Junto News — lectures, music, book, film & more

December 31, 2011

* NEW  Junto meeting Jan. 5
* NEW  Upcoming Junto speakers, through August 2012
* NEW "Legal Systems Very Different from Ours"
* NEW Musical filled with romance and mystery and intrigue
* NEW Ayn Rand's "Basic Principles of Objectivism"
* NEW Manhattan Libertarian Party Convention, Jan. 21
* NEW Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship
* NEW Rand sighting at Bloomingdale's
* NEW Robert Tracinski, independent Objectivist, writes daily
* NEW Rand's screenplay about development of Atomic bomb
* NEW Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Niall Ferguson have a baby boy
* NEW Documentary "Ayn Rand/Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged"
* NEW Award for promoting liberty to Romanian think tank
* NEW Brooklyn Oenology wine tasting at Junto months ago
* NEW NYC Ayn Rand Meetup, Sunday, Jan. 29
* NEW Ayn Rand walking tours
* NYCjunto-discuss list
* About this newsletter
Junto is a group that shares information
and discusses current issues...
plus presents speakers to talk with us:

Tibor Machan
"Liberty vs. Stimulus"

Thursday, Jan. 5

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 44 St., between 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 44 St., NYC, between
5th and 6th Aves., near Grand Central Terminal

Machan's talk will be on "Liberty versus Stimulus"
    "Despite all the bad blood and heated rhetoric -- name
calling, besmirching, hyperbole and other polemics -- involved
in our current political-economic controversies, there really is
a substantive point of considerable difference at issue.
    "Put bluntly, the Obama team is convinced that unless people
get a push from the state, or some kind of prompters, they will
not move; whereas many in the Tea Party and their allies
believe that people will move on their own once they are
free to do so....
    "So, the bottom line is that the big dispute is indeed a
substantive one, between those who have confidence in
freedom and those who trust manipulation -- out right force
or substantial nudging."
Tibor Machan fled Hungary as a boy with the help of
a smuggler (or as TIME magazine called such people,
a flesh-peddler).
    After having experienced modern Soviet style "Communism,"
he also lived under the brutal, Nazi-sympathizing household of
his father for three years.
    In time they all went to the USA, where after six months he
left home and became, at age 18, largely independent.
    A tour of duty in the US Air Force -- with a stint as an actor
at Andrews AFB and the welcome liberating discovery of
Ayn Rand via his role in"The Night of January 16th" --
acclimated Machan to the West.
    It also readied him for the academic life, where he earned
BA, MA and PhD degrees in philosophy and launched a career
that has by now issued in 43 dozen single author and a 24
edited books, as well as the co-founding of the mature "Reason"
magazine, editing of "Reason Papers, An Interdisciplinary
Journal of Normative Studies", and much else that has
supported the cause of liberty and good, sound philosophy.
    Machan has lectured around the world on libertarian
political philosophy, business ethics, and various philosophical
    He's as close to as it is possible to be a public philosopher,
who aside from scholarly works writes newspapers columns
and magazine articles, and gives media interviews all the way
from Argentina to New Zealand and Greece, Georgia and
    He's been featured on several radio and TV programs, on
journalist John Stossel's prime time ABC-TV program, "John
Stossel Goes to Washington" and C-Span 2's "In Depth" on
May 1, 2011. [The complete three hour show can be seen at:
tiny.cc/3hourMachan ]
    Machan holds the R. C. Hoiles chair of business ethics
and free enterprise in the school of business at Chapman U.,
teaches business ethics, Introduction to Philosophy and the
History Political Philosophy. He is also a research fellow
at Stanford's Hoover Institution.
    Visit his site for his essays on political liberty:
Visit Junto's site for information on current and past speakers,
read previous newsletters, to sign up to get the Junto e-newsletter:
    Visit Junto on Facebook:
Junto focuses on libertarianism, Objectivism and investing.
Our founder and host is Victor Niederhoffer.
    Visit his site at:
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 these upcoming speakers:

* Feb. 2, 2012  Ayn Rand's 107th birthday celebration.
Speaker Donald Luskin market commentator.
What would Howard Roark do about Paul Krugman? His blog is:
    He co-wrote "I am John Galt: Today's Heroic Innovators
Building the World and the Villainous Parasites Destroying It."
    This book introduces you to real-life titans who've lived
their lives like Rand's fictional heroes and the malefactors
who've lived like her fictional villains:
    Steve Jobs as Howard Roark,
    Paul Krugman as Ellsworth Toohey,
    John Allison as John Galt,
    Bill Gates as Henry Rearden and
    Barney Frank as Wesley Mouch, etc.
Watch Donald's short video on Amazon:
    The evening will begin with Robert Flanzer singing "I've
Gotta Be Me" by Walter Marks. He says "The words, spirit
and philosophy of the song are quite fitting."
    The program will end with an operetta song sung by
Naomi Brockwell.
    Both singers often attend Junto.

* March 1, 2012, Alex Epstein, founder director of
He contributed to "Why Businessmen Need Philosophy" and
coauthored "Why Conservatives Can't Stop the Growth of
the State"

* April 5, 2012, Robert Higgs, sr. fellow political economy,
author "Leviathan" and many other books. He's the editor of
the Independent Institute's quarterly magazine Independent
Review. Visit his site at:

* May 3, 2012, Ilana Mercer, author "Into the Cannibal's Pot:
Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa."
    This will also be the subject of her talk. Her classical liberal
columns are at:

* June 7, 2012, Gene Epstein, economics editor Barrons
magazine. He writes cover and feature stories on economic
and social trends, and book reviews. Read his articles at:

* July 5, 2012, Tyler Cowen, prof. economics George Mason
U. and the Center for the Study of Public Choice.
    Visit his very active blog:
    There are many articles about and by him on his site:

* August 2, 2012, Gary Jason, businessman, philosophy teacher
and writer. Senior editor of online magazine Liberty, formerly
the paper magazine Liberty:
    He's author of the forthcoming book "Dangerous Thoughts."
Read more by and about him at:

"Legal Systems Very Different from Ours"
    This was the title of the Dec. 2011 Junto talk by
David D. Friedman.
    There's a free audio version of it available online. It's similar
to the talk he gave at Junto. You may want to listen to it and/or
share it with friends:

Musical filled with romance and mystery and intrigue
    Erstwhile Junto attendee Don Hauptman is working on a
revival of a musical. Here's his report:
    Among my lifelong passions is musical theater, and one of
my all-time favorites is a little-known show called "Man with
a Load of Mischief".
    As a 19-year-old college student in 1967, I was captivated
by the original Off-Broadway production. John Clifton and
Ben Tarver collaborated on the book, music, and lyrics.
    "Mischief" is a tale filled with romance and mystery and
intrigue. The songs are melodic, with elegant and witty lyrics.
The characters are interesting, complex people you really care
about. The show also has a great story. As the intricate plot
unfolds, several unexpected twists occur, surprising and
delighting audiences.
    Objectivists will especially appreciate this remarkable show
because of its central themes and values: heroism, courage,
integrity, authenticity vs. superficiality and hypocrisy, rebellion
against a corrupt and dishonest society, the search for what
really matters in life.
    The main character could almost be a Rand hero: an
enigmatic figure, more than he appears, working in a menial
position well beneath his abilities for his own mysterious
    Another character who dominates the events doesn't even
appear until...or does he? (Despite these interesting parallels
with the novel "Atlas Shrugged", the play on which the musical
was based was written in 1924.)
    Mischief's original lead actress, Virginia Vestoff, was an
Objectivist and an Nathaniel Branden Institute, Objectivist
student. Friends tell me that she knew the Brandens and
studied theater with other people who attended Nathaniel
Branden Institute. Virginia died in 1982.
    Despite an enthusiastic following and consistent raves
from reviewers, "Man with a Load of Mischief" has never had
a first-class revival in New York. Now, that’s about to change.
    A Kickstarter campaign to finance a new production is now
underway, here:
    Donors will receive rewards, ranging from a CD of the
show to priority seating for performances and VIP invitations
to rehearsals and other special events. On the Kickstarter page,
you'll find an entertaining short video, a song sampler, and
fascinating background information on the show.
    You may pledge any amount you wish, from one dollar
to several hundred or even more. Your credit card will not be
charged until the campaign ends -- and then only if it meets its
funding target.
    If it doesn't, all pledges are cancelled and you'll owe
    With a cast of six, three musicians, and a single set,
"Mischief" can be staged on a reasonable budget. My friend
John Clifton, the show's composer, assures me that every penny
you contribute will be used wisely and well.
    "Man with a Load of Mischief" is an overlooked theatrical
gem that deserves a major revival. You can help make that
happen. Isn't it about time for a charming, sophisticated,
melodic, old-fashioned musical -- the kind we haven't seen
in ages?
   The campaign runs for only through early Jan. 6th [That's the
day after Junto].
    Please visit the Kickstarter page today and participate in
this exciting venture. Many thanks. Here's the link again:
Iris says:
"At the Jan. 5th Junto John Clifton and Ben Tarver, creators of
the book, music & lyrics, will be singing a song from 'Mischief'
and telling us a bit about their plans for their musical."

Ayn Rand's "Basic Principles of Objectivism"
    In the 1960s Ayn Rand worked with Nathaniel Branden to
organize her philosophy of Objectivism into 20 lectures.
    Branden gave the 20 lecture's in New York City and a taped
version of them were given many in other cities in the U.S.
and Canada. They were given by the Nathaniel Branden
    Although these were presented as Branden's lectures, Ayn
Rand must have OKed every word of them. For instance, in the
first public presentation of the lecture there were more people
than could fit in the room rented for the event. A second room
was quickly set up and Rand read Branden's lecture to the
overflow audience in that room.
    If Rand hadn't agreed with every word of this presentation
of her philosophy she never would have read it aloud or
allowed it to exist.
    Iris Bell says she hasn't had a chance to hear these 20
lectures yet but has been told that they're only slightly changed
from the original.
    These lectures can be downloaded for $60 at:

Manhattan Libertarian Party Annual Convention, Jan. 21
* Carl Oberg, Executive Director, FEE
    (Foundation for Economic Education)
* Jim Babb of WeWontFly.com.
* Many LP Presidential candidates will also speak, including
    Gary Johnson (who spoke at Junto).
Sat., Jan. 21, 2012
Ukrainian East Village Restaurant
140 2nd Ave, bet. St. Marks (8th St.) and 9th St., Manhattan
    11:00am -- Convention business/election of officers
    12:30pm -- Lunch
    1:30pm -- Speakers
Get more info and sign up at:

Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship
    Stephen Hicks is formerly of the Atlas Society, the group
founded by David Kelley. Stephen's now executive director,
Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship and a professor
of philosophy.
    In 2004 he wrote "Why Art Became Ugly" for the
Atlas Society, where you can read or listen to it:
    He teaches business ethics, capitalism & intellectual history.
Read about Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship at:

Rand sighting at Bloomingdale's
    By Virginia Postrel:...A Rand quote appears alongside
similarly inspirational lines from Katharine Hepburn, Mae
West, Diana Vreeland, Betty Friedan, and Raquel Welch:
"Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark....The
world you desire can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible,
it is yours."

Robert Tracinski, independent Objectivist writer, publishes daily
    Tracinski writes TIA Daily", which stands for "The
Intellectual Activist Daily". It's written from his perspective
on Objectivism. The publication hasn't been part of the
Ayn Rand Institute for years.
    It's former editor was Peter Schwartz, but in it's current form,
it's totally different. Now it's fun, clever, thoughtful, positive
and not "officially" Objectivist.
    It has comments on the current political scene, with
suggestions for political action.
    Each Friday one of Tracinski's articles is available free at
Real Clear Politics:
    He adds a new article every Friday. They're all always
available. Here are some recent examples:
    * We Pay for "Free" Health Care, Obama Gets the Thanks.
As the 2012 election approaches, the mainstream media is
crawling back into the tank for their guy. How do I know this?
Because of a new round of articles touting the...
    * They Are Not the 99%.
You may have seen the "NY Times" report describing the
Democrats' 2012 election strategy. It seems they are giving
up on blue-collar whites (which they call, in mainstream...
    * We Are All Expendable Now.
One of the signatures of the Great Recession is the fact that
we have sustained, long-term high unemployment along with
a labor shortage. While unskilled blue-collar workers can't...
    *The Price of Civilization.
It is more in sorrow than in anger that I venture to comment on
"Batali-gate." I'm a fan of celebrity chef Mario Batali, so I was
very disappointed when he seemingly...
    You can read all of Tracinski's articles here:
    You can visit his site to read free issues and to get a free
one month subscription to TIA daily:

Rand's screenplay about the development of the Atomic bomb
        Dr. Shoshana Milgrama: "Ayn Rand's Top Secret:
An Inspiring Original Screenplay about the Development
of the Atomic Bomb", Fri., Jan. 13, 2012
7:00pm, 60 to 90 minute talk with extensive Q&A
Meetup for North Texas Objectivist Society
North Dallas area, Flower Mound, TX
$25 or $10 student, retired or guest, more info in site
    This is the subject of Shoshana's talk:
In the mid-1940s, after the success of her first best-selling
novel, "The Fountainhead", Ayn Rand worked in Hollywood
as a screenwriter for Hal Wallis.
    Her contract with him was unusual, the sort of contract that
another producer had described as impossible. This contract
and how she managed to obtain it will be described.
    One of her most intriguing projects was an original
screenplay about the development of the atomic bomb.
    She described it as "the most difficult writing task I have
ever attempted."
    Although her partially-completed screenplay was sold to
another studio and never produced, the documentary evidence
(research notes, screen treatments, and existing scenes) shows
that the film would have been unusual, and excellent, in several
significant respects.
    As projected, would have been a suspenseful movie,
historically accurate and dramatically colorful, "starring"
Fermi, Oppenheimer, Bohr, Marie Curie, and others in
a heroic chain of scientific discovery.
    Her film, moreover, would have dramatized and concretized
the link between science and freedom, within a broad context.
     This lecture, which draws on unpublished materials, places
the Top Secret project in biographical and philosophical
contexts and also makes clear the artistic and philosophical
differences between Top Secret and The Beginning or the End,
the MGM film on the same subject that was produced instead.
    Part of the purpose of is to share some material written by
Ayn Rand that has never been published and to provide some
facts about Ayn Rand in connection with the writing of this
screenplay that have never been published.
    Shoshana's current project is a study of Ayn Rand’s life up
to 1957.
    Learn more and reserve a seat:

Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Niall Ferguson have a baby boy
    Hirsi Ali, gave birth to her first child on Dec. 30, 2011.
She's Somali-born, escaped to Holland, to avoid a planned
Muslim marriage in Canada.
    In Holland she went from being a tribal person to having
a full appreciation of the Enlightenment. She became a
successful lawyer and member of Parliament.
    She's lived in the U.S. since 2006 and is a fellow at
The American Enterprise Institute, a think tank. There she
researches and writes about the relationship between the West
and Islam, women's rights in Islam, violence against women
propagated by religious and cultural arguments, and Islam
in Europe.
    You can read some of her essays and speeches at:
    This Sept. she and Niall Ferguson married in the U.S. He's
a Scottish financial and economic historian. They met at Time
magazine's party for the "100 Most Influential People in the
World" issue in New York in May 2009.
    Ferguson's books include "The Ascent of Money:
A Financial History of the World" and "Civilization:
The West and the Rest".
    He dedicated "Civilization" to Ayaan. In the preface he
wrote that she "understands better than anyone I know what
Western civilisation really means -- and what it still has to
offer the world".
    He's a contributing editor for Bloomberg TV and a columnist
for Newsweek magazine. 

Documentary "Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged"
    This film will be in theaters around the country on Jan. 17,
2012. The director, producer is Chris Mortensen.
    It's a feature length film which examines the resurgent
interest in Ayn Rand's epic and controversial 1957 novel
and the validity of its dire predictions for America.
    See the trailer, learn more, buy tickets:

Award for Promoting Liberty to Romanian think tank
    The 2011 Templeton Freedom Awards for Promoting Liberty
went to think tanks in 10 countries.
    One of them was Murray Rothbard Center of Political
Economy and Business at the Romanian American U. in
Bucharest, Romania.
    Founded in 2010, it's programs encourage education
and research in economics, and in public policy, from
a free-market perspective.
    Their focus is the Austrian School of Economics. They've
had conferences featuring academics Jeffery Miron and Jesus
Huerta de Soto.
    Among their programs are Mastering Economic Journalism,
Tax Freedom Day and a Great Books in Economics
discussion series.
    We thank Junto attendee Camil Petrescu for this information.
He was at the ceremony and knows the founders of this group.

Brooklyn Oenology wine tasting at Junto months ago
    Several months ago the people from this winery tasting
room brought Junto several wines for us to sample.
    Brooklyn Oenology (BOE), is a based Williamsburg,
Brooklyn. It was founded by winemaker Alie Shaper in 2006.
    Their wines have labels designed by local artists. Visit their
site to learn about their wines, events and renting their space
for parties:

NYC Ayn Rand Meetup, Sunday, Jan. 29, 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, mid-block on the north side
of 55th St., 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."
    The Ayn Rand Meetup is on the last Sunday of each month.
Learn more about it at:

Ayn Rand walking tours
    Fred Cookinham conducts many Rand tours in Manhattan.
His 2012 schedule should be on his site soon:
    For a private tour by Fred, some Saturdays, Sundays and
evenings are open. Call the phone number at the bottom of
    Fred's walking tours keep getting better, because he never
stops researching. He's often at Junto and Ayn Rand Meetups.
    $20 per person, $15 for people 65 and older. Schedule,
directions, his other NYC tours: InDepthWalkingTours.com
Highlights of previous years * Fred gave special "Ayn Rand
and Free Market Tour" for Mont Pelerin Society. * Hear Fred
give "Ayn Rand's Park Ave". on BBC's Radio 4 "The Right
Stuff" on their site. * His interview on "Hardfire" Ayn Rand
Revealed, at Amazon and other places. Answers questions on
Rand's life, loves, philosophy, works and influence.
    Differences between helping a person and sacrificing,
when's "volunteering" not voluntary? Fred's interviewer then
Chair Manhattan Libertarian Party, Joseph Dobrian.
    Watch part: bit.ly/ARfred 

Memorial for Junto regular Alan Ladne
    At every Junto I can remember, Alan asked the speaker a
question or challenged the speaker's ideas or defended reason
or defended Ayn Rand's ideas. Alan usually sat in the front row,
at the speaker's left.
    Since he died on October 3rd, I've exchanged some emails
with Alan's sister. She'd tried to get him to move to Washington
state, where she lives. Part of the reason he wouldn’t move
from is home in New Jersey was that he valued Junto highly.
    Molly Hayes Sechrest, came to many Junto's before she
moved to Texas in 2005. She and Alan were good friends.
She's created a memorial page for him:
    Molly writes: "...you may wish to pay tribute to him. Those
of you who enjoyed Alan's friendship or were simply acquainted
with his quiet but passionate intellectuality and love of the arts,
may wish to write of your memory of him. Perhaps you would
like to recount an anecdote, a personal impression, or an effect
he had on the way you view something.
    "I have created a web site as a memorial to Alan and as a
way for you to express your thoughts and feelings. Just click
on the Guest Book tab -- it provides a place for comments --
whether to express humor or sadness, whimsy or seriousness,
whether brief or lengthy":
    You may find it interesting to read what others have written
about Alan.

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: yhoo.it/JuntoD or send an email to:

About this NYC Junto newsletter

* Iris Bell moderates and writes this e-newsletter
* Oleg Atbashian created NYCjunto.com. 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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