A sign of the times, as reported
by the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights:
(via the Corner.)
Sales of Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" have almost tripled over the first seven weeks of this year compared with sales for the same period in 2008. This continues a strong trend after bookstore sales reached an all-time annual high in 2008 of about 200,000 copies sold.
If you're skeptical about figure-fudging from something named the "Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights", the Economist verifies, even providing a chart based on Amazon sales data, annotated with news events (via Viking Pundit):
Plus which, just the other day, a bum on the street asked me "Who is John Galt?"
Arnold Kling points out this post from
Office of Management and Budget Director (and blogger) Peter Orszag,
who defends the Obama proposals to cut back the deduction
for charitable donations in the upper brackets. Arnold comments precisely
If you want to predict the Obama Administration's behavior, ask yourself what policies can strengthen government and weaken the private sector. That methodology will tell you that private charities are going to come under assault. Charitable organizations offer services that compete with government. That cannot be permitted in a "progressive" state, in which all forms of civil society must be suppressed. Our country has a remarkably very strong tradition of civil society, and I expect that we can put up a good fight on the charitable deduction issue. But the fact that the Obama folks are even willing to try this is a sign of just how potent they are feeling and how impotent they think the opposition is right now.
Also relevant to that point is Jen Rubin's reaction to an Eleanor Clift comment that Obama is "saving capitalism":[Obama] is not out to "save" capitalism, but to disable it and replace it with a statist arrangement wherein the government owns banks and car companies, directs employers on how to pay and treat their employees, limits industrial output, and runs the healthcare system.
A huge fraction of the American economy is currently under political control; never mind the Barackrobatic rhetoric, Obama's goal is to increase that fraction. So if you're going over to Amazon to buy Atlas Shrugged, maybe you should toss a copy of The Road to Serfdom in your shopping cart at the same time.
I believe the key sentence in this story is:
The workers said they became suspicious when the caller then told them to urinate on each other.
[Update: Hooray! Also blogged by one of my favorite people, Dave Barry. Just knowing that the Barry fingers typed "Thanks to Paul Sand" gives me goosebumps. Or maybe that's due to the snow shoveling.]