 10/18/2012 11:30:05 PM     (No. 8944458)

Thank you 68. Duh. Given my poster name you would think I would remember that. Some think We the Living was semi autobiographic fiction.

I will now go to the blackboard - remember those - and write We the Living 100 times.

Mea culpa. Had just woken up from a nap in a hospital waiting area when I posted.

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Reply 77 - Posted by: Caveman, 10/19/2012 12:02:53 AM     (No. 8944532)

You are welcome.
And it is quite alright.
Thought maybe you had been smoking too many cigarettes with $ on them. Hehe.

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Reply 78 - Posted by: msjena, 10/19/2012 12:22:06 AM     (No. 8944573)

Atlas Shrugged is a great and prophetic book for its ideas on economic freedom but I have to agree that Rand's writing and the rest of her philosophy leave much to be desired. The book is part bodice-ripper, part science fiction, part philosophy and part actual story-telling. It certainly has its moments and even humor (Wesley Mouch--what a great name) but if I had to listen to John Galt's interminable speech in real life, I would seriously have thoughts of suicide. I actually prefer the Fountainhead to Atlas because, although Rand overdoes it in that book, too, Howard Roark is a fully-developed and memorable character. Most of the characters in Atlas are either cardboard figures or so unlikeable (including Dagny) that they are not really believable.

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Sunk: Climate change threatens to
flood world´s largest Navy base
warns Gov. Terry McAuliffe

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Washington Examiner, by Paul Bedard    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 4/11/2014 4:08:01 PM     Post Reply
Recently elected Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is warning that global warming could raise sea levels high enough to flood the Hampton Roads region, home to the world´s largest naval base, without immediate and “smart decisions.” Addressing an environmental summit this week at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Va., McAuliffe embraced climate change, blamed humans for causing it, and said action is needed now to protect Virginia´s coast from rising ocean levels that will result from global warming. “The first big decision of course is to accept that climate change is real,” he told the group. “I happen to believe in

The five extra words that can
fix the Second Amendment

31 replie(s)
Washington Post, by John Paul Stevens    Original Article
Posted By: Dreadnought- 4/11/2014 10:35:30 PM     Post Reply
Following the massacre of grammar-school children in Newtown, Conn., in December 2012, high-powered weapons have been used to kill innocent victims in more senseless public incidents. Those killings, however, are only a fragment of the total harm caused by the misuse of firearms. Each year, more than 30,000 people die in the United States in firearm-related incidents. Many of those deaths involve handguns. The adoption of rules that will lessen the number of those incidents should be a matter of primary concern to both federal and state legislators. Legislatures are in a far better position than judges to assess the

Stephen Colbert to replace Letterman
26 replie(s)
Entertainment Magazine, by James Hibbard    Original Article
Posted By: drive- 4/10/2014 12:10:39 PM     Post Reply
Official: Stephen Colbert is the new host of CBS’ Late Show. Release: The CBS Television Network today announced that Stephen Colbert, the host, writer and executive producer of the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning “The Colbert Report,” will succeed David Letterman as the host of THE LATE SHOW, effective when Mr. Letterman retires from the broadcast. The five-year agreement between CBS and Colbert was announced by Leslie Moonves, President and CEO, CBS Corporation, and Nina Tassler, Chairman of CBS Entertainment. Letterman, the legendary, critically acclaimed host of the CBS late night series for 21 years, announced his retirement on his April 3 broadcast. Colbert’s

Global solar dominance in sight
as science trumps fossil fuels

26 replie(s)
Telegraph [UK], by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 4/10/2014 6:08:54 PM     Post Reply
Solar power has won the global argument. Photovoltaic energy is already so cheap that it competes with oil, diesel and liquefied natural gas in much of Asia without subsidies. Roughly 29pc of electricity capacity added in America last year came from solar, rising to 100pc even in Massachusetts and Vermont.[Snip] The technology is improving so fast--helped by the US military--that it has achieved a virtous circle. Michael Parker and Flora Chang, at Sanford Bernstein, say we entering a new order of "global energy deflation" that must ineluctably erode the viability of oil, gas and the fossil fuel nexus over time.

The IRS Scandal Comes Into Focus
26 replie(s)
Wall Street Journal, by Kimberley A. Strassel    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 4/11/2014 6:33:53 AM     Post Reply
Nearly a year into the IRS scandal, we still don´t know exactly what happened—though we are finally getting an inkling. That´s thanks to the letter House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp sent this week to the Justice Department recommending a criminal probe of Lois Lerner. The average citizen might be dizzied by the torrent of confusing terms—BOLO lists, Tigta, 501(c)(4)—and the array of accusations that have made up this IRS investigation. Mr. Camp´s letter takes a step back to remind us why this matters, even as it provides compelling new information that goes to motive and method—and clarifies some of

Jeb Bush defends ‘act of love’
26 replie(s)
Politico, by Maggie Haberman    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 4/11/2014 12:53:18 PM     Post Reply
STAMFORD, Conn. — Jeb Bush defended his controversial comments about immigration reform, insisting they were nothing new for him and urging “sensitivity to the immigrant experience.” At a Connecticut Republican party dinner Thursday night, the former Republican governor of Florida did not repeat his remarks from last weekend at his father’s presidential library, when he said that people who come to the United States illegally in search of a better life for their children “broke the law, but it’s not a felony. It’s an act of love.” This time the potential 2016 candidate put it differently. “To be young and

Pelosi: Immigration law
like internment of Japanese

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Daily Caller, by Neil Munro    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 4/10/2014 3:42:16 PM     Post Reply
The deportation of foreigners living illegally in the United States is similar to the forced internment of ethnic-Japanese Americans in World War II, according to Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. “I’ll be very honest with you: Looking at the numbers at some point, in terms of how people are treated and deported and families separated and the rest, this has a scent of Japanese internment,” Pelosi told a Politico reporter. “It’s really a black mark,” said Pelosi. Roughly 110,000 ethnic-Japanese immigrants and their American children were detained during World War II after Japan’s sneak attack on Americans in Pearl Harbor. Pelosi also urged Obama


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