NYC Junto Newsletter – May 23, 2011

May 23, 2011

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* NEW Junto meeting June 2
* Visit
* NEW Come to Junto, meet the upcoming speakers:
* NEW FreedomWorks quiz of real life vs. “Atlas Shrugged”
* NEW Liberty point of view, call-in online “radio” show
* NEW Fred Cookinham Ayn Rand tour on NPR
* NEW Rehmke’s recommendations from his April Junto talk
* NEW Rehmke’s Challenge of Liberty, seminars for students
* NEW John Fund and Stephen Moore video on “Atlas” film
* NEW Today’s Innovators and Parasites: Donald Luskin book
* NEW Remembering the Real Ayn Rand by Donald Luskin
* NEW Ferguson on the six “killer apps” of Western Civ.
* NEW Documentary of Rand’s ideas, at funding goal & more
* NEW The soundtrack for the “Atlas” film is available
* NEW Persuasion, Objectivist magazine of mid-1960s, free
* NEW “Why Businessmen Need Philosophy”, Rand’s ideas
* NEW Atlas Society offers more about “Atlas” film
* NEW Machan, Junto speaker, 3 hours on C-Span BookTV
* NEW “Atlas” film get more readers for the novel
* NEW Amazon bestseller lists have many Ayn Rand books
* NEW FreedomWorks promoting “Atlas” film
* NEW Doug Rasmussen’s recommendations from May Junto
* NEW NY Objectivist Society events
* NEW NYC Ayn Rand Meetup next Sunday, May 29
* NYCjunto-discuss list
* NEW About this newsletter
Junto is a group that shares information
and discusses current issues…
plus presents speakers to talk with us:

Todd Seavey
“Conservatism for Punks”
Can artistically-inclined people embrace
more capitalism and individualism

Thursday, June 2
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 and 6th Aves., NYC
near the Grand Central Terminal

Subway: 4, 5, 6, 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 to Times Square — 42nd St.
Bus: M1, M2, M3, M4, M5, M42, M98, M101, M102, M104, Q32
Train: MTA Metro-North Railroad to Grand Central
Car: Some private parking facilities in the area. Parking on
side streets is metered, limited to specific days and times.

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 and 6th Aves., near Grand Central Terminal
Todd Seavey: “Conservatism for Punks”
How can the artistically-inclined people in our society — who
have so much influence through movies, books, music, and
more — be encouraged to embrace economic principles they
think of as too conservative?
And if they can be made to embrace a more capitalist and
individualist view of America, how broad a political coalition
could be created?
Todd Seavey has written articles for (or been a staffer at)
multiple libertarian-friendly venues including Reason,
National Review, New York Press, New York Post, John
Stossel, the American Council on Science and Health and
Judge Andrew Napolitano on Fox Business Channel.
He hosts monthly events in Manhattan.
He blogs at, and
His essay “Conservatism for Punks” appeared in a 2010
anthology edited by Jonah Goldberg, “Proud to Be Right”,
as seen on C-Span2 BookTV.
You can watch Todd’s appearance on C-Span2 BookTV at:
Visit for more information and to sign up for
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, meet the upcoming speakers:
* July 7, Fred Cookinham will do a reading of the scene
between Rearden and Ragnar from Part II of “Atlas Shrugged”
with Josh Huntington, a Junto regular, who acts in the
Village Light Opera Group.
and then
Tyler Cowen, will speak about the subject of his newest
book “The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All
the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick,
and Will (Eventually) Feel Better”
He blogs at
* Aug. 4, Dr. Gary Jason, contributing editor “Liberty”
magazine, businessman, philosophy teacher and writer.
* Sept. 1, Richard Epstein’s writings go from the common-law
subjects of property, contracts and torts to constitutional law
and economics.
* 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.
* Dec. 1, David Friedman, prof. law, Santa Clara U., Liberty
magazine contributing editor, anarcho-capitalist
* Jan. 5, 2012, Ilana Mercer, “Lessons for America from
Post-Apartheid South Africa”
* Feb. 2, 2012, Ayn Rand’s 107th birthday celebration

FreedomWorks quiz of real life vs. “Atlas Shrugged”
The quiz asks: “Can you tell the difference between quotes
from elected U.S. government officials and Ayn Rand’s iconic
book ‘Atlas Shrugged’?”
Although I’m reading “Atlas” right now, have read it many
times, and know what our politicians have said, I didn’t get
some the answers right.
You can take this 16 question quiz at:

Liberty point of view, call-in online “radio” show
Kevin Levine enjoys the talk show “Free Talk Live”. It’s live
six nights a week, from 7:00pm to 10:00pm eastern.
Kevin says: “Since it’s based in New Hampshire, they talk
a lot about the activism there but it’s a call-in show and will
literally take a call about anything and they approach the topics
from a principled liberty point of view. You can listen online,
on your phone or to the podcast the next day.”

Fred Cookinham’s Ayn Rand tour on NPR
A three minute piece about Fred and his tours was on NPR
on April 26th. The interviewer also wrote an article about
his tours.
“A Walk Through Ayn Rand’s ‘Atlas Shrugged’ New York”
By Margot Adler, April 26, 2011
Frederick Cookinham runs five different Ayn Rand tours
in New York, two of which touch on Grand Central Terminal.
The recent film adaptation of Ayn Rand’s 1957 novel, “Atlas
Shrugged”, is exposing a whole new generation of conservatives
to Rand’s laissez-faire philosophy. And if they find themselves
wanting more, they can always read the book or they can visit
New York City and see the “Atlas Shrugged” setting for
themselves….read the rest of this article at:

Greg Rehmke’s recommendations from his April Junto talk
You can read his notes for his Junto talk here:
These notes link to books, video and articles he recommends.
It contains links to an online video of Paul Romer discussing
Charter Cities at a TED conference, articles on the Hanseatic
League, and Nick Schultz with Arnold Kling discussing their
book “From Poverty to Prosperity”.
Also, he recommends “Arrival City: How the Largest
Migration in History is Reshaping Our World” by Doug
Saunders.”Triumph of the City” by Edward Glaeser, with
links to its book reviews.
Of his recommendation to “Money, Markets and Sovereignty”
by Benn Steil and Manuel Hinds, he says: “Amazingly, this
very free-market book, published by the Council on Foreign
Relations, calls for a return to a gold standard, a commodity
currency independent of national governments. Plus it offers
a powerful defense of international law, free trade and
Another of his recommendations is “The Long Divergence:
How Islamic Law Held Back the Middle East” by Timur Kuran.
Early Islamic law was developed by active merchants who
knew of what they passed judgement upon, but later legal
decisions were made by religious authorities with little
first-hand knowledge of business and trade.
Gregory Rehmke is Program Consultant for the Foundation
for Economic Education. You can read his blogs:

Rehmke — Challenge of Liberty, summer seminars for students
Greg Rehmke is seminar director, 16th year of seminars for
students sponsored by The Independent Institute.
The week-long conferences feature lectures and discussions
on important free-market principles, philosophy and history.
They ensure students will have a fun and intellectually
rewarding summer.
* High School Student Seminar: June 20-24
* College Student Seminar: August 1-5
They’ve lowered the price of the college summer seminar.
Scholarships are available for both high school and college
There are some openings in the 2011 Summer Internship
Program in Marketing, Communications, Donor Relations,
Acquisitions and Publications and IT. Interns will be able to
participate in the summer-long educational program, monthly
social events and college seminar.
Partial faculty list: Robert Higgs, senior fellow, political
economy; James Ahiakpor, prof. economics, Cal. State U.,
East Bay; Anthony Gregory, research editor, Independent
Institute; and Emily Skarbek, assist. prof. economics,
San Jose State U.
Learn more and sign up at:

John Fund and Stephen Moore video comments on “Atlas” film:

“I Am John Galt: Today’s Heroic Innovators Building the
World and the Villainous Parasites Destroying It”. This book is
by market commentator Donald Luskin and financial journalist
Andrew Greta.
The book profiles of both the innovators who move our
world forward and those who seek to destroy the achievement
of others.
It’s filled with exclusive interviews, profiles, and analyses
of the superstars who have based their lives and careers on the
philosophy of Ayn Rand.
This book inspires and enlightens. It’s title may be the best
known line from Rand’s works.
Who is he? Galt isn’t only the fictional character from the
bestselling novel “Atlas Shrugged”. He’s come to embody the
individualist capitalist who acts in his own self interest and in
doing so lifts the world.
He’s also found in today’s CEOs, journalists, sports figures,
and actors who have led their lives according to Galt’s
philosophy and in so doing they have achieved phenomenal
success, not only for themselves but for those around them.
Learn from Rand’s heroes — fictional ones and real-life ones:
* The Individualist: Steve Jobs as Howard Roark, the man who
reinvented four industries just because it was so cool
* The Mad Collectivist: Paul Krugman as Ellsworth Toohey,
the man who preaches socialism from the pages of America’s
newspaper of record
* The Leader: John Allison as John Galt, the man who walked
away after building America’s strongest bank
* The Parasite: Angelo Mozilo as James Taggart, the
businessman who co-opted government and nearly wrecked
the U.S. economy
* The Persecuted Titan: Bill Gates as Henry Rearden, the
businessman who created revolutionary technologies and
was criminalized for his success
* The Central Planner: Barney Frank as Wesley Mouch, the
politician who meddled in the economy and almost
destroyed it
* The Capitalist Champion: T.J. Rodgers as Francisco
d’Anconia, the modern Renaissance man and agent
provocateur for capitalism
* The Sellout: Alan Greenspan as Robert Stadler, an
economic czar — the ultimate sellout or a double-agent
for libertarianism?
* The Economist of Liberty: Milton Friedman as Hugh Akston,
the academic who showed the world the connection between
capitalism and freedom
This book examines how the inspiration that is Galt thrives
more than 50 years after the publication of “Atlas Shrugged”.
It for Ayn Rand fans, as well as those seeking a way to
succeed in today’s turbulent and confusing times both in their
business lives and their personal lives.
About the authors:
Donald L. Luskin, Chief Investment Officer of TrendMacro,
investment strategy and economics research firm. Formerly vice
chair, Barclays Global Investors (now BlackRock). Founder
Investment Technology Group and
He on CNBC’s Kudlow Report weekly and is often on the
Wall Street Journal op-ed page. (See the WSJ op-ed below.)
He’s author “Index Options and Futures: The Complete Guide”
and editor “Portfolio Insurance: A Guide to Dynamic Hedging”.
Andrew Greta, author and business executive in financial
markets and currently with College of Business, U. Illinois.
Formerly led corporate and business development at CME
Group, Chicago. Former contributing editor
His articles on finance and investing appear in many national
publications including SFO magazine,,, Online Investor and Individual Investor.
Learn more about this book or order it at:
To Amazon:
To video:

Remembering the Real Ayn Rand
by Donald L. Luskin, WSJ, April 14, 2011
Tomorrow’s release of the movie version of “Atlas Shrugged”
is focusing attention on Ayn Rand’s 1957 opus and the
free-market ideas it espouses.
Book sales for “Atlas” have always been brisk — and all the
more so in the past few years, as actual events have mirrored
Rand’s nightmare vision of economic collapse amid massive
government expansion. Conservatives are now hailing Rand
as a tea party Nostradamus, hence the timing of the movie’s
premiere on tax day.
When Rand created the character of Wesley Mouch, it’s as
though she was anticipating Barney Frank (D., Mass). Mouch
is the economic czar in “Atlas Shrugged” whose every move
weakens the economy, which in turn gives him the excuse to
demand broader powers.
Mr. Frank steered Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to disaster
with mandates for more lending to low-income borrowers.
After Fannie and Freddie collapsed under the weight of their
subprime mortgage books, Mr. Frank proclaimed last year:
“The way to cure that is to give us more authority.” Mouch
couldn’t have said it better himself.
But it’s a misreading of “Atlas” to claim that it is simply an
antigovernment tract or an uncritical celebration of big business.
In fact, the real villain of “Atlas” is a big businessman,
railroad CEO James Taggart, whose crony capitalism does
more to bring down the economy than all of Mouch’s regulations.
With Taggart, Rand was anticipating figures like Angelo
Mozilo, the CEO of Countrywide Financial, the subprime
lender that proved to be a toxic mortgage factory.
Like Taggart, Mr. Mozilo engineered government subsidies
for his company in the name of noble-sounding virtues like
home ownership for all….
…Rand was not a conservative or a liberal: She was an
individualist. “Atlas Shrugged” is, at its heart, a plea for the
most fundamental American ideal — the inalienable rights of
the individual. On tax day, with our tax dollars going to big
government and subsidies for big business, let’s remember it’s
the celebration of individualism that has kept “Atlas Shrugged”
among the best-selling novels of all time.
Mr. Luskin co-author  of “I Am John Galt”.
Read the complete op-ed at:

Niall Ferguson on the six “killer apps” of Western Civilization
Feb. 28, 2011
Ferguson is the most brilliant British historian of his generation.
In his latest book, “Civilisation: The West and the Rest”, he
asks how Western civilisation, from inauspicious roots in the
15th century, came to dominate the rest of the world.
His answer is that the West developed six “killer applications”
that the Rest lacked: competition, science, democracy, medicine,
consumerism and the Protestant work ethic.
The key question today is whether or not the West has lost
its monopoly on these six things.
If it has and the Rest of the world can successfully download
these apps, we may be living through the end of Western
You can listen free, 83 minutes, at:
There’s a charge to watch it, a 6 month or 1 year membership
Thank you Alan Ladne for this information.

Documentary of Rand’s ideas reached funding goal and more
“Inside the Mind of Ayn Rand” a new feature film being
created by Duncan Scott got funding through Kickstarter.
The Moving Picture Institute (MPI) has become a partner
and supporter of the film. In addition to direct financial support,
they’re working in continuing fundraising efforts.
The Moving Picture Institute supports filmmakers who are
committed to protecting and sustaining a free society and
supports their work through grants, fiscal sponsorship,
promotion, marketing, internships, training workshops,
networking opportunities and production assistance.

The soundtrack for the “Atlas” film is available
You can buy the album from the producers of the film at:…or from Amazon, where you can sample and/or
download any of it’s 22 themes at 99 cents each:

Persuasion, a Objectivist magazine of mid-1960s — free
This publication was endorsed by Ayn Rand. Read it here or
download issues as PDFs:

“Why Businessmen Need Philosophy: The Capitalist’s Guide
to the Ideas Behind Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged”
Preface by Debi Ghate and Richard E. Ralston, editors
Introduction by John Allison
Ayn Rand and other Objectivist intellectuals’ essays present
a philosophical defense of capitalism. It has the intellectual
tools every business person needs in the boardroom. It includes
two rare essays by Ayn Rand.
With government and the media blaming big business for the
world economic crisis, capitalism needs all the help it can get.
This book reveals the importance of maintaining
philosophical principles in the corporate environment at all
levels of business from daily operations to executive decisions,
and provides the tactical and tactful rational thinking required
to defend companies from ideological attacks

The Atlas Society offers more about “Atlas Shrugged”
The free interactive webinar “Atlas Shrugged Part 1”: The
Ideas Behind the Movie, was conducted by William R Thomas.
He discusses the fundamental ideas represented in the movie.
This video is one in a series produced by The Atlas Society:
And here’s the new Atlas Society area filled with information
for people who want to know more about Ayn Rand’s ideas
after seeing the film:

Tibor Machan, Junto speaker, 3 hours on C-Span BookTV
He responds to a brief video clip of Ayn Rand. One of the
best parts is his demonstration of the way to separate Rand’s
personal life from her ideas.
He talks about his life, work and career. Includes morality
in business and the pros and cons of the Libertarian philosophy.
He has an endowed chair, Business Ethics and Free Enterprise,
at Chapman U. He’s prof. emeritus Philosophy, Auburn U. and
research fellow Hoover Institution. Co-founder, former editor
Reason magazine.
You can watch free. May 1st interview, including phone calls,
e-mails and tweets:

“Atlas” film get more readers for the novel
I’m not sure who wrote this, but it’s good: “all signs point to
the fact that the mere existence of the movie is causing interest
in the book to spike to new heights. According to Google’
Trends, search volume for ‘Atlas Shrugged’ has never been
“Even more impressively, the book has surged to #4 on the
Amazon bestseller list as of this writing. Likely it won’t stay
quite that high for weeks on end, but expect book sales to
remain elevated for some time to come. ‘Atlas Shrugged’ has
been in the top 100 of the Amazon bestseller list for 268 days
“It has undoubtedly prompted some new people to read the
novel — and I know it has prompted many of its old fans, not
just Objectivists but also many conservatives, to re-read
the novel.
“I’m reading it right now, and so is Jack Wakeland, who
points out that one effect of the movie will be that a lot of us
will be reading ‘Atlas Shrugged’ all at the same time, and
doing so when the political environment so thoroughly
vindicates the novel’s realism. That will have a significant
long-term impact.
“One other effect I’ve noticed: the ‘Atlas Shrugged’ movie
caused a surprising number of commentators and rank-and-file
supporters on the right to come out publicly, all at the same
time, as Ayn Rand fans. That includes at least three people who
are very active in my local Tea Party group, as well as prominent
commentators, from religious conservatives like Cal Thomas to
Fred Barnes of the neoconservative Weekly Standard….”

Amazon bestseller lists have many Ayn Rand books
The movie of Rand’s “Atlas” and the many reviews and
articles about it have sent Rand’s books onto the many
bestseller lists on Amazon.
On May 4th the three most popular items in Amazon’s
Classic Literature and Fiction bestseller list were all versions
of “Atlas”:
#1 “Atlas Shrugged”: Centennial Edition, by Ayn Rand
(As I write this it’s still #1 on this list.)
It was also #49 on the overall bestseller list
#2 “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand, intro by Leonard Peikoff
#3 “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand, audio by Scott Brick
Plus, these books below, by Rand, were also on the list:
#33 “Atlas Shrugged”
#46 “The Fountainhead” audio version
#53 Boxed set “Atlas Shrugged” & “The Fountainhead”
#70 “The Fountainhead”, intro by Leonard Peikoff
#72 “Atlas Shrugged” Centennial Edition
#75 “The Fountainhead”, audio Christopher Hurt
#92 “Atlas Shrugged”, audio Edward Herrmann
As I write this Amazon’s bestseller list for Reference Books
has as #1 “Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal” by Ayn Rand,
Nathaniel Branden, Alan Greenspan and Robert Hessen.

FreedomWorks promoting “Atlas” film
FreedomWorks, a Tea Party related group, created video
promotions for the “Atlas Shrugged” film, and placed them
on YouTube where over 100,000 people have watched this

Doug Rasmussen recommends
At the May Junto, the speaker Rasmussen, recommended
many items he thought we might want to read, here’s one
of them:
“Visible and Invisible Hands: Liberal Market Orders
Recognize the Importance of Self-Directedness to Morality”
by Douglas Rasmussen and Douglas Den Uyl
The essay begins:
“It has often been said that markets are led ‘as if by an
invisible hand’ to bring about order and cooperation among
people. Markets use incentives and mutual interests to achieve
this harmonious result. But there is another, ‘older’ mode of
organizing people, namely to organize them around what is
‘good’ or ‘right.’
“That would seem to be the way of ethics. Ethics, in contrast
to markets, seems to organize people around authoritative
commands and directives.
“This raises a question: how can it be said that self-regulating
and spontaneously ordered markets in any way depend on or
use ethics?
“Does it even make sense to encourage ethics in a system that
is spontaneously produced and self-regulating? Are not these
two opposed, rather than complementary, principles of
“In short, what exactly is the connection between the visible
hand of ethics and the invisible hand of the market?”…
This is from:

Rasmussen and Den Uyl review the “Atlas Shrugged” movie
Read the review “Should Atlas Be Shrugged?” as a PDF at:

Rasmussen  recommends: “Rise and Fall of Neoconservatism”
This series of 14 related essays by four authors is Cato’s
March 2011 conversation.
One of Rasmussen’s essays is “Neoconservatism, Leo Strauss,
and the Foundations for Liberty”
He argues that post-Lockean natural rights theory does not
entail nihilism, as Strauss seems to have feared. A further error
of Straussian neoconservatism, Rasmussen argues, is that it
often conflates society with the state. Although the members of
a civil society may rightly desire that society’s continuance, it
does not follow that the state must coerce people into being
good. Statecraft is not soulcraft; governing consists of setting
ground rules that leave individuals free to seek the good.
Read the rest of this essay and the other at:

Rasmussen recommends essays on Rand at Cato
Jan. 2010: “What’s Living and Dead in Ayn Rand’s Moral
and Political Thought”. Look over these 31 essays by
Rasmussen and three other authors at:

New York Objectivist Society events
This group is organized by Andrew Bernstein, who has
written many books about Ayn Rand’s thinking.
June 26 is Andy’s 60th Birthday Roast
For more information:

NYC Ayn Rand Meetup next Sunday, May 29
Come join us Sunday at 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.
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.”
Learn more about us at:

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
*  Oleg Atbashian created He also sends out
this e-newsletter and cares for its email list.
*  Andy George helps with the sound system and supplies
the music.
*  We’re looking for volunteers to help with Junto publicity.
*  Our founder and host is Victor Niederhoffer. Visit his site at:
*  This e-newsletter comes out twice a month. You might get 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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