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Bad Money

Hi, everyone. I added some friends to this blog this afternoon, friends of my alter ego... theonides. I'm afraid that blog has become a lot of "I'm stressed out and my teaching is killing me" friends-only posts, broken only occasionally with articles I find. But I also have some theists and other believers in what I consider to be medical quakery, and while these people are really nice and we have other things in common, I find that I just can't talk about certain topics without upsetting them or opening old wounds. So I've moved a lot of content over to this blog, so that I can talk about about atheist-related stuff in particular without worrying about who I might offend. So, I hope you'll reciprocate and add me back.

In any case, where was I? Oh, right, I finished listening to Atlas Shrugged a day or two ago. The crazy hours I've been keeping doesn't help my knowing what day something happened. Last night I was working at my computer until 6 a.m. I just wasn't tired. I really can't let myself take naps in the afternoon or this just gets worse and worse.

My assessment, now that I've heard the whole thing, is that I wasn't terribly impressed. I was especially unimpressed with the ending. From a literary standpoint, it was weak to say the least. And it didn't do anything to rescue it philosophically. But listening to the way Rand talks about political philosophy and watching American financial markets crash was an interesting irony because it seems certain to me that Rand would support deregulation and oppose the bail out. I actually wonder what the Objectivists on M-Atheists think of what's going on?

As an antidote to Atlas Shrugged, I put in Bad Money by Kevin Phillips, a Republican economist who wrote American Theocracy, and also about the Bush dynasty. I finished it this afternoon. The book was written late last year, and published earlier this year, and together with American Theocracy which I have talked about on this blog before, highlights a lot of things that we are beginning to see unfold right now...

This video is from when the book came out.

I can't find anything from him talking in the last week, but I guess we don't want to hear doom and gloom. Unfortunately, both his books contain a vital historical context that really left me thinking of the phrase "Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it", and from an American standpoint, that is a gloomy prospect.

I still have some more class prep to do, but I think next after this is Susan Jacoby's Age of American Unreason, and I have two books on climate change. One has lots of pictures and should go quickly. The other one is about predictions of the impact of 1-6 degrees of warming (I assume they mean Celsius degrees?).


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 18th, 2008 09:39 pm (UTC)
I liked Age of American Unreason quite a bit.

Do you recommend Bad Money? I've read American Theocracy and didn't know he had written any other books.
Sep. 18th, 2008 09:51 pm (UTC)
Yes. I'm not really into economics, but it's interesting, particularly given the current financial crisis. And that it's a Republican bashing his own party lends credence to his concerns. Some of it is out-of-date already when he talks about the Clinton dynasty and doesn't say anything about Obama. As the financial sectors collapse, though... And he makes reference to American Theocracy as well. There is some overlap in topics, but the focus here is clearly not on the religious right, but on the weakening dollar. The collapse of the American markets are not going to help at all. It's an extremely gloomy scenario. Even if only half of it comes true.
Sep. 18th, 2008 11:13 pm (UTC)
I don't know if you are interested in watching it, but Kevin Phillips will be one of the guests on tomorrow night's Bill Moyers' Journal on PBS. The episode is going to focus on the financial meltdown, what it means for Americans and how it might affect the Presidential election.

Edited at 2008-09-18 11:14 pm (UTC)
Sep. 18th, 2008 11:25 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I'll look for it.
Sep. 20th, 2008 04:34 am (UTC)
Sep. 20th, 2008 05:01 am (UTC)
I watched it, but thanks anyway.

Oh, and thank you for adding me to this journal.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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