NYC Junto Newsletter – Feb. 21, 2011

February 21, 2011


* Junto meeting March. 3
* Junto speakers through Nov.
* NEW  Trailer for “Atlas Shrugged” movie:
* NEW  “Ben Franklin’s Birthday” by Enright and LaGreca
* NEW  Objectivist debate “Gov’t: What Is Its Proper Role?”
* NEW  Many Long Island, NY, students favor Ayn Rand
* NEW  Mencken on gov’t
* NEW  Political humor from Oleg
* NEW  Larry Abrams publishes his novel
* NEW  Ayn Rand quote to celebrate her birthday
* NEW  Drawings at museum beloved by some Objectivists
* NEW  Another Ayn Rand film “We the Living”, in DVD
* NEW  New York City Ayn Rand Meetup Feb. 27
* NYCjunto website isn’t up to date yet, but has other info
* NYC Junto on Facebook
* NYCjunto-discuss list
* About this newsletter
Junto is a group that shares information
and discusses current issues…
plus presents speakers to talk with us:

“The Future of Our America”
Gary Johnson, Governor New Mexico, 1995 to 2003,
possible Presidential candidate 2012

Thursday, March 3
Admission Free        No reservation necessary

* We’ll socialize from 7:00pm.
* The meeting begins at ABOUT 7:30pm with
a discussion of current issues and events.
* The featured speaker is introduced at ABOUT 8:00pm.
* The meeting will continue to ABOUT 10:00pm.

General Society Library,
20 West 44th Street, bet. 5th & 6th Aves., NYC
near the Grand Central Terminal

4, 5, 6, 7, S to Grand Central — 42nd St.
B, D, F, 7 to 42nd Street — Sixth Ave. at Bryant Park
A, C, E, N, Q, R, S, 1, 2, 3, 7 to Times Square — 42nd St.
Bus: M5, M6, M7, M10, M27, M42, M104

Please note:
Junto is not the usual sort of meeting with a long speech
followed by Q & A. Junto’s invited speakers give a short
presentation and are challenged to defend their assertions.
Discussions are intense, but polite. Participation by all
attendees is highly encouraged.
Junto meets on the first Thursday of every month, at the
General Society Library, 20 West 44th Street, NYC,
between 5th & 6th Aves., near Grand Central Terminal
Gary Johnson, Governor New Mexico, 1995 to 2003.
“The Future of Our America” on the important topics of our
time, discussion items and potential solutions including our
economy, government spending, immigration, civil liberties
and the failed war on drugs.
He’s a low-tax, privatization Republican and a possible
Presidential candidate 2012.
He was a two-term liberty minded Republican Governor
of NM, best known for having vetoed over 750 bills — more
than all the other 49 governors combined.
His line-item vetoes, numbering in the thousands, stripped
wasteful spending from many pieces of legislation, with the
majority during his first term.
He outright vetoed nearly half of all bills sent to his desk
during that first term, and he often jokes that he “took the
process to a new art form.” Unsurprisingly, his use of the veto
pen earned him the nickname “Governor Veto.”
He cut the rate of NM’s government growth in half and
oversaw the elimination of the state’s budget deficit without
once raising taxes.
He cut taxes 14 times while Governor, and when he left
office, NM was one of only four states with a balanced budget.
In his eight years real NM GDP increased by almost 30%.
In 1995, he was one of 21 Republican Governors who asked
then-Speaker Newt Gingrich and Senate Majority Leader
Bob Dole to prioritize balancing the federal budget within
seven years.
He went further than the others, however, by calling for
the “exciting prospect” of proportional cuts in a wide range of
programs in order to put hundreds of billions of dollars in the
hands of entrepreneurs.
Despite his strict record of fiscal conservatism in a state
where registration is 2-1 Democrat, he won re-election to
his second term by a wider margin than in his initial run.
He debated his Democratic opponent 28 times, and counts
as one of his proudest achievements that he never ran a
negative ad nor spoke ill about any of his opponents.
By talking only about matters of importance, he focused
public debate on those issues alone. He also succeeded in
privatizing half of NM’s state prisons.
He was the country’s most outspoken advocate of school
choice and other market-based education reforms, proposing
what the NY Times called “the most ambitious voucher
program in the country.”
Charter schools hadn’t been on the table before in NM. His
efforts resulted in the passing of legislation for it.
In 1999, he became the highest-ranking public official to
speak out against the Drug War, arguing that prohibition of
marijuana in particular is the chief cause of violence along
the U.S.’s southern border.
He advocates for a reassessment of the nation’s drug laws,
and more recently endorsed Proposition 19, California’s
campaign to legalize marijuana in the state.
A successful businessman before running for office in 1994,
he started a door-to-door handyman business to help pay his
way through college.
Twenty years later, he’d grown his firm into one of
the largest construction companies in NM, with over
1,000 employees.
He brings a distinctly business-like mentality to governing,
believing that decisions should be made based on cost-benefit
analysis rather than strict ideology.
He retired from public office when he was term-limited in
2003, and remains a strong proponent of citizen- rather than
career politicians.
He stayed out of public life for the next few years, instead
choosing to work toward his personal goal of climbing the
highest peaks on all seven continents.
An avid skier, adventurer and bicyclist, he has currently
reached four of those summits, including Mt. Everest, which
he climbed with a partially broken leg.
In addition to these pursuits, Johnson served as an investor
in a number of private enterprises.
In 2009, after becoming increasingly concerned with the
country’s out-of-control national debt and precarious financial
situation, the Governor formed the OUR America Initiative, a
501(c)(4) non-profit that promotes fiscal responsibility, civil
liberties and rational public policy.
As the group’s Honorary Chairman, he’s traveled to more
than 30 states and spoken to over 120 conservative and liberty
type groups since January 2010.
Ranging from tea parties to Campaign for Liberty events,
some of the his more noteworthy appearances have been his
keynote addresses at the West Virginia and Maryland state
Republican Party Conventions, his speech at the Freedom
Works-sponsored 9-12 Tea Party Rally on the National Mall,
and his recent appearance at the 10th Amendment Center’s
Nullify Now Conference.
Billed the “most interesting Republican you’ve never heard
of,” he’s received a significant amount of press recently.
The conservative southern California OC Register ran an
editorial and an AP profile ran in newspapers across the
country recently.
His recent appearance on John Stossel’s TV show “Battle
for the Future” has re-aired on Fox News many times.
See it here:
Junto focuses on libertarianism, Objectivism and investing.
Our founder and host is Victor Niederhoffer. Visit his site at:
Visit — though it isn’t up to date on speakers.
*  Read about past Junto speakers and people who attend often.
*  Sign up there to get the Junto e-newsletter.
Please em­ail the above text to your freedom loving friends
who might be interested in Junto.
Feel free to use the above text to promote Junto among
libertarians, Objectivists and investors.
Come to Junto, upcoming speakers:
* April 7, Greg Rehmke, inspires debate students to
explore the dynamics of market economy.
* May 5, Douglas Rasmussen, prof. philosophy, St. John’s U.
“Check Your Premises”, defenders of liberty grant their
opponents a crucial premise, that the aim of government
is to assist people in attaining their well-being. But what
justifies this premise?
Learn more about him at:
* June 2, Todd Seavey, conservatism for punks: and his articles at
* July 1, speaker to be announced.
* Aug. 4, Dr. Gary Jason, contributing editor “Liberty”
magazine, businessman, philosophy teacher and writer.
* Sept. 1, speaker to be announced.
* Oct. 6, Janine R. Wedel, prof. public policy, George Mason U.
Her most recent book, “Confronting Corruption, Building
Accountability: Lessons from the World of International
Development Advising”.
* Nov. 3, Kathryn Schultz, author “Being Wrong”. What it
means to be in error. Why people tend to assume they’re
right about most everything. Error is a fundamental human
condition and should be celebrated.
Junto’s website isn’t up to date yet, but will be active soon
For now, this newsletter is the best place to get information
about upcoming speakers.
You can visit the site at for other things.
There you’ll find:
* Links to past Junto speakers.
* Kindred events, organizations, publications and sites
* Details about many people who attend regularly at:
* Junto’s origin and reason for being

See the trailer for “Atlas Shrugged” movie:
When I looked at it early today total views were 712,365
and a clip about Lillian’s bracelet was to be released Monday
at 9:00am, eastern.
A portion of this trailer was shown on The Sean Hannity
Show on Fox News TV, on Feb. 14th. This is nothing like the
trailer shown in nY on Dec. 7th.
For some background on the movie’s production, see the
Atlasphere interview with producer John Aglialoro:
The official website for information and to get updates about
scheduled release April 15, 2011:

“Ben Franklin’s Birthday” by Marsha Enright & Gen LaGreca
“A Crucial Lesson from ‘The First American’ ” cowritten by
Marsha Enright, who has spoken at Junto.
“The self-made Atlases of the world keep the wheels of
civilization turning, with many of our Founding Fathers
among them. As a self-made rapper might say, ‘It’s all about
the Benjamins.’ ”
Read all of this in The Atlasphere at:

Objectivist debates “Government: What Is Its Proper Role?”
Yaron Brook will debate at Demos – Ideas & Action,
First Principles Debate Series Part I of three
March 10, 2011, Thursday, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
NYU’s Skirball Center, 60 Washington Square South
Free and open to the public, register at:
Questions: Jinny Khanduja 212.389.1399
From Ed Thompson:
These debates are the first events to be arranged by the newly-
formed NY Chapter of the Ayn Rand Institute. The NY Chapter
was established to assist Ayn Rand Institute in its mission by
raising Ayn Rand Institute’s profile in the New York area.
These debates represent the first time in more than twenty
years that the Ayn Rand Institute has had the opportunity to
participate in high-profile debates about fundamental questions
on the nature and proper function of government, the nature
of freedom and the moral status of capitalism.
And this is from the Demos site:
After the 2008 financial crisis and its aftermath a great
political divide emerged among many Americans reexamining
the direction of our country.
One side says that unleashed free-market policies led to the
worst downturn since the Great Depression, and calls for
effective government to foster more equitable prosperity.
The other side says that government has grown too big and
too intrusive, and calls for the country to rediscover the virtues
of limited government and free-market capitalism.
This debate series will examine this divide and the social,
economic and moral beliefs that underlie American politics.
Demos, The Ayn Rand Institute and WYNC’s offer this three part series.
April 7th — “Freedom: For Whom and From What?”
May 2nd — “Capitalism: Is It Moral?”
The size and scope of government has become one of
the most contested issues in American politics. What is
government’s proper role? Should it focus on protecting
individual rights and free markets? Or on promoting equality
and solving society’s problems?
***Yaron Brook is president of the Ayn Rand Institute and
oversees operation of the Ayn Rand Center for Individual
Rights, in Washington, DC.
He’s co-author of “Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an
Idea” and a contributor to “Winning the Unwinnable War:
America’s Self-Crippled Response to Islamic Totalitarianism.”
He frequently speaks on topics such as the morality of
capitalism, Ayn Rand’s philosophy, business ethics and finance.
He’s a columnist at, and his articles have been
featured in major publications such as the Wall Street Journal,
USA Today and Investor’s Business Daily.
He guests on a variety of national radio and TV programs.
Prior to Ayn Rand Institute he was a finance prof. Santa Clara
U. In 1998 he cofounded a financial advisory firm, BH Equity
*** Miles Rapoport has been President of Demos since 2001.
Prior to that he spent 15 years in Conn. politics. He served for
ten years in the Conn. legislature, 1985-1994. He chaired the
Government Administration and Elections Committee and was
a leading member of the Finance Committee. Secretary of
State, Conn. 1994.
He’s an advocate for democracy with high levels of voting
and engagement. His office led efforts for voter registration,
youth civic engagement and campaign finance reform. It
published two unique reports on the “State of Democracy
in Connecticut.”
His articles appear in national magazines and newspapers.
Currently, he serves on Boards of Northeast Action, American
Prospect and Paul J. Aicher Foundation.
*** Moderator: Brian Lehrer, host of “The Brian Lehrer Show,”
WNYC Radio’s daily call-in program, which covers politics
and life locally and globally. The show was recognized with
a 2007 George Foster Peabody Award for “Radio That Builds
Community Rather Than Divides.” He’s also a commentator
on local and national issues on television and in print. He’s
appeared on TV networks including CNN, MSNBC, Fox News,
C-SPAN, ABC World News Now, and NY1. He’s written op-ed
pieces for publications including The NY Times, NY Daily
News, Newsday, The NY Sun and He also hosts a
weekly television program on CUNY-TV, “Brian Lehrer Live”
featuring issue-oriented web video.

Many Long Island, NY, students favor Ayn Rand
An article on an ethics debate competition among Long
Island high school students was in the NY Times, Feb. 14th.
At the end of the article it has this: “Do they read Aristotle
on self-realization, Epicurus on the dangers of self-indulgence?
Many of the students interviewed mentioned Ayn Rand, the
libertarian philosopher-novelist, as their favorite philosopher.”
The complete article is at:

Mencken on gov’t
“Government is a broker in pillage, and every election
is a sort of advance auction in stolen goods.” H. L. Mencken

Political humor from Oleg
Oleg Atbashian shares some thought from his site:
Dear Americans, these are some questions I have collected in
16 years of living in your country. Please see if you can answer
them for me:
* If all beliefs are equally valid, how come my belief in the
absurdity of this maxim gets rejected by its proponents?
* Ever noticed that for the past thirty years, we’ve been hearing
we have less than ten years to save the planet?
* Once a politician labels the truth as hate speech, can anyone
trust him to speak the truth afterward?
* If a politician gets elected by the poor on a promise to
eliminate poverty, wouldn’t fulfilling his promise destroy
his voting base? Wouldn’t he rather benefit from the growing
numbers of poor people? Isn’t this an obvious conflict
of interests?
* If capitalism makes some people rich without making others
poor, who will benefit when capitalism is destroyed?
* If the poor in America have things that people in other
countries can only dream about, why is there a movement
to make America more like those other countries?
* Why is a huge poisonous cloud over a volcano considered
magnificent — but a smokestack over an American factory
is ugly and harmful?
* How come Hollywood can always find a good side in thugs,
but never in business people? What was the last movie that
pictured a self-reliant, industrious man as a role model?

Oleg is a writer, graphic artist and web designer from Ukraine
who currently lives in New York.
He’s creator of a satirical website where he writes under the
name of Red Square:
He’s the author of recently published “Shakedown Socialism”.
Learn more about this book at:
Oleg is available to design and develop websites for private
customers. He’s working on the new site for Junto. See some
of his web designs here:

Larry Abrams publishes his novel
When he lived in NY he often came to Junto. His book is
“The Philosophical Practitioner”.
This is the description:
She crossed her legs, doing a little trick with my hormones…
Her chair was three feet from my desk. She reached into her
handbag, came out with a gun, and leveled it at my chest.
“Think about what you’ve done that would make someone
want to kill you. I want you to know why you’re going to die.”
I thought of pointing out to her that she could simply tell me,
but given what she intended to do once I knew, that seemed

Eric is a philosophical practitioner, a new profession that
emphasizes reason without slighting emotions. He has little
money, a cat, confused clients, and an old girlfriend, now rich
and famous, who wants to get back together with him.
Meanwhile, a woman he’s never seen before is trying to
kill him.
You can order the book at:

Ayn Rand quote to celebrate her birthday
On Ayn Rand’s 106th birthday, Feb. 2nd, a fellow on
Victor Niederhoffer’s site suggested this quote from her novel
“Atlas Shrugged”, in Galt’s speech:
The symbol of all relationships among [rational] men,
the moral symbol of respect for human beings, is the trader.
We, who live by values, not by loot, are traders, both in
matter and in spirit.
A trader is a man who earns what he gets and does not give
or take the undeserved.
A trader does not ask to be paid for his failures, nor does he
ask to be loved for his flaws.
A trader does not squander his body as fodder or his soul as
Just as he does not give his work except in trade for material
values, so he does not give the values of his spirit — his love,
his friendship, his esteem — except in payment and in trade for
human virtues, in payment for his own selfish pleasure, which
he receives from men he can respect.
The mystic parasites who have, throughout the ages, reviled
the traders and held them in contempt, while honoring the
beggars and the looters, have known the secret motive of their
sneers: a trader is the entity they dread — a man of justice.
And the fellow ended his email with: We owe Ayn a debt
of gratitude.

Drawing show at art museum beloved by some Objectivists
The Dahesh Museum of Art and the Palitz Gallery present
“The Essential Line”, through Mar. 24.
Drawing, an integral part of 19th-century academic training
and art-making process, is the focus of this exhibit by Dahesh
and Syracuse U.
Among the 40 works are rare drawings by Lawrence Alma
Tadema and Gustav Doré, as well as unfamiliar but talented
Drawing was the cornerstone of 19th-century artistic
professionalism and excellence. Initial artistic training at the
École and ateliers was exclusively drawing — first copying
after Bargue prints and moving on to life studies.
A number of more finished figure and portrait studies carry
this forward as artists continued to refine their skills throughout
their careers.
Some figural studies are preparatory for paintings (Dumas,
Friant). Others are compositional studies (Alma Tadema).
There are highly finished drawings that may even be stand-
alone works of art (Doré, Lhermitte). Self-portraits are a genre
that speaks both to the self-awareness of artists in this century
and a subject matter with a long tradition (Rapin).
Subjects range from mythology to history to religion to
genre. Some drawings indicate plein-air (outdoor) activity.
Some drawings follow classical themes, some are humorous
— caricatures or proto-cartoons — others are highly finished,
existing as works of art in themselves. Nineteenth-century art
training was rigorous, even student works were often stunning.
Dahesh was in the IBM building, prior to its sad closing a
few years ago. It’s good to have it back.
Dahesh Museum/The Palitz Gallery
Mon. to Sat., 11:00am – 6:00pm, through Mar. 24
11 East 61 St., between Fifth Ave. & Madison Ave.
Free admission
For information, phone the Lubin House:t 212.826.0320
or go to: or go to:

Another Ayn Rand film “We the Living”, in DVD
Produced in fascist Italy during World War II, it stars
Rossano Brazzi and Alida Valli.
Rand did virtually all the major esthetic and philosophical
re-editing. The result, she later said, was far superior to what
Hollywood would ever have allowed. See the trailer:
For more information, to view stills and to order with
free shipping:

New York City Ayn Rand Meetup Feb. 27
Come join us this Sunday, 3:00pm.
As always, we’ll talk about Ayn Rand, her works, Objectivist
life, challenges, options, associations and knowledge.
Give and take, open to all, no charge, no reservations.
It’s at The Midtown Restaurant, 155 East 55 St, between
3rd and Lexington Avenues, in Manhattan, free.
For those particularly interested in social gatherings see the
message board under the Objectivist Social Gatherings posted
and maintained by Lou Esposito.
Benny Pollack, Ayn Rand Meetup organizer says:”Join our
group of regular Objectivists for a lively discussion on topics
related to Ayn Rand and Objectivist philosophy in general.
“Please join us. If you are already versed in the topic, want
to learn or just want to spend an intellectually stimulating
afternoon, please come. I hope to see you all there.”
The Ayn Rand Meetup is on the last Sunday of each month.
Learn more about it at:

NYC Junto on Facebook
In April 2009 Michael Hussey created a Facebook page for
NYC Junto. He encourages people to join it.
The public URL for the group:
If you’d like to volunteer to manage it respond to this email
to get more information.

NYCjunto-discuss list
Junto members can discuss Junto speakers, articles
from other places and other topics of interest.
You can read these posts at:
To post to this list you need to be a member of it.
Become a member at:
or send an email to:

About this NYC Junto newsletter
*  Iris Bell moderates and writes this e-newsletter.
*  Andy George helps with the sound system and supplies
some music.
*  Don Slepian cares for the email list, sends out the newsletter.
*  We’re looking for volunteers to help with Junto publicity
and to put fresh monthly information on the website.
*  Our founder and host is Victor Niederhoffer. Visit his site at:
*  This newsletter comes out twice a month. You might receive
an occasional extra email about a timely event.
*  To subscribe to this newsletter put “Junto list” in the subject
line and email your name and preferred email address to:

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