NYC Junto Newsletter – March 2014: Ideas in opera, movie, books, podcasts

March 22, 2014

* NEW  Junto meeting April 3 
* NEW  Alexander Hamilton, founding father, his banking ideas
* NEW  NYC Ayn Rand Meetup, Sun., March 30, 3:00pm
* NEW  New site on The Politics of Taxes by a Junto regular
* NEW  Objectivist Summer Conference, June 27 -- July 4
* NEW  The Boston Tea Party Opera, Sat., Mar. 22 
* NEW  Heartland podcast: Yaron Brook on Principles of Liberty 
* NEW  Robert Tracinski leaves RealClearPolitics for Federalist
* NEW  "Dallas Buyers Club" says "It's your life!"
* NEW  Matthew McConaughey embraces selfishness  
* NEW  Government tries to do too much, USA Today
* NEW  Books to Free Market Students program 
* NEW  Cato Inst. Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty
* NEW  Labor dept. recommends Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" 
* NEW  "Atlas Shrugged Part III: Who is John Galt?" the film
* NEW  Three women who resurrected classical liberalism
* NEW  Libertarianism vs. Radical Capitalism by Craig Biddle
* NEW  Myth of the Robber Barons: Rise of Big Business
* NEW  The Ayn Rand Institute has redesigned its site
* NEW  Free market and Objectivist groups, sites and podcasts
* Read and post to the Junto sites
* About Junto and this Junto newsletter

Junto focuses on free markets, Objectivism and investing.
It's a group that shares information, discusses current issues 
and presents speakers

Donald Smith 
Secrets of deep-value investing

Thursday, April 3 

Admission free -- no reservation necessary
* We'll socialize from 7:00pm to 7:30pm 
* 7:30pm moderator, Gene Epstein calls first for announcements 
    of things happening before the next Junto. Then he asks for
    other announcements and for people introducing themrselves.
* The speaker begins promptly at 8:00pm. 
* Most speakers will present their thoughts in several sections. 
    Each section will have audience questions, discussions and 
    rebuttal of the speaker's points. 
* Discussions are intense but polite.
* The meeting will continue to 10:00pm or later.

General Society Library 
20 West 44 St., between 5th and 6th Aves., NYC
near the Grand Central Terminal

* Junto meets on the first Thursday of every month 
* Participation by all attendees is highly encouraged.
* 70 to 150 people attend most Juntos.

    Donald Smith investment adviser, will speak on the secrets 
of deep-value investing. 
    Donald Smith & Co. is a deep-value manager employing 
a strict bottom-up approach. He's with the company 33 years. 
He's has devoted his entire career to all aspects of the investment 
business that support the management of client portfolios.  
    He began his career as an analyst with Capital Research 
Company. He became a director, VP and portfolio manager of 
Capital Guardian Trust Co. 
    In 1980, Donald became the chief investment officer of 
Home Insurance Company and president of Home Portfolio 
Advisors, Inc. He purchased it in 1983 and changed the name 
to Donald Smith & Co., Inc.  
    He received a BS in finance and accounting from U. of 
Illinois, an MBA from Harvard and a JD from UCLA Law. 
He was admitted to the Bar Association of Calif.
    His company's site say it "is a deep-value manager 
employing a strict bottom-up approach. We generally invest in 
stocks of out-of-favor companies that are valued in the bottom 
decile of price-to-tangible book value ratios. Studies have 
shown, and our superior record has confirmed, that this 
universe of stocks substantially outperforms the broader 
market over extended cycles. A study that we conducted with 
Compustat data showed that from 1951 to 2009 stocks in the 
lowest price-to-tangible book value decile had the highest 
long-term returns, delivering a 15.4% return versus 10.7% 
for the S&P 500." Read more:
* The Junto Forum, read & post here:
* Visit Junto's site for information on current & past speakers,
    to read previous newsletters and to sign up for the Junto 
* Visit Junto on Facebook: 
* Follow Junto on Twitter:
Junto's 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 
free marketers, Objectivists and investors.

Come to Junto, meet these upcoming speakers:

* May 1, William Easterly, NYU prof. econ., his forthcoming 
   book, "The tyranny of experts: Economists, dictators, and 
   the forgotten rights of the poor"

* June 5, Robert Begley, Man the hero: Crucial role heroism 
    plays in life. He's founder of: 
    and He judges the "Anthem" &
    "Fountainhead" essay contests for the Ayn Rand Inst. He writes 
    for The Objective Standard & for its Blog:

Alexander Hamilton, founding father and his banking ideas
    At the March Junto the speaker Mark Skousen dressed 
as his ancestor Ben Franklin, told of the U.S. founding. 
He mentioned Hamilton's advocacy of a Central Bank. 
This leads to a typical fallacy which goes like this: 
National Bank = Central Bank = Federal Reserve.
    Robert Begley, upcoming Junto speaker, has studied 
Hamilton's ideas. He explained that Hamilton's National Bank 
was privately run, gold and silver based, and had a 20 year 
charter. Its essential purpose was to pay off the national debt
(which many other founders did not want to pay) so that 
America could restore its credibility internationally.
    Central Banks and the Federal Reserve have a monopoly of 
currency and can print it at any time. This was certainly NOT 
the case with the Bank of the United States.
    Mark's Junto talk was about correcting Franklin's libertarian 
critics, so we're happy to have Robert correct Hamilton's 
libertarian critics. 

NYC Ayn Rand Meetup, Sun., March 30, 3:00pm
    As always, we'll talk about Ayn Rand, her works, challenges, 
Objectivist life, options, associations and knowledge.
    Give and take, open to all, no charge, no reservations. 
It's on the last Sun. of each month.
    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.
    There are usually one to two dozen people at each Meetup.
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."
    Get up-to-date info: 

New site on The Politics of Taxes by a Junto regular
    Alan Joel says: "I've been a practicing CPA in New York for 
more than 40 years, where libertarians and fiscal conservatives 
are few and far between. Here's the real scoop on the 
    He doesn't have his name on this site so I'm not putting it 
here. He's the fellow Victor calls on any time there's a question
about taxes or the inner workings of gov't.
    These are some of his recent articles: 
Bernie Sanders, Economic Imbecile
Bob Beckel Should Go to Jail
Obama and the Problem of Tax Transition Rules
Obamacare and an Anecdote
Chuck Rocha Gets It Wrong on Bulls & Bears
Rick Ungar's Obamacare Fib
"Economists" and the Minimum Wage
The NYC Comptroller Doesn't Understand 
    How Basic Economics Work
What is Wall Street, Anyway?
    Visit his site:

Objectivist Summer Conference, June 27 through July 4   
    Ayn Rand Institute's first 2 days of programming are aimed 
at young people interested in living Rand's philosophy and 
spreading her ideas...but will be of interest to people of all ages.
    Next 4 days have talks and panels by Objectivist intellectuals 
and social events. Speakers include Yaron Brook, Onkar Ghate, 
Edwin A. Locke, Robert Mayhew, Shoshana Milgram, Gregory 
Salmieri, Adam Mossoff, Alex Epstein and others. 
    Sign up for a day or the whole event. 
Discounts for registering by March 31 and for hotel rooms 
in the Venetian Hotel, Las Vegas:

The Boston Tea Party Opera, Sat., Mar. 22, 3:45pm and 5pm 
    See two scenes of this new musical about the birth of the 
spirit of American independence. It's by M. Zachary Johnson 
who often attends Junto.  
* "Scylla & Charybdis," Mrs. Adams persuades Richard Clarke 
to resign the tea cargo. Choreography by Karen Gayle.
* "Smuggling Men Can be So Fine," Molly Pitcher and 
tea smuggler Captain Scott begin a love affair.
    Singers Colette Boudreaux, Scott Joiner and Kerry Gotschall.
Kerry sang a song from this show at a recent Junto.
    Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre, Mainstage, StageFest 2014
54 Journal Sq., Jersey City NJ $12 & $15

Heartland podcast: Yaron Brook on the Principles of Liberty 
    Yaron is the president of the Ayn Rand Inst. -- Part 1
A conversation with Jim Lakely, Heartland's communications 
dir. They discuss of income inequality.Yaron explains the 
desperate need for conservative leaders and the political Right 
to "present the ideal" that will encourage developing thinkers
to question the statist message they are fed daily in schools. 
    He explains that the Right has not been doing enough...
"it has nothing to offer" children and young adults at present.
    Yet, as young people have not yet ossified in their political 
and moral beliefs, they are the people who champions of liberty 
must strive to persuade. 
    Yaron outlines the problems of gov't spending, particularly 
Medicare, which robs young people of their livelihood and 
condemns them to an ever growing burden of debt.
    Next they discuss equality, Yaron arguing there's "no such 
thing as equality of anything," nor should there be. Equality
can only be achieved by hobbling the strong and talented. They 
discuss the moral authority of the Left's claims about income 
inequality. Yaron argues the political Right fails to challenge the 
statist moral language so the Left wins the moral case by default 
in the public sphere. Listen at:

Robert Tracinski leaves RealClearPolitics for The Federalist
    He writes about politics and culture from an individualist 
perspective, He worked for the Ayn Rand Inst. was editor of 
The Intellectual Activist: An Objectivist Review, began an 
online offshoot which is now The Tracinski Letter. He was, till 
recently, writer of The Daily Debate for RealClearPolitics. 
    Read his many essays each week at The Federalist or sign 
up to get them emailed to you:

"Dallas Buyers Club" says "It's your life!"
    by Aaron Day, The Atlas Society -- Congratulations to 
Matthew McConaughey for winning the best actor Oscar for 
"Dallas Buyers Club"! The film and his fine performance 
highlight a simple, fundamental moral principle that is being 
lost in America: It's your life.
    The film centers on a man who is diagnosed with AIDS and 
who is looking for ways to save his own life. The medical 
treatments offered him don't look good, so he begins to research 
other pharmaceutical options. But in a conversation with a health 
care provider he's told that those alternatives are not approved 
by the FDA. He responds that very soon he will be DOA.
    The story then focuses on his attempts to get around gov't 
regulations so he and others afflicted with AIDS can take their 
fates into their own hands and have a fighting chance to live 
rather than to passively lie down and die....

Matthew McConaughey embraces selfishness  
    From Amy Peikoff's News Sandwich blog:
This acceptance speech from Matthew McConaughey. (Sorry, 
but I could not find a video of acceptable quality that I could 
embed here on my blog. I also enjoy the fact that Time, to 
whom I am linking here, found the speech "confounding.")
    While I don't share McConaughey's belief in God, I loved 
that he was so matter-of-fact in stating (1) the importance of his 
mother teaching him self-respect, (2) that the people he most 
hoped to make proud were his wife and three kids, and (3) that 
his "hero," the one who he is always "chasing," is an idealized 
version of himself (as he imagines himself in ten years). 
    Although he's religious, McConaughey seems to understand 
to a significant extent what Ayn Rand described as the virtue of 
Pride. It's not surprising that in a recent interview with GQ, he 
embraced the word "selfish":
     "I'm a fan of the word selfish. Self. Ish," he repeats, drawing 
it out. "When I say I have gotten a lot more self-ish, I mean 
I am less concerned with what people think of me. I'm not 
worried about how I'm perceived. Selfish has always gotten 
a bad rap. You should do for you. I wanted new experiences."
    It is good to see someone embrace the term "selfish" -- and 
even better to see him go on to win an Oscar. 

Government tries to do too much, USA Today
    by Don Watkins and Yaron Brook of the Ayn Rand Inst.
It's not whether government should do more or less, but what 
should it do.
    Taxes are so high, we effectively work more than a quarter 
of the year without pay. Ever-growing regulatory regime costs 
us an estimated $1.5 trillion a year. Obamacare nationalizes 
one-sixth of our economy.
    Is today's government dysfunctional? Of course. But not 
because it can't get things done. The problem is that it does 
so many things that it shouldn't.
    Happiness, prosperity and innovation aren't gifts from 
politicians. They are achievements of the free human mind. 
We need government to protect that freedom. When it instead 
tramples on individual rights in pursuit of whatever politicians 
feel is in the public interest, it abandons defined limits and 
becomes an enemy of freedom and progress. ...
    Read the rest at:

Books to Free Market Students program 
    This Ayn Rand Institute program places Rand's books and 
other Objectivist materials into the hands of young people 
interested in liberty.
    They've placed nearly 20,000 books Each book has a sticker 
and postcard highlighting Ayn Rand Inst. student programs. 
    Working with 100s of free market-oriented professors they've 
distributed 2,800 Objectivist books. This leads to Rand's works
in the curricula of these professors and organizations, and to 
Rand Inst. speakers being invited to classrooms and programs. 

Cato Inst. Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty, dinner
    May 21, Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, NYC, black tie
Reception 6:30pm, dinner 7:30pm, keynote address by
Garry Kasparov, Russian pro-democracy leader. The prize of 
$250,000 is presented every other year to an individual who's 
made a significant contribution to advance human freedom.
    Winner to be announced soon.

Labor dept. recommends Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" 
    Rand's books, "Atlas Shrugged" and "Anthem" are among 
the "Books That Shaped Work in America Initiative," in honor 
of the U.S. Department of Labor 100th anniversary.
    The list also has Milton Friedman's "Free to Chose," 
"Capitalism and Freedom," and Henry Hazlett's "Economics 
in One Lesson." Plus Amity Shlaes's "The Forgotten Man"...
she spoke at Junto.

"Atlas Shrugged Part III: Who is John Galt?" about the film
    by Brian Doherty -- John Aglialoro is a businessman, and 
a very successful one, named by Fortune magazine in 2007 
as the 10th richest small business executive in the country. 
But his latest project is, he says, about "love."
    It's the film...conclusion of a trilogy of movies based on 
Ayn Rand's massively successful and influential 1957 novel 
about a world driven to the brink of collapse by statism in the 
supposed service of altruism.
    "Someday I just want to go visit [Ayn Rand's grave] and 
say 'I got it done.' What a magnificent mind, what a great 
contribution," he says about the author whose works jolted 
him and helped him understand the world.
    I questioned the business sense of Aglialoro's foray 
into filmmaking during a February interview on the set of 
"Atlas III." The first two movies in the trilogy were financial 
failures, losing him millions.
    "We don't know that the trilogy will not make money," he 
corrects me. "We know Part I did not and Part II did not." The 
combined production costs for all three will come to about $20 
million, he says. "But I believe with this third piece -- it's like a 
symphony. The adagio, what do you get out of it? It's boring to 
many people. They want the crescendo."
    He is confident they still have a lot to fans of the novel to 
reach. He and his production partner Harmon Kaslow both say
 that to this day they find people heavily into Rand who still 
don't know this three-part film project is even happening. "We 
discovered of the population of people who read the book, we 
really haven't reached a substantial percentage of those people,"
says Kaslow. He praises their associate producer and online 
promotion maven Scott DeSapio for building an Internet 
community of donors & honorary producers who will hopefully 
be their best advertisers. Read more:
The composer of Part 1 is returning for Part 3,: Elia Cmiral.

Three women who resurrected classical liberalism
    For Women's History Month Cato pays homage to three 
women who in 1943 unabashedly defended free-market 
capitalism and individualism. It was widely considered that 
American capitalism was dead and socialism was the future. 
    In 1943 they published these groundbreaking books: Isabel 
Paterson's "The God of the Machine," Rose Wilder Lane's "The 
Discovery of Freedom" and Ayn Rand's "The Fountainhead." 
They laid the foundations of the modern libertarian movement.
    Read about them and their books:

Libertarianism vs. Radical Capitalism by Craig Biddle
    [Note, Ayn Rand was a radical for capitalism, NOT a
    Libertarianism, writes David Boaz, "is the view that each 
person has the right to live his life in any way he chooses 
so long as he respects the equal rights of others."  
    Libertarians defend each person's right to life, liberty, 
and property -- rights that people possess naturally, before 
governments are created. In the libertarian view, all human 
relationships should be voluntary; the only actions that should 
be forbidden by law are those that involve the initiation of 
force against those who have not themselves used force -- 
actions like murder, rape, robbery, kidnapping, and fraud.
    Given such a description of libertarianism, I'm often asked: 
What's not to like? How could any liberty-loving person 
oppose this?
    Those are good questions. In answering them, let us proceed 
in the spirit of Frederic Bastiat and take into account not only 
what is seen, but also what is not seen. What is not seen here?
    Crucial unseen elements include the libertarian positions 
on where rights come from, how we know it, and whether 
objective, demonstrably true answers to such questions are 
necessary or even possible in defense of liberty. What are 
the libertarian positions on such matters? 
    On examination of libertarian literature, we find that 
libertarians generally hold that rights are "self-evident," or 
"God-given," or somehow (yet inexplicably) "natural." Many 
libertarians hold that rights are corollaries of "self-ownership"
or of the idea that the individual's life belongs to him, which 
they take to be an "axiom," a self-evident truth, or an 
irreducible primary. And many hold that the evil or 
impermissibility of initiatory force is an axiom, the so-called 
"nonaggression axiom." ...
    Read the rest at:
This article is in The Objective Standard, Craig's quarterly 
online and paper magazine, for sale online and in Barnes & Noble. 
Some articles, such as this one, are available free online.

Myth of the Robber Barons: Rise of Big Business in America
    Peter Schiff interviewed Burton Folsom on his book:
    Burton can be watched on C-Span 2, Book TV talking about
"Myth of the Robber Barons"
    And he's on Youtube:
Thanks to Lee Clifford for suggesting these links.

The Ayn Rand Institute has redesigned its site
    You'll find it easier to find items. It suggests a customized
way to learn about Rand's ideas at your own pace.
    From the site: Howard Roark. John Galt. Dagny Taggart. 
Hank Rearden. The heroes of "The Fountainhead" and "Atlas 
Shrugged" are famous because they're unique. 
     Rand's stories, full of drama and intrigue, portray 
businessmen, inventors, architects, workers and scientists 
as noble, passionate figures. 
    Where else will you find an inventor who must rediscover 
the word "I," a young woman who defies a nation embracing 
communism, or an industrialist who must disguise himself as 
a playboy? A philosopher-pirate? An architect who is fiercely 
selfish yet enormously benevolent? A man who vows to stop 
the motor of the world -- and does?
    In creating her novels, Rand sought to make real her exalted 
view of man and of life -- "like a beacon," she wrote, "raised 
over the dark crossroads of the world, saying 'This is possible.' "
    For millions of readers, the experience of entering Rand's 
universe proves unforgettable. Visit:

Free market and Objectivist groups, sites and podcasts

*** Groups which meet in Manhattan ***
Ayn Rand NY Tours --
Gotham Tea Party --
Manhattan Libertarian Party --
NYC Ayn Rand Meetup --
NYC Junto --
NY Objectivists/NY Heroes -- and

*** Sites to visit ***
Aristos: An Online Review of the Arts --
"Atlas" in your life --
Ayn Rand Institute --
Ayn Rand Lexicon --
Bastiat Institute --
Center for Industrial Progress --
Cato Institute --
education blog --
Forum for Ayn Rand fans --
Institute for Justice --
Libertarianism intro from Cato --
Liberty Magazine --
Ludwig Von Mises Institute --
News Sandwich from Amy Peikoff -- 
Objectivism Online --
Powell History -- 
Powell history courses --
Real Clear Politics --
Rebirth of Reason --
Sense of Life Objectivists --
The Atlasphere --
The Atlas Society --
The College of the United States --
The Objective Standard --
The Objective Standard's Blog --
The Tracinski Letter --
Tracinski at The Federalist

*** Internet podcasts, all free ***
These are mainly weekly "radio" shows you can hear online.
    Listen to any show live or at any time. Some are on iTunes.
If you're listening live, join by commenting or asking questions 
by phone, email, in a chat room, tweeting, etc.  

* "Objectively speaking" (The Arshak and Andy Show)
Arshak Benlian and Andrew Bernstein discusse current events 
and timeless themes related to politics and culture from the 
perspective of Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism:
    Live Tues. 8:00pm to 9:00pm eastern time

* " 'Atlas Shrugged' out loud" Arshak Benlian's detailed, 
scene by scene, study of Ayn Rand's epic novel. 
    Live Sun. 9:00am to 10:00am eastern time

* "Don't let it go unheard" Amy Peikoff's discussion 
of news and politics from the perspective of Ayn Rand's 
philosophy Objectivism. 
    Bosch Fawstin, illusWriter is usually on the show. Visit his 
site to see his clever and dramatic work:
    Robert Begley, a Junto regular, often calls in live. 
    Live Fri. 3:00pm to 5:00pm eastern time

* "Philosophy in action" Diana Heish answer questions on 
positive change in Islam, self-esteem and appearance, rational 
suicide, deep-down atheism and more. 
    Live Sun. Q&As: 11:00am eastern time
    Live Wed. Interviews: 9:00pm eastern time

* "The Peikoff podcasts" 
Alternate weeks have Leonard Peikoff, philosopher, 
Ayn Rand's intellectual heir 
Yaron Brook, CEO, Ayn Rand Institute.
    Leonard answers questions about Ayn Rand's philosophy 
Objectivism. He focuses on human relationships, career, moral 
issues -- not technical philosophy or practical politics. 
    Yaron answers questions on politics, economics, 
foreign policy.
    Podcasts available by topic, single questions or full episodes.

Fred Cookinham's five Ayn Rand walking tours
* "Atlas Shrugged"
* Ayn Rand's Park Ave. 
* Skyscrapers of ''The Fountainhead'' 
* Ayn Rand on Broadway
* Ayn Rand Fifth Ave.
    Scheduled tours $20, over 65 yr. old $15. Private tours $30. 
To arrange for your private tour or for more information, call 
Fred at home: 718-397-9019 or on his cell: 917-607-9019 or 
email him: fcookinham [at] 
    Fred's tours get better because he never stops researching. 
''What I have learned from a lifetime of studying Ayn Rand."
    He's often at Junto and Ayn Rand Meetups. He gave his 
''Ayn Rand and Free Market Tour'' for Mont Pelerin Society. 

Read and post to Junto sites
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* Read and post to Junto-discuss list:
Junto members can discuss Junto speakers and other topics.
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 email:

About Junto and this Junto newsletter
* Gene Epstein moderates Junto. He's the economics editor 
    and books editor of Barron's, the weekly business magazine,
    author of ''Econospinning: How to read between the lines
    When the media manipulate the numbers''
* Iris Bell writes this e-newsletter, designs the Junto handouts 
    and is a freelance graphic designer. She was Ayn Rand's 
    and the Nathaniel Branden Institute's graphic designer.
* Oleg Atbashian created He also sends out 
    this e-newsletter, cares for its email list and moderates His famous site discusses 
    important issues with humor:
* Our founder and host is Victor Niederhoffer. Dedicated to the 
    scientific method, free markets, deflating ballyhoo, creating 
    value, and laughter; a forum for us to use our meager abilities
    to make the world of specinvestments a better place.
    Visit his site at:
* This e-newsletter comes out twice a month. You might 
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