NYC Junto Newsletter – September 2015

September 22, 2015

NYC Junto Newsletter

written by Iris Bell on September 22, 2015


  • NEW Junto meeting Thursday, October 1
  • NEW Junto speakers through April 2016
  • Workshop: Rand’s Objectivist Epistemology, Sept. 22
  • NEW Strengthening Worldwide Freedom Movement, Tue., Sept. 22
  • NEW NYC Ayn Rand Meetup, Sun., Sept. 27, 3:00pm
  • NEW Annual Atlas Shrugged revolution, Sept. 29, 6:00pm to 9:30pm
  • NEW AFF Happy Hour, a speech by Yaron Brook, Wed. Sept. 30
  • NEW Chicago “Great Connections” seminar, Thur., Oct. 1 to 4
  • NEW NY Heroes “Celebrate Self” fall foliage hike, Sun., Oct. 11
  • NEW Annual Hayek Classical Liberal Institute Lecture, Thu. Oct. 15
  • NEW 250 year commemoration of Stamp Act Riot, Sun., Nov. 1
  • NEW Cato and Smith Family Policy Perspectives lunch, Thu., Nov. 5
  • NEW Atlas Network’s six finalists 2015 Templeton Freedom Award
  • NEW Institute for Justice’s 25th year as National Law Firm for Liberty
  • NEW “India awakes” a country’s rise from poverty to prosperity
  • NEW The Free Republic of Liberland
  • NEW Randy Barnett starts Federalists’ podcasts
  • NEW Alex Epstein in Forbes “The case for liberating oil exports”
  • NEW The US treasury’s unjust debasement of Alexander Hamilton
  • NEW Horror file: Film “Tomorrowland” attacks Ayn Rand
  • NEW “Courage” from Marty Lewinter’s poetry book, a sample poem
  • NEW Turning the tables on the inequality alarmists by Don Watkins
  • NEW Museum of Mathematics creates weekly quiz for WSJ
  • NEW Enjoy math with Marty Lewinter’s book “Saga of Math.”
  • Free market and Objectivist local meetings, sites, podcasts
  • Fred Cookinham’s five Ayn Rand walking tours
  • Read and post to 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.

October 1

Oxford-style debate:

Richard A. Epstein and Michael Huemer

“A government that performs its fundamental functions is preferable to a system of anarcho-capitalism in which these functions are privatized.”

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 to introduce themselves.
  • 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 Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues, 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 Junto meetings.

Oxford-style debate, Richard A. Epstein and Michael Huemer

“A government that performs its fundamental functions is preferable to a system of anarcho-capitalism in which these functions are privatized.”

  • Epstein takes the positive. Law professor. Hear how he developed his political and legal philosophy here. Law professor NY University and University of Chicago. Author of many books.
  • Huemer, professor philosophy University of Colorado, Boulder. Author of “The Problem of Political Authority: An examination of the right to coerce and the duty to obey.” Visit his site here.

  • Junto’s audio podcasts since May 2014 here. Listen to the August 6, 2015 Junto, “Ayn Rand: The new wave of myths and misrepresentations about her” by David Kelley here.

  • Visit Junto’s site for information on current and past speakers, listen to podcasts, read previous newsletters and to sign up for the Junto e-newsletter here.

Junto’s founder and host is Victor Niederhoffer. Visit his site here.


Feel free to use the above text to promote Junto among free marketers, Objectivists and investors.


Come to Junto, meet these upcoming speakers:

November 5, Victor Niederhoffer on new principles of speculation, with his collaborator Ayaka Kinoshita singer, songwriter from Japan, see her here.

December 3, Oxford-style debate: Michael Malice and Thomas Woods “Alexander Hamilton was a hero for the cause of liberty”

  • Malice takes affirmative. Author of “Dear Reader: The Unauthorized Autobiography of Kim Jong Il.” Co-author of five books, including D.L. Hughley’s forthcoming “Black Man, White House.” Often on TV. His site’s here.
  • Woods is senior fellow Ludwig von Mises Institute, NY Times bestselling author of 12 books, his newest is “Real Dissent: A Libertarian sets fire to the index card of allowable opinion.” His Tom Woods Show weekday podcasts are here.
  • Gene Epstein will moderate.

January 7, 2016, Robin Hanson in his book coming in March “The Age of Em: Work, Love and Life When Robots Rule the Earth” here. Research associate Future of Humanity Institute Oxford here and associate professor economics George Mason hereVictor Niederhoffer will moderate.

February 4, 2016, Charles Murray American Enterprise Institute senior fellow. On his new book, “By the People: Rebuilding liberty without permission.” Essays and videos are hereGene Epstein will moderate.

March 3, 2016 to be announced. Victor Niederhoffer will moderate.

April 7, 2016, Oxford-style debate: Paul Helmke and John Lott “In order to reduce its murder-rate, the U.S. needs more stringent gun-control laws”

  • Helmke takes affirmative. Former president DC-based Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. His site is here.
  • Lott is author “More Guns, Less Crime.” His blog is here.
  • Gene Epstein will moderate.

Workshop: Ayn Rand’s Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, Tue., Sept. 22

Philosophy professor, Aristotle scholar Carrie-Ann Biondi leads this workshop on Rand’s ground breaking book. She’s taught epistemology courses for upper-level undergraduate students. Meet on the third Tuesday of the month for each of the book’s 8 chapters.

7:00pm to 9:30pm, location announced to those signed up, date/time may change. $5 per session. Learn more, sign up New York Objectivists Meetup here.


Strengthening the Worldwide Freedom Movement, Tue., Sept. 22

6:30pm to 8:30pm, Zengo upstairs lounge, 622 3rd Avenue between 40 and 41 Streets. Atlas Network Trendsetters 21-45 year olds, meet monthly with experts from different regions of the world. Open-bar, networking, learn about trends in global freedom movement.

Ms. Souad Adnane, founding member of Arab Center for Scientific Research and Humane Studies, the first classical liberal think tank in the Arab world, based in Morocco. She’ll discuss fight for freedom throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and challenges of policy change.

Limited to members and their guests. Membership donations are tax-deductible. Information here.


NYC Ayn Rand Meetup, Sun., Sept. 27, 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 Sunday of each month.

It’s at The Midtown Restaurant, 155 East 55 Street, between 3rd and Lexington Avenues, mid-block on the north side of 55th Street, in Manhattan, free.

There are 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 information here.


Annual Atlas Shrugged revolution, Sept. 29, 6:00pm to 9:30pm

Benefit dinner, 7th annual, St. Regis Hotel, 2 East 55 Street. Each year thousands are introduced to and forever changed by Ayn Rand’s magnum opus. Find out why — and how — Ayn Rand Institute promotes Rand’s ideas throughout the US and the world.

Inspirational speeches from intellectuals and businessmen plus live auction of rare artifacts. Information here.


AFF Happy Hour, a speech by Yaron Brook, Wed. Sept. 30

Announced by Amos Schorr, American’s Future Foundation. Yaron is president of the Ayn Rand Institute.

Capitalism has an undisputed record of wealth generation, yet it has always functioned under a cloud of moral suspicion. In a culture that venerates Mother Teresa as a paragon of virtue, businessmen sit in stoic silence while their pursuit of profits is denounced as selfish greed.

In this talk, Yaron — co-author of “Free Market Revolution: How Ayn Rand’s ideas can end big government” — will demonstrate how Rand’s revolutionary ethics of rational self-interest supply the moral foundation that previous proponents of capitalism lacked. Yaron will explain why individual rights are crucial for capitalism’s survival — why productivity and profit, the “selfish greed” that many abhor, are not vices but cardinal virtues.

Enjoy Yaron’s speech in the private room of this lovely pub. Buying a ticket get’s you 2 drinks and appetizers. 6:00pm to 9:00pm, The speech will start promptly at 6:15pm. Galway Pub, 7 East 36 Street. Ticket $20, student ticket $12.50, AFF Patron ticket $40. Order here.


Chicago “Great Connections” weekend seminar, Thur., Oct. 1 to 4

For working and retired adults, “Understanding Power and the Power of Reason” limited to 20. “Types of Power” by Goldhammer and Shils reveals multiple variations of social power that influence our world. Ancient Stoic Epictetus managed to have power though a slave, Machiavelli on the social power, Ayn Rand on conflicting views of ethical power, experience psychological power of art through examination of sculpture and architecture, dialogue on Constitution with Federalist 51 on separation of powers and more. Learn more here.


NY Heroes “Celebrate Self” fall foliage hike, Sun., Oct. 11

10:30am to 4:30pm, Bear Mountain, New York, fall foliage trip, New York Objectivists Meetup

Two ways to get to the summit, hike, or drive. Hikers meet at Bear Mountain Inn, hike Major Welch Trail and back via Appalachian Trail. Drivers meet at Perkins Memorial Tower at summit. May hike an additional short summit loop together.

After hike, lunch break and Celebrate Self speeches, they’ll hike/drive down by 2:00pm. Those interested can join for dinner, likely at Bear Mountain Inn. Information including driving and buses, here.


Annual Hayek Classical Liberal Institute Lecture, Thu. Oct. 15

6:00pm to 7:45pm, Hayek lecture, “Our Illiberal Administrative Law” by Douglas H. Ginsburg, US Court of Appeals DC., George Mason. Introductory remarks Richard A. Epstein, professor law NYU, Junto debater October. Followed by reception.

Free, open to the public, cosponsored by the NYU Journal of Law and Liberty. Approved for 1.5 New York State CLE credits in the Areas of Professional Practice category. NYU School of Law, 40 Washington Square South. Information here.


250 year commemoration of Stamp Act Riot, Sun., Nov. 1

Lower Manhattan Historical Society having public event at Bowling Green. Jonathan Carriel, author of novel about the riot, “Exquisite Folly,” friend of many Junto people, will be a speaker. Kindle book here.


Cato and Smith Family Policy Perspectives lunch, Thu., Nov. 5

11:00am to 2:00pm, Waldorf Astoria, 301 Park Avenue, New

William Easterly, professor economics, author “Tyranny of Experts” Beginning $75, information here.


Atlas Network’s six finalists 2015 Templeton Freedom Award

The winner gets $100,000, honored at Atlas Network’s annual Liberty Forum/Freedom Dinner in NY, November 11–12, 2015.

  • Poverty, Inc. Michigan, Acton Institute
  • Center for Dissemination of Economic Knowledge for Freedom, Venezuela
  • Free Market Foundation, South Africa
  • Institute for Justice (IJ), Strategic Research Program, Virginia
  • Institute of Public Affairs, Australia, Repeal the Carbon Tax Campaign
  • Tax Foundation, DC, State Business Tax Climate Index

Learn more about each here.


Institute for Justice’s 25th year as National Law Firm for Liberty

IJ works to protect freedoms of everyday Americans besieged by government overreach. Litigating 42 cases in 24 states and DC, standing up to government goliaths, winning important victories to strengthen our most vital freedoms:

July they had their 4th state supreme court victory for school choice in 2 years when North Carolina Supreme Court gave parents the freedom to choose the best education for their children.

Their landmark victory, Texas Supreme Court, June, set a precedent for courts to ensure occupational licensing doesn’t interfere with the right to earn a living.

In June, US Supreme Court made clear that government doesn’t get to play favorites with the First Amendment.

They continue to make rapid progress in their fight to end civil forfeiture with victories in court, at the state legislature and in the court of public opinion. Learn more here.


“India awakes” explains country’s rise from poverty to prosperity

Documentary shows what makes the difference between poverty and prosperity. For individuals and families, there could be an endless number of variables for an improvement, such as health, intelligence, education, initiative, perseverance, community or opportunity. As almost an entire society begins rising from poverty it’s important to understand how and why.

Since 1991, 250 million people in India have been lifted out of poverty and are finding new ways to flex their personal and economic power. Read more and watch the trailer here.

Atlas Network’s Liberty Forum/Freedom Dinner will show the film, with a discussion led by some of India’s top intellectual entrepreneurs. Learn about this November 11 and 12 event here. The film will be on public TV this fall.


The Free Republic of Liberland

At the September Junto there were two men representing Liberland. It’s a sovereign state between Croatia and Serbia on the west bank of the Danube river. It came into existence due to a border dispute between Croatia and Serbia. This area isn’t claimed by Croatia, Serbia or any country. It was therefore terra nullius, a no man’s land, until Vít Jedlicka seized the opportunity, April 13, 2015 forming a new state in this territory.

The motto is “To live and let live” because Liberland prides itself on personal and economic freedom of its people, which is guaranteed by the Constitution, which significantly limits the power of politicians so they could not interfere too much in the freedoms of the Liberland nation. Learn about it here.


Randy Barnett starts Federalists’ podcasts

Scholar and Supreme Court litigator, Barnett rejects the principle of judicial restraint, points to Chief Justice Robert’s ObamaCare decision. Instead, he champions more active role where justices defend the sovereignty of the individual. Listen here.

The Federalist is a web magazine of culture, entertainment and politics for lovers of freedom and anxious for the fray.


Alex Epstein in Forbes “The case for liberating oil exports”

US iron miners, thanks to revolutionary technology can extract iron from once-useless rock, doubled their production in 5 years. The production explosion is so big that domestic steel mills can’t keep up, but that needn’t be a problem. There are plenty of international steel mills that will buy US iron and make it into steel that we or anyone else in the world can buy — at ever-lower prices, thanks to the growing supply of iron and steel on the market.

What if, instead of liberating this beneficent combination of domestic production and international trade, the government xenophobically insisted on banning the export of iron — “crude steel” — even though every other industry, including steelmakers, is (properly) allowed to sell the products it produces to buyers around the world? Here’s what would happen.


The US treasury’s unjust debasement of Alexander Hamilton

by Richard M. Salsman

…Treasury Department announced a scheme by which it will either displace or demote Alexander Hamilton’s image on the $10 bill, in favor of a yet-to-be named woman…This is an injustice to Alexander Hamilton, a derogation of the US founding, and yet another example of “identity politics.”…

I regard Hamilton objectively as the greatest of the Founders because he alone contributed in each of the five phases necessary to create the United States of America: the moral-ideological case for political independence (1774–1775), the formal declaration of independence (1776), the Revolutionary War (1775–1783), the creation and ratification of the Constitution (1787–1788), and the practical implementation and administration of the new federal government under President Washington’s two terms (1789–1799). Other Founders were important in some of these five phases but not in all of them.

Read the rest here.


Horror file: Film ” Tomorrowland” attacks Ayn Rand

Alex Epstein writes on Facebook “I never thought I’d see a movie to eclipse Avatar in terms of anti-industrial, green propaganda. But Tomorrowland is worse, because it combines hatred of the man-made world with a pretend, though hopefully obviously empty, enthusiasm for human ability and optimism.

That it evokes *Ayn Rand* — the greatest champion of industrial civilization and its root, the liberated human mind — in presenting industrial civilization as a mindless time-bomb to be saved by eco-“dreamers,” is ghastly.” Read him here.


“Courage” from Marty Lewinter’s poetry book, a sample poem

Courage — sometimes hard to find –
Elusive as the first snowflakes,
Appear now if you’d be so kind,
I summon thee for my heart aches.

I need you not to strike a blow,
When anger goads me to my feet.
I need you when my spirit’s low —
When to my lair I would retreat
And from life’s labors shy away,
Seeking comfort in my dreams,
Hiding from the light of day,
Wondering how bleak life seems
When easy tasks seem hard to do
And obstacles look twice as tall —
When friends and allies are too few
And everywhere I face a wall.

Then suddenly the drums beat loud,
The west wind blows away each cloud,
I don my armor, sword and shield,
And make haste to that sunlit field
Where I with any foe will fight
For all that should be mine by right.
Surprise, courage, true friend sublime,
You were right here with me all this time!

* * *
From the book “Love and Death,” read more and buy here or at Junto.


Turning the tables on the inequality alarmists, by Don Watkins

Despite reams of criticism from free-market-oriented economists, columnists and policy analysts, the inequality alarmists continue to hold the moral high ground in this debate. How can we change that?

In this essay, Yaron Brook and I [both from the Ayn Rand Institute] argue that the key to turning the tables on the inequality alarmists is to expose them as the enemies of the only kind of equality that matters: political equality. From the essay:

Here’s the familiar narrative on inequality: the American Dream is vanishing. The rich are getting richer, while the rest of us are struggling to keep our heads above water, and unless the government fights economic inequality through tax hikes on “the rich,” a larger welfare state, and a “living wage,” things are going to get much worse….”
Some challenge the statistics behind these claims, and argue that economic inequality really isn’t as bad as the inequality alarmists suggest. Others challenge the solutions advocated by the alarmists….

But both of these approaches commit a deadly error: they grant the inequality alarmists the moral high ground by conceding that economic equality is the ideal. Read the essay here.


Museum of Mathematics creates weekly quiz for Wall Street Journal

The founder of this NY museum spoke at Junto years before it opened.

You can visit the museum at 11 East 26 Street. You can find a weekly math quiz and other puzzles at


Enjoy math with Marty Lewinter’s book “Saga of Math”

He’s often at Junto. His book uses lively language to put math in an interesting, historical context and points out many links to art, philosophy, music, computers, navigation, science and technology. Arithmetic, algebra and geometry are presented in ways that makes them relevant to daily life as well as larger issues.

Topics include: Oh so mysterious Egyptian mathematics, Mesopotamia here we come, Those incredible Greeks, Must all good things come to an end?, Europe smells the coffee, A most amazing century of mathematical marvels!, The age of Euler, A century of surprises and Ones and zeros. Lewinter’s a math teacher [and there’s a sample of his poetry earlier.] For his math book look here.

Free market and Objectivist local meetings, sites and podcasts

Groups which meet in Manhattan

Sites to visit

Internet podcasts, all free

These are mainly weekly “radio” shows you can hear online, on your computer, phone, pad, etc. Listen to shows live or at any time. Most are on iTunes. If you’re listening live, join by commenting or asking questions by phone, email, in a chat room, tweeting, etc.

  • “The Yaron Brook Show” two shows weekly.

This radical for capitalism discusses news, culture and politics from the principled perspective of Ayn Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism.

Yaron, president Ayn Rand Institute, is co-author of “Free Market Revolution: How Ayn Rand’s ideas can end big government.”

He ends each show with suggestions of movies, music and/or novels, you never know what life enhancing gems he and his listeners might share.

Your questions or comments are welcome in the chat room, tweet or phone to talk with Yaron. Listen to any of these shows any time. They began January 2015.

Live Saturday, 2:30pm to 4:00pm eastern here.

Live for Chicago radio AM560 The Answer, Saturday, 5:00pm to 6:00pm eastern here.

  • “Philosophy in action” Diana Heish Brickell answer questions from listeners, applying rational principles to challenges of real life.

Live Sunday, Q&A, 11:00am eastern

Live Thursday, interview and chat, 9:00pm eastern

Listen live or any time here.

  • Hillsdale Dialogues, a survey of great books, great men and great ideas. Larry Arnn, president Hillsdale College, on Hugh Hewitt Show. Arnn is a teacher who enjoys teaching and his subjects, he makes learning fun and memorable.

Subject such as: “American principles,” “foreign affairs and separation of powers,” “Israel, Iran, and Senator Cotton’s letter.” On radio in NYC he’s often on Fridays, a short segment during 9:00pm to 10:00pm eastern, on AM970 The Answer.

Listen online any time here.

  • “Don’t let it go…unheard” Amy Peikoff on news and politics from the perspective of Ayn Rand’s philosophy Objectivism.

Live Tuesday and Friday, 11:00pm to 1:00am eastern

Listen live or any time here.

  • “The Peikoff podcasts” Alternate weeks have Leonard Peikoff, philosopher, Ayn Rand’s intellectual heir or Yaron Brook, president Ayn Rand Institute.

Leonard answers questions on Rand’s philosophy Objectivism, human relationships, career, moral issues — not technical philosophy or practical politics. Yaron answers questions on politics, economics, foreign policy. Podcasts are available by topic, single questions, full episodes, here.

Fred Cookinham’s five Ayn Rand walking tours

  • Atlas Shrugged
  • Ayn Rand’s Park Avenue
  • Ayn Rand’s Fifth Avenue
  • Skyscrapers of The Fountainhead
  • Ayn Rand on Broadway

Private tours $30 per person. Arrange tour or information, call Fred at home: 718-397-9019, on cell: 917-607-9019, email: fcookinham [at] His site’s here.

Read and post to Junto sites

  • Read and post to the Forum here.
  • Read and post to Junto-discuss list: Discuss Junto speakers and other topics. To post you need to be a member. Sign up or read here.
  • Visit Junto Facebook here.
  • Follow Junto Twitter here.

About Junto and this Junto newsletter

  • 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 here.
  • Gene Epstein moderates Junto. He’s economics editor and books editor Barron’s, weekly business magazine, author “Econospinning: How to read between the lines when the media manipulate the numbers.”
  • Iris Bell writes this e-newsletter, designs Junto handouts and is a freelance graphic designer. She was Ayn Rand’s and Nathaniel Branden Institute’s graphic designer.
  • Oleg Atbashian created, sends e-newsletter, does email list, moderates discussions. His own famous site discusses important issues with humor.
  • This is a twice a month e-newsletter. Maybe an occasional extra about a timely event.
  • To subscribe to this newsletter put “Junto list” in the subject line, email your name and preferred email address to:


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