A few years ago, I was sitting at a sushi bar in downtown Washington, D.C., reading a battered paperback copy of Atlas Shrugged while I munched on a California roll. The man next to me saw the cover and said, "Ah yes, Ayn Rand. Something everyone reads when they're young." He was infinitely condescending. "And sometimes even when they're older," I replied, but left it there.
  On September 12, 2004, the New York Times quoted sentencing-law expert Frank O. Bowman of Indiana University as saying: "There has not been a single case in the history of American criminal law with the immediate impact of this one." Benjamin Wittes, court commentator for the Washington Post, called the case "the single most irresponsible decision in the modern history of the Supreme Court."
Just as there is much to celebrate in the life of John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937), so is there much to loathe in the muckrakers' treatment of him. I choose a single example: the story of "the widow Backus," who inherited a small oil-refining company when her husband died in 1874.
On July 4th, we celebrate the creation of the United States of America. But today, Americans seem more divided than at any time in recent memory. What is the cause of this disunity, and is there a solution?
What does it mean in practice to hold a philosophy that declares that pristine nature has intrinsic value in itself, and that regards Man and his activities as intrusive threats to the so-called ecological balance?

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