- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 14, 2009

Maggie goes Roark

Maggie Simpson had a rare, extended speaking role in the latest episode of “The Simpsons” in which she played a mini-version of Ayn Rand’s “Fountainhead” character, beloved by right-wingers, Howard Roark.

“Maggie Roark” was tormented in the episode by a tyrannical teacher named Ellsworth Toohey, the main antagonist in the novel, who quashes her brilliant building block constructions. After Mr. Toohey sentences her with “nine consecutive time outs” for her continuing to build her magnificent creations, Maggie rises to deliver a speech, voiced by actress Jodie Foster.

“Throughout the ages, the finger painter, the Play-Doh sculptor, the Lincoln Logger stood alone against the day care teacher of her time,” Maggie Roark declares. “She did not live to earn approval stamps. She lived for herself, that she might achieve things that are the glory of all humanity. These are my terms; I do not care to play by any others. And now, if the court will allow me, it’s nap time.”

Ms. Rand’s supporters were pleased with the reference, but not surprised the Simpson writers chose to make it.

“Ayn Rand’s name has never left the popular culture and it is very much part of it again,” said Ed Hudgins, director of advocacy for the Atlas Society, a group that promotes Ms. Rand’s objectivist ideals. “We see in ‘Atlas Shrugged’ and in ‘The Fountainhead’ the fight between the philosophy and ethics of true individualism versus the philosophy of collectivism, which is very much playing out in politics today.

“The Simpsons were correct to point out the ‘collectives’ are the ones who believe in equality, which means if you stand on your own in any way you have to be slapped down and that’s exactly what the [Obama] administration is doing.

“Anyone who produces more than anyone else must be taxed and regulated. If you do a poor job you must be subsidized!”

Don’t blame Yahoo

Yahoo won’t be taking any responsibility for what Cecilia Barnes’ bad ex-boyfriend did to her on the Internet.

The 52-year-old woman’s complaint against Yahoo for allowing her ex to post naked photos of her on the Internet in a fake online profile and then directing sex-seeking men to contact her directly was turned down by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The man included the Portland woman’s home address, e-mail, telephone numbers and place of employment in the profile,which were used by several men who contacted Ms. Barnes expecting to have sex with her. She wrote three letters to Yahoo asking for the profile to be removed, but the Internet service provider didn’t take it down until after reporters started calling Yahoo to ask about Ms. Barnes’ case.

Ms. Barnes was suing Yahoo for $3 million, which was not awarded to her.

The court did say, however, that Ms. Barnes could take another form of action against Yahoo. The ruling said she could justifiably sue over “breach of contract” and not stopping “dangerous, cruel, and highly indecent” use of their products.

“Contract liability here would come not from Yahoo’s publishing conduct, but from Yahoo’s manifest intention to be legally obligated to do something, which happens to be removal of material from publication,” the ruling said.

Tea party 2.0

Two Republican governors will attempt to keep the “tea party” movement alive by holding a Tea Party 2.0 teleconference Thursday evening.

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford and Texas Gov. Rick Perry are headlining the call, organized through the Republican Governors Association.

Interested parties are directed to register their names, e-mails and phone numbers at www.thegopcomeback.com in order to receive a phone call at 8:30 p.m. to dial into the conference.

Both governors are planning to offer opening statements, after which the lines will be open for questions for about an hour.

Why he did it

“I’d say your icon, my dad. These are my parents; this is a story I think I am entitled to tell. … Great people are complex people. They are probably going to be difficult at times, and that was true of my mother and father.”

- Christopher Buckley telling MSNBC host Joe Scarborough why he wrote a book containing unflattering stories about his famous parents, Pat and William F. Buckley Jr.

• Amanda Carpenter can be reached at acarpenter@washington times.com.

• Amanda Carpenter can be reached at acarpenter@washingtontimes.com.

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