NYC Junto Newsletter – August 2015

August 28, 2015

NYC Junto Newsletter

written by Iris Bell on August 28 2015


  • NEW Junto meeting Thursday, September 3
  • NEW Junto speakers through April 2016
  • NYC Ayn Rand Meetup, Sunday, August 30, 3:00pm
  • NEW Students for Liberty poker tournament, Thur., Sept. 10
  • NEW Constitution Day reading, Thu., Sept. 17, 7:00pm
  • NEW Workshop: Rand’s Objectivist Epistemology, Sept. 22
  • NEW 7th Annual Mises Celebration, Sat., Sept. 26, 5:30pm
  • NEW Private reception, Rand Paul, Mon., Sept., 28, 11:00am
  • NEW Atlas Network forum, Charles Murray, Nov. 11-12
  • NEW America’s misguided fight against income inequality
  • NEW Uber vs. Piketty, Don Boudreaux, in Wall Street Journal
  • NEW Mike Rowe and Ayn Rand: Somebody’s gotta do it
  • NEW Iran’s faux multiple personality disorder
  • NEW “Selling” Ayn Rand’s ideas, by Michelle Marder Kamhi
  • NEW Birthright citizenship is “conservative”
  • NEW Ayn Rand and ending the draft. “Persuasion of Nixon”
  • NEW Downsizing the federal government, a new Cato project
  • NEW $70,000 minimum wage works as “Atlas” predicted
  • NEW Book of poems “Love and Death” by Marty Lewinter
  • NEW Ayn Rand and Robert Hessen, Pacifica 1968, online
  • NEW Institute for Justice helps change legislation
  • NEW Energy Liberation Plan from Alex Epstein on Oct. 5
  • NEW Ayn Rand’s “We the Living” on DVD and streaming
  • NEW “The New Road to Serfdom: warning to America”
  • NEW High-school AP history acknowledge Founding Father
  • NEW Austrian economics music video by Naomi Brockwell
  • 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.

September 3
Adrian Bejan
Design in Nature:

How the constructal law governs evolution in biology, physics, technology, and social organizations

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.

Adrian Bejan inventor of constructal law. On his book, “Design in Nature: How the constructal law governs evolution in biology, physics, technology, and social organizations.” He says the easiest explanation of constructal law is here.

His fields: Thermodynamics, heat transfer, fluid mechanics, convection and porous media. Since 2001 he’s been among the 100 most highly cited authors worldwide in all fields of engineering, Institute for Scientific Information. 18 honorary doctorates from universities in 11 countries, author 28 books, over 600 peer-referred articles. His background here.

  • Junto’s audio podcasts since May 2014 here.
  • Listen to the July 2, 2015, Junto, Debate: Thomas Donnelly vs Christopher Preble, “Sustaining American security, freedom, and prosperity will require a greater assertion of geopolitical leadership and military power” 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:

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.”

  • Epstein takes positive. Law professor NY University and University of Chicago. Author of many books. Read his tweets here.
  • Huemer takes negative. 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.

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 takes negative. Senior fellow Ludwig von Mises Institute, NY Times bestselling author of 12 books, his newest “Real Dissent: A Libertarian sets fire to the index card of allowable opinion.” His Tom Woods Show weekday podcasts are here.

January 7, 2016, Oxford-style debate: Gene Epstein and an opponent to be announced. The subject will be the causes of the 2008 financial crisis. He’s Junto’s moderator, the economics editor and books editor of Barron’s.

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

March 3, 2016 to be announced

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”

  • Paul Helmke takes affirmative. Former president DC-based Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. His site is here.
  • John Lott takes negative. Author “More Guns, Less Crime.” His blog is here.

NYC Ayn Rand Meetup, Sunday, August 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 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.” Information here.


Students for Liberty poker tournament, Thur., Sept. 10, 6:30pm

Go all-in for liberty by spending the evening with some of the most prominent movers and shakers of the movement and top student activists at the 5th Annual SFL Charity Poker Tournament. Supports pro-liberty students around the world.

St. Regis Hotel, 2 East 55 Street, black tie optional, donations $250 to $1,000 and more. Reception, dinner and dessert buffets, tournament play till midnight. Information here.


Constitution Day reading of the U.S. Constitution, Thu., Sept. 17

7:00pm to 9:15pm, 120 Park Ave., SW corner on 42nd St. at Park Ave., main entrance on 42nd St. It’s a public space with chairs and tables.

On Sept. 17, 1787 Founding Fathers signed the U.S. Constitution. Robert Begley leads public reading and group discussion. Among questions: How was the issue of slavery addressed? Did the Bill of Rights protect or undermine individual rights? What does the necessary and proper clause refer to?

Read the Constitution here. Recommended readings on it here and here. More information and sign up at New York Objectivists Meetup here.


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 to be announced, date/time may change. $5 per session. Learn more, sign up New York Objectivists Meetup here.


7th Annual Mises Celebration, Sat., Sept. 26, 5:30pm – 10:00pm

Jeffrey Tucker, “Why Mises still matters in the digital age,” San Jose, CA

Tucker, director digital development Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), chief liberty officer/founder, executive editor Laissez Faire Books, research fellow Acton Institute, policy adviser Heartland Institute, founder CryptoCurrency Conference.

Ludwig von Mises, born Sept. 29th, 1881. Henry Hazlitt said he was the greatest economist of his generation….Marxist economist, Oskar Lange…declare[d] in admiration that “in front of every socialist Ministry of Planning there should be a statue of Ludwig von Mises.”

Some sponsors: T.J. Rodgers, The Independent Institute, International Society for Individual Liberty,, FEE. Questions, tickets, student/teacher scholarships here.


Private coffee reception for Rand Paul, Mon., Sept., 28, 11:00am

Jean Claude Gruffat and David Hawkins invite you to meet Senator Rand Paul in a small group. Union League Club, 38 East 37 Street, at Park Avenue South. $1,000 and up, for information:


Atlas Network forum and dinner, Charles Murray, Nov. 11-12

Murray is keynote speaker. His first major book, “Losing Ground” (1984), is widely credited with laying the intellectual foundation for the Welfare Reform Act 1996. His current book, “By the People” suggests a citizen-led approach to curbing excesses of the regulatory state. Learn about the forum and dinner here.


America’s misguided fight against income inequality

  • Book: “Equal Is Unfair” by Don Watkins and Yaron Brook of Ayn Rand Institute, coming April 5, 2016. Until then Ayn Rand Institute will do lots on the subject. Preorder here.
  • Debate: “Inequality: Should we care?” Yaron Brook questions the premise of the debate vs James Galbraith, University of Texas. Watch it here.
  • Essay: “Does Bernie Sanders want everyone to be poor?” by Don Watkins. Sanders: “something profoundly wrong when in recent years we have seen a proliferation of millionaires and billionaires yet the average American is working longer hours for lower wages…the highest rate of child poverty of any major country on earth.” …would he prefer that there was no proliferation of millionaires and billionaires…all Americans…mired in poverty?… Read it here.
  • Interview: Steven Horwitz on his paper, “Inequality, mobility and being poor in America.” Don Watkins’s podcast on distinction between standard of living and distribution of income, truth about mobility in America, why the disappearing middle class is a good thing and more. Listen here.


Uber vs. Piketty, by Don Boudreaux in the Wall Street Journal

Uber (and other ‘sharing economy’ innovations, such as Airbnb) allow ordinary people to turn their consumption goods into capital goods…. to drive his or her car in an income-earning…manner.

…government interventions…are not only obstacles to market forces that improve consumers’ access to goods and services…are assaults against market forces that increase the amount of wealth-producing capital that ordinary people are able to own, control, and profit from. Read it on Cafe Hayek here.


Mike Rowe and Ayn Rand: Somebody’s gotta do it

By Carrie-Ann Biondi, at AndPhilosophy

Open any newspaper. Turn on any news channel. Politicians and many of their constituents clamor for government to “do something” about the latest so-called emergency. Whether it’s about the economy, education, or healthcare, they urge that “somebody’s gotta do it,” …through the collective long arm of the law.

Above the din of chronically doom-saying headlines rise voices. Were we to listen to them, there would be a massive turnaround toward prosperity, creativity, and life-satisfaction rather than a continued downward spiral into stale policies, debt, and recession….

Two of the most pertinent of those voices are: Mike Rowe and Ayn Rand…. Many might not realize how consonant Rowe’s and Rand’s views are, nor the ways in which their approaches to addressing the ills of our time can instruct one another.

…Rand and Rowe understand that reality requires each of us to work for a living, uphold the virtue of productiveness, and appreciate that there is no such thing as “good” or “bad” work, but only honest work done well or poorly. Read it here.


Iran’s faux multiple personality disorder

by Elan Journo in The Federalist. Here’s how anyone could think it’s a good idea to negotiate with Iran’s openly hostile regime that fuels jihadists and seeks our destruction.

Why are seemingly sensible people cheering the Iran deal, given the regime’s notorious brutality and belligerence? The answer lies in a wonkish affliction that you could call the split-personality fallacy.

…Iran is a horrific theocracy that methodically violates individual rights. Iran’s worldwide backing of jihadists last year…was “undiminished.”…Iran vigorously seeks dominion: in Beirut, Damascus, Sanaa, Baghdad, and Gaza, it already exerts significant influence, and it has begun outreach to the Taliban. Read it here.


“Selling” Ayn Rand’s ideas, talk by Michelle Marder Kamhi

In the 15 years since publication of “What Art Is: The esthetic theory of Ayn Rand,” Louis Torres and Michelle [who sometimes attends Junto] have been actively engaged in promoting the principles of Ayn Rand’s theory of art in the often-hostile world beyond that of her admirers.

Michelle explores the lessons learned from that experience that can be applied to other areas of Rand’s thought, video here.


Nothing is more “conservative” than birthright citizenship

By Robert Tracinski. Eliminating birthright citizenship means overthrowing the Constitution and the thousand-year history of English common law.

Part of Donald Trump’s disastrous plan for a diplomatic and trade war with Mexico is to eliminate birthright citizenship…that you become a citizen of the U.S. simply by virtue of being born here, even if your parents are not citizens….

…plenty of “conservatives” who want us to stick to the Constitution and time-worn legal traditions — so long as this supports the things they like. But if [they] get in the way of their nativist prejudices, then to heck with them. Read it here.


Ayn Rand and ending the draft. “The Persuasion of Nixon”

By Laurie Rice. In the mid-1960s, a handful of individuals from Ayn Rand’s inner circle set out to end the draft. Few know the story of their activism. Just how powerful was their influence over Nixon?…

Ayn Rand’s speech, called “The Wreckage of the Consensus,” was her first sustained look at the Vietnam War and the draft….Rand opposed the draft because it was a statist infringement on the right of the individual to own his own life. Read it here.


Downsizing the federal government, a new Cato project

The federal government is running huge budget deficits, heading toward a financial crisis. Cato’s new site is designed to help policy makers and the public understand where federal spending goes and how to reform each government department.

It describes the failings of agencies and identifies specific programs to cut. It discusses systematic reasons why government programs are often obsolete, mismanaged or otherwise dysfunctional.

This site puts aside how programs are supposed to work and focuses on how they actually work. Featured federal departments: Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Labor, Social Security, Transportation, plus other agencies. Learn more here.


Company’s $70,000 minimum wage works as “Atlas” predicted

By Walter Hudson. What happens when you give everyone a raise. In…”Atlas Shrugged,” Rand presented…21st Century Motor Company…best in the business, run with efficiency and purpose…the company passed to heirs who thought…everyone should work according to their ability and be paid according to their need….

The results were disastrous. Production fell, as did quality of workmanship. Demand for “needs” increased, while claims on “ability” dwindled. In short order, the factory failed….

Today, a Seattle company has followed her script…When Dan Price, founder and CEO of the Seattle-based credit-card-payment processing firm Gravity Payments, [raised] minimum salary to $70,000 a year, he was met with overwhelming enthusiasm….

But in the weeks since then, it’s become clear that not everyone is equally pleased. Among the critics? Some of Price’s own employees. Read it here.


Book of poems “Love and Death” by Marty Lewinter

Marty, a Junto speaker, occasionally attends. Read seven of his poems, buy the Kindle or paperback here.


Ayn Rand and Robert Hessen on Pacifica radio 1968, free online

Rand on “The End of the Road” about President Johnson’s announcement he won’t run for a second term as President in April 1968, Rand introduces Robert Hessen reading his essay “Campus or Battlegound,” Rand on America’s material wealth, on the invasion of Czechoslovakia, October 1968. Listen to these here.


Institute for Justice helps change legislation to make people free

Known best for fighting in court on behalf of small business owners, school choice advocates, property owners and free speech issues, they also have a legislative team working to change local and state government. They select efforts to pass pro-liberty legislation and defeat anti-liberty legislation by employing IJ’s legal analysis, strategic communications, activism and research.

Sometimes they’re alone at state capitols and city council meetings as the only advocates of government reducing the things it does. In other cases, they join forces with other organizations to advance liberty.

They have “model legislation” for areas such as ending anti-competitive business regulations, for state legislators to monitor forfeiture, defense for entrepreneurs against anticompetitive regulations, stopping pretext of blight in eminent domain and more.

They’ve completed legislation which passed, creating clearer laws in favor of more competition, opening intrastate transporation markets, fighting crime while protecting property rights and more. Read about it here.


The Energy Liberation Plan from Alex Epstein, Junto speaker

Thanks to American ingenuity, this country has the potential to become the energy engine of the world — jump starting our economy, guaranteeing our energy security, helping billions to pull themselves out of poverty, and creating millions of highly productive jobs — all while improving the quality of our environment….

Unfortunately, because of backwards energy and environmental policies that are anti-development, not anti-pollution, we are squandering the opportunity of a generation, through blind opposition to our three most potent sources of power: hydrocarbon energy (coal, oil, and gas), nuclear energy, and hydroelectric energy….

On October 5th I will be releasing the Energy Liberation Plan for consideration by 2016 political candidates. Learn more here.


Ayn Rand’s “We the Living” on DVD for $16.95 or stream $4.95

Based on Rand’s novel, the film was produced in Italy during World War II, banned during its original release, and long thought lost.

An explosive romantic triangle in the midst of a world-changing revolution. In a tale involving a forbidden love affair, deception and betrayal, the heroic struggle to live one’s own life emerges as the enduring and universal theme.

This Special Edition DVD set has scenes deleted from the original film never before seen by American audiences, the original ending, 35-minute documentary of the film and its restoration. Rand personally supervised the restoration and re-editing of the film.

This two-disc Special Edition can be ordered or streamed here.


“The New Road to Serfdom: A letter of warning to America”

Daniel Hannan, British politician, tells of his book which urges Americans not to take such things as federalism, the rule of law and limited government for granted. He believes the U.S. could find itself lurching toward European-style socialism more quickly. His Cato talk here.


High-school AP history courses acknowledge Founding Fathers

Daniel Henninger’s Wall Street Journal op-ed announced this big win. Conservatives fought and restored patriotic themes and accurate accounts to the Advanced Placement courses and exams for U.S. history. It sets the standard for what allows high schools to earn college credit.

Last year, College Board, the nonprofit corporation that controls AP, published new guidelines. They were a left-wing dream, obsessed with identity, gender, class, crimes against the American Indian and sins of capitalism in the proposed guidelines for teachers.

Kids in public schools would have learned everything’s wrong with America instead of the embrace of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness espoused by the Framers and embraced by those who came here.

The College Board’s rewritten 2015 teaching guidelines are an important political event. Conservative activists are taking back education by this restoration of America’s foundation principles in AP exams.

The earlier guidelines told of America as Europeans bringing pestilence, destructive plants and cultural obliteration to American Indians. These neo-Marxist guidelines said, “attention given to the formation of gender, class, racial, and ethnic identities.” They never mentioned Franklin, Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, Madison or any Founding Fathers. Now they’re back, as are the Federalist Papers.

Best of all, the private enterprise system is a force for good: “As the price of many goods decreased, workers’ real wages increased, providing new access to a variety of goods and services.” Read more here.


Austrian economics music video by Naomi Brockwell

Naomi is often at Junto. Austrian economics music video from the Future of Freedom Foundation, called Serfdom USA! If you like Beach Boys and Hayek this video’s for you, here.

Free market and Objectivist local meetings, sites and podcasts

*** Groups which meet in Manhattan ***

Sites to visit


  • “The Yaron Brook Show” is one and a half hours 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.
    • Sunday, July 26, she’ll answer questions on honesty under confidentiality agreements, adopting hobbies for just for dating, efficiency in writing and more.
    • 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, show 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.
    • Bosch Fawstin, illusWriter also on the show. Visit his site to see his clever and dramatic work, here.
    • 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 of 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 or 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. Information, call Fred home: 718-397-9019 or his cell: 917-607-9019, email: fcookinham [at] His site is 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. To sign up or to read posts 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 of Barron’s, weekly business magazine, author “Econospinning: How to read between the lines when the media manipulate the numbers” here.
  • Iris Bell writes this e-newsletter, designs Junto handouts, a freelance graphic designer. She was Ayn Rand’s and Nathaniel Branden Institute’s graphic designer.
  • Oleg Atbashian created He sends this e-newsletter, cares for email list, moderates discussions here. His own famous site discusses important issues with humor, here.
  • This twice a month e-newsletter. Might send an occasional extra email about timely event.
  • To subscribe to this newsletter put “Junto list” in the subject line, email your name and preferred email address:


Previous post:

Next post: