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Books Of The Year 2016

2 Dec

Books Of The Year 2016

Books by a libertarian and two Objectivists are named the top books of the year by Financial Advisor.

Libertarian calendar for July 2016

28 Jun
July 1-7

Bellevue, WA

Objectivist conference

The Objectivist Summer Conference of 2016 is growing closer! Put on by the Ayn Rand Institute, this is a unique opportunity for students to gather together to explore Rand’s ideas and decide for themselves what they think about many different aspects of Objectivism. Thanks to generous scholarships, attending this conference will be at little to no cost for students.


REGISTER NOW!

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July 5
Vancouver, Canada

Liberty on the Rocks
6:00 pm

Details

Brexit’s still fresh in mind and the U.S. presidential election is in the heat of things. Come out and learn more and talk with like minded friends. Cheers for liberty!

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July 7
Washington, DC

Governors Gary Johnson and William Weld Meet and Greet

5:30 pm

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July 10
Lorton, VA

Pink Pistols on the gun range
1:00 pm
Sharpshooters

 Here is the website with info and directions:     http://sharpshootersva.com/ 

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July 11
Brooklyn, NY
Libertarian Party ballot access suit
11 am
 US District Court, EDNY
225 Cadman Plaza
Room 6B South

Judge Sterling Johnson, Jr. will hear our motion on July 11, and if the PI is granted then, we can start using modified petition sheets with a witness statement for non-duly qualified New York voters.

It would be helpful to the case if the gallery of the courtroom was packed with Merced and LPNY supporters at that hearing.  Monday, July 11, 2016, at 11:00 am, United States Court House for the Eastern District of New York, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, in Courtroom 6B South before District Judge Sterling Johnson, Jr.  See you there, spread the word!

Our lawsuit has been filed, to strike down New York Election Law 6-140(1)(b), which requires our nominating petition witnesses to be “duly qualified voters of the state” of New York, on the ground that it violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.  Our federal court complaint, filed today in the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Brooklyn, is attached.

The hearing on our motion for a preliminary injunction, to enjoin the NYSBOE from enforcing that provision while the suit is pending, will likely be heard on July 1, so until then at least, we must comply with the current New York law.  I will meet with the judge tomorrow(Tuesday) morning to fix the dates for our motion.  Also attached is my Memo of Law in support of the PI.

Libertarian calendar for November 2015

28 Nov
November 29
Dallas, TX
Dallas Libertarians
7:30 PM
Trinity Hall Irish Pub & Restaurant
5321 E Mockingbird Ln
Dallas, TX 75206
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November 29
Washington, D.C.


DC Objectivist Salon (DCOS)
3:00 PM
Smithsonian Museum of American Art
8 & F Streets NW
Washington , DC 20013
Are you going?
6 spots left!

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November 30
Columbus, OH

POVERTY, INC. + Filmmaker Q&A | Columbus, IN

AMC Showplace 12
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November 30, 2015
Lakewood, CO

POVERTY, INC. + Filmmaker Q&A | Colorado Christian University

Colorado Christian University

Libertarian calendar for June

9 Jun

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June 9

The late John Hospers, first Libertarian Party presidential candidate, birth date (June 9, 1918).

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June 9
Dover, Delaware

Jury Rights Outreach
8:30 am

Hand out jury rights information to prospective jurors!

We attempt to inform juries of their right to vote with their conscience to nullify bad laws.

We will meet outside the Strafford County Superior Courthouse in Dover at 8:30am, in time to hand out jury rights information to incoming jurors.

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June 9
Dallas, TX

Libertarian Happy Hour

  • 7:00 PM
  • <li class="event-stack event-where complete" data-address="2120 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX” data-id=”721958″ data-name=”Sambuca – Uptown” id=”event-where” style=”background-attachment: initial; background-clip: initial; background-image: initial; background-origin: initial; background-position: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-size: initial; border-top-color: rgb(238, 238, 238); border-top-style: dotted; border-top-width: 1px; margin: 0px; padding: 18px 0px 0px;”>

    Sambuca – Uptown

    2120 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX (map)
  • Our regular general meeting — 2nd Tuesday of every month. Everyone invited!
    We have a private area set aside. No fee, but we strongly encourage you to eat dinner here to support Sambuca!
    Come have dinner, talk about politics, give the LPDC feedback and suggestions, and just have a blast with fellow Libertarians! 🙂 See you there!

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June 9
Liberty on the Rocks

6:00 PM
The Café at 2011
2011 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103

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June 9
New York City

The New York Libertarian Party Meetup Group
7:00 PM
Big Daddy’s
239 Park Ave S
New York, NY

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June 9
Baltimore area, Maryland

Rand Paul fundraiser
6:00 pm
(listed in libertarian calendar for informational purposes only)

Dinner with Presidential Candidate Senator Rand Paul

Tuesday June 9, 2015

VIP Reception – 6:00 – 7:00
Dinner at 7:00.

Register: https://causes.anedot.com/dinner-with-senator-paul

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June 11
Washington DC

Cato Institute

Property Rights on the 10th Anniversary of Kelo v. City of New London

Conference

9:00AM

ADD TO CALENDAR
Hayek Auditorium
Featuring Ilya Somin, Author, The Grasping Hand: Kelo v. City of New London and the Limits of Eminent Domain, and Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law; Scott Bullock, Senior Attorney, Institute for Justice and Plaintiffs’ Counsel, Kelo v. City of New LondonWesley W. Horton, Partner, Horton, Shields & Knox, P.C. and Defendants’ Counsel, Kelo v. City of New LondonDana Berliner, Director of Litigation, Institute for Justice; Jeremy Hopkins, Waldo & Lyle, P.C.; moderated by Ilya Shapiro, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute; and Roger Pilon, Vice President for Legal Affairs, Cato Institute.
image

In 2005 the Supreme Court ruled that the city of New London, Connecticut, could condemn residential properties and transfer them to a private developer for a planned office park (which never materialized). Although the Fifth Amendment permits taking private property only for “public use,” the Court held that transfers to private parties for economic development were a sufficiently public “purpose.” This unpopular ruling triggered an unprecedented political and judicial reaction, with 45 states limiting their eminent domain law. But many of these changes impose few or no genuine constraints.

In his detailed study of this controversial case — the first book-length analysis of Kelo by a legal scholar — Ilya Somin argues that the ruling was a grave error. Economic development and “blight” condemnations are unconstitutional under both originalist and “living Constitution” theories of legal interpretation. They also victimize the poor and the politically weak, and often destroy more economic value than they create.
Despite the case’s outcome, Kelo shattered what many believed to be a consensus that virtually any condemnation satisfies the Fifth Amendment. Kelo thus led to significant progress, but there is much work to be done. Please join us for a discussion of the state of property rights in America 10 years after the Supreme Court’s most notorious ruling on eminent domain.
9:00 a.m. Welcoming Remarks (Recorded)

Richard Epstein
Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law, NYU Law School and Author, Takings (1985)

Keynote Address:

Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY)
Founder and Chairman, Congressional Private Property Rights Caucus
9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Panel 1: The Grasping Hand: Kelo v. City of New London and the Limits of Eminent Domain
(University of Chicago Press, 2015)

Moderator: Ilya Shapiro
Senior Fellow, Cato Institute

Ilya Somin
Author, The Grasping Hand: Kelo v. City of New London and the Limits of Eminent Domain, and Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law

Scott Bullock
Senior Attorney, Institute for Justice and Plaintiffs’ Counsel, Kelo v. City of New London

Wesley W. Horton
Partner, Horton, Shields & Knox, P.C. and Defendants’ Counsel, Kelo v. City of New London
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Panel 2: The Grassroots and Political Response to Kelo

Moderator: Roger Pilon
Vice President for Legal Affairs, Cato Institute

Dana Berliner
Director of Litigation, Institute for Justice

Jeremy Hopkins
Partner, Waldo & Lyle, P.C.

Hilary O. Shelton
Senior Vice President for Policy & Advocacy, NAACP
12:30 Lunch
If you can’t make it to the Cato Institute, watch this event live online at www.cato.org/live and join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #Kelo10Years. Follow @CatoEvents on Twitter to get future event updates, live streams, and videos from the Cato Institute.

Attend in Person

To register to attend this event, click the button below and then submit the form on the page that opens, or email events@cato.org, fax (202) 371-0841, or call (202) 789-5229 by 9:00AM on Wednesday, June 10, 2015.
Luncheon to follow

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June 13
Birmingham, AL

1:30pm
Linn-Henley Research Library BirminghamAL35203

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June 13
Washington, DC

Libertarians at Pride Parade
Noon

Soho Tea and Coffee corner
22nd and P Streets NW

Wear any libertarian button, hat, tee shirt, or poster (Rand, Ron, Gary, LP, voluntaryist, ancap, we don’t care) and meet as a visible block.

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June 14
Washington, D.C..

Libertarian booth at Capitol Pride
7th and Pennsylvania Avenue NW
11:30 am to 5:30 pm

Volunteers needed

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June 18
Arlington, VA

Libertarians at NoVa Pride

  • 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM
  • <li class="event-stack event-where complete" data-address="555 S. 23rd St, Arlington, VA” data-id=”23637249″ data-name=”Freddie’s Beach Bar” id=”event-where” style=”background-attachment: initial; background-clip: initial; background-image: initial; background-origin: initial; background-position: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-size: initial; border-top-color: rgb(238, 238, 238); border-top-style: dotted; border-top-width: 1px; margin: 0px; padding: 18px 0px 0px;”>

    Freddie’s Beach Bar

    555 S. 23rd St, Arlington, VA (map)
  • Join LPNOVA and celebrate Pride with your fellow Libertarians and karaoke! LPNOVA will be holding LPNOVA Pride 2015 at Freddie’s Beach Bar on Thursday, June 18th at 7pm. Please come out and feel free to bring guests!

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June 18 – 21
Nashua, NH

Atlas Summit 2015

Get tickets to The Atlas Summit today! http://goo.gl/cN58d4

We will hold our annual conference of open Objectivism, the Atlas Summit, June 18-21, 2015, in the elegant and convenient Crowne Plaza Hotel in Nashua, New Hampshire (or call 603-886-1200).

The Crowne Plaza will host all the events and meals and offers free parking and a free shuttle from Manchester, New Hampshire aiport (MHT).

Registration is now open. Early bird discounts are available through May 17 for most registrants and June 1 for commuters. Register early and save! http://goo.gl/cN58d4

Don’t miss the conviviality, the ideas, the passion, and the inspiration of the Atlas Summit!
http://www.atlassociety.org/as

* * * * * 
See videos of previous Summits:
http://goo.gl/ElWgLS

Schedule: http://www.atlassociety.org/as/atlas-summit-2015-schedule

Information for students (scholarships available!):
http://www.atlassociety.org/as/information-students

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June 20
Oxford, MS

9:00am
Oxford Convention Center

102 Ed Perry Boulevard

OxfordMS 38655

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June 20-21
Austin TX

Voice and Exit

Libertarian women’s history month: Dana Berliner

26 Mar
Dana Berliner (May 31, 196? – ) was born in southern California, where her father, Michael Berliner, was the first executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute and a professor of education at California State University and her mother, Dr. Judith Berliner, is a researcher on blood vessel diseases at UCLA Medical School.   Berliner is Litigation Director at the Institute for Justice, a public interest law firm in Arlington, Virginia founded in 1991 by Chip Mellor and Clint Bolick. She was co-lead counsel for Susette Kelo in the landmark United States Supreme Court case Kelo v. City of New London
Dana received her law (1991) and undergraduate (psychology, 1987) degrees from Yale University, where she was a member of the Yale Law Journal and represented clients through the legal services program. After law school, she clerked for Judge Jerry Edwin Smith on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.  Younger colleagues at the Institute of Justice, when asked about Ms. Berliner, praise her brilliance.  (Indeed, one can imagine reading about her work would inspire many to desire to go to law school, or wish that they had done so.)   Living in the once bohemian Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, D.C. , Berliner has recently become active in a common libertarian passion, finding people interested in starting a Montessori school for her child to attend.

 

Ms. Berliner is best known for her work in the area of eminent domain. Along with co-counsel Scott Bullock, Dana litigated the landmark case Kelo v. City of New London, one of the most divisive and widely discussed Supreme Court decisions in decades. More recently, Berliner acted as lead counsel for Bill Brody in the New York eminent domain case Brody v. Village of Port Chester. Currently, Ms. Berliner is representing the Community Youth and Athletic Center, a non-profit boxing gym for children in National City, California, defending it from potential eminent domain use by the city. She has also served as lead counsel in a successful case that garnered national attention challenging Ohio’s requirement that African hairbraiders spend a year in cosmetology school, in which they learn nothing about braiding, in order to practice their profession.  When she successfully defended Vera Coking, an elderly widow in Atlantic City, N.J., the Institute’s work defending small property owners from eminent domain became nationally prominent. As co-counsel, she stopped a state agency from condemning Mrs. Coking’s house to give it to Donald Trump for a limousine waiting area. She has gone on to litigate many other free enterprise and eminent domain cases.  Dana has previously secured a victory in favor of two New Orleans entrepreneurs in a federal First Amendment challenge to the City of New Orleans’ ban on sidewalk book vending. As trial counsel, Dana also secured a ruling that the Nevada Transportation Services Authority violated the rights of several would-be limousine entrepreneurs by subjecting them to an onerous and arbitrary licensing process that gave undue power to existing companies opposing competition. 
In addition to her work in the courtroom, Ms. Berliner has authored two works concerning eminent domain and been involved with the issue in other ways. In 2003, she wrote Public Power, Private Gain: A Five-Year, State-by-State Report Examining the Abuse of Eminent Domain. She also authored Opening the Floodgates: Eminent Domain Abuse in the Post-Kelo World, a report published by the Castle Coalition on the use and threatened use of eminent domain for private development in the year since the Kelo decision. Dana has also written amicus curiae briefs on constitutional eminent domain issues in more than ten states. Over the past few years, she has also taught many continuing legal education classes on public use. She works with owners around the country in opposing the condemnation of their homes and businesses for private use.

http://www.c-span.org/video/standalone/?193070-5/eminent-domain

Dana has written for or had her ideas quoted in The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, Capitalism magazine, The Washington Post, and The Washington Timesas well as on various radio and television broadcasts, including 60 Minutes.  In 2012 she was on the faculty of the Ayn Rand Institute’s summer conference.
Linda Greenhouse, covering the Supreme Court case decriminalizing homosexuality, in which IJ filed a brief (along with the Cato Institute),  quoted Berliner  in the New York Times :  “Most people may see this as a case purely about homosexuality, but we don’t look at it that way at all.  If the government can regulate private sexual behavior, it’s hard to imagine what the government couldn’t regulate.  That’s almost so basic that it’s easy to miss the forest for the trees.
In her most famous case, Berliner foreshadowed Edward Snowden in her assessment of what it’s like to be the libertarian David (or Dana) going up against the governmental Goliath, saying that the United States Supreme Court decision, Kelo v. New London, gave rise to “a tidal wave of outrage.  The decision brought to light this incredible rift between what lawyers and cities thought was the law and what the American people thought was the law,” Ms. Berliner said. “This is certainly the situation of losing the battle and winning the war.”
Ms. Berliner published the following commentary on the Kelo decision in the New York Times:
No one should be surprised by the aftermath of the Kelo case — neither the fact that absolutely nothing has been built on the land nor the fact that Pfizer is now pulling out of New London altogether.
Nor is it surprising that Pfizer has now pulled out. The company took advantage of the phenomenal tax break when it was there and is pulling out just before it ends. The deal and the project didn’t make any financial sense for a private company, and no one would have agreed to it without a huge subsidy.The evidence at trial showed that nothing would be built on that land. The developer (who has now left the project) did a study showing there was no market for the biotech office buildings the city claimed would replace the homes. But the courts didn’t want to look at that evidence. If they had, Susette Kelo would still be in her home and the rest of us would be safe from eminent domain abuse.
Risky real estate deals are, well, risky. That means they often fail. And if a private company made a risky deal that failed, we wouldn’t even be discussing it. But when government uses eminent domain to remove people from their homes, while spending tens of millions of public dollars on a failed risky deal, that’s a travesty.
The public was upset even before the project went down in flames. To the utter astonishment of local governments, developers and the courts, the American public despises eminent domain. Indeed, after the decision, there was overwhelming public disapproval, crossing political lines.
Eminent domain is wildly unpopular and pie-in-the-sky promises usually turn out to be empty. Hopefully local governments have learned an important lesson.

Libertarian Women’s History Month: Ayn Rand, in memoriam

6 Mar
Ayn Rand (Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum) was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, on February 2, 1905, to a not particularly observant Jewish family. Her father was a pharmacist, as is one of the middle class Russian families being slowly ground into starvation in her first novel, We, The Living.  She passed away on March 6, 1982, thirty three years ago today.  Since her passing her influence has grown to a point that she is attacked daily by statist writers, and Congressmen, Senators, and Presidential candidates discuss her books.
At age six she taught herself to read and two years later discovered her first fictional hero in a French magazine for children, thus capturing the heroic vision which sustained her throughout her life. At the age of nine she decided to make fiction writing her career. Opposed to the mysticism and collectivism of Russian culture, she thought of herself as a European writer, especially after discovering Victor Hugo, the novelist she most admired.  Of her early life she wrote about enjoying European and American culture, including light opera and jazz.
While in high school, she was eyewitness to both the liberal Kerensky Revolution, which she supported, and then, the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, which she denounced from the outset. To escape the fighting, her family went to the Crimea, where she finished high school. The final Communist victory brought the confiscation of her father’s pharmacy and periods of near-starvation. When introduced to American history in her last year of high school, she immediately took the United States as her model of what a nation of free people could be.
When her family returned from the Crimea, she entered the University of Petrograd to study philosophy and history, where she was supposed to have been a favorite of a famous Platonist who did not otherwise approve of female students.. Graduating in 1924, she experienced the disintegration of free inquiry and the takeover of the university by communist thugs. Amidst the increasingly gray life, her one great pleasure was Western films and plays. Long an admirer of cinema, she entered the State Institute for Cinema Arts in 1924 to study screenwriting.
In late 1925 she obtained permission to leave Soviet Russia for a visit to relatives in the United States. Although she told Soviet authorities that her visit would be short, she was determined never to return to Russia. She arrived in New York City in February 1926. She spent the next six months with her relatives in Chicago, obtained an extension to her visa, and then left for Hollywood to pursue a career as a screenwriter.  She never saw her family again until near the end of her life, when one of her surviving sisters came across a copy of one of Rand’s novels in a cultural exhibit in Moscow on Russians abroad, and was able to visit her in the U.S.
On Ayn Rand’s second day in Hollywood, Cecil B. DeMille saw her standing at the gate of his studio, offered her a ride to the set of his movie The King of Kings, and gave her a job, first as an extra, then as a script reader. During the next week at the studio, she met an actor, Frank O’Connor, whom she married in 1929; they were married until his death fifty years later.
After struggling for several years at various non-writing jobs, including one in the wardrobe department at the RKO Radio Pictures, Inc., she sold her first screenplay, “Red Pawn,” to Universal Pictures in 1932 and saw her first stage play, Night of January 16th, produced in Hollywood and then on Broadway. Her first novel, We the Living, was completed in 1934 but was rejected by numerous publishers, until The Macmillan Company in the United States and Cassells and Company in England published the book in 1936. The most autobiographical of her novels, it was based on her years under Soviet tyranny.
She began writing The Fountainhead in 1935. In the character of the architect Howard Roark, she presented for the first time the kind of hero whose depiction was the chief goal of her writing: the ideal man, man as “he could be and ought to be.” The Fountainhead was rejected by twelve publishers but finally accepted by the Bobbs-Merrill Company. When published in 1943, it made history by becoming a best seller through word of mouth two years later, and gained for its author lasting recognition as a champion of individualism.

The Fountainhead polarized critics and received mixed reviews upon its release. The New York Times review of the novel named Rand “a writer of great power” who writes “brilliantly, beautifully and bitterly,” and it stated that she had “written a hymn in praise of the individual… you will not be able to read this masterful book without thinking through some of the basic concepts of our time.” Benjamin DeCasseres, a columnist for the New York Journal-American, wrote of Roark as “an uncompromising individualist” and “one of the most inspiring characters in modern American literature.” Rand sent DeCasseres a letter thanking him for explaining the book’s individualistic themes when many other reviewers did not.There were other positive reviews, but Rand dismissed many of them as either not understanding her message or as being from unimportant publications. A number of negative reviews focused on the length of the novel, such as one that called it “a whale of a book” and another that said “anyone who is taken in by it deserves a stern lecture on paper-rationing.” 

The year 1943 also saw the publication of The God of the Machine by Isabel Paterson and The Discovery of Freedom by Rose Wilder Lane. Rand, Lane and Paterson have been referred to as the founding mothers of the American libertarian movement with the publication of these works.

Ayn Rand returned to Hollywood in late 1943 to write the screenplay for The Fountainhead, but wartime restrictions delayed production until 1948. Working part time as a screenwriter for Hal Wallis Productions, she began her major novel, Atlas Shrugged, in 1946. In 1951 she moved back to New York City and devoted herself full time to the completion of Atlas Shrugged.
Published in 1957, Atlas Shrugged was her greatest achievement and last work of fiction. In this novel she dramatized her unique philosophy in an intellectual mystery story that integrated ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, politics, economics and sex. Although she considered herself primarily a fiction writer, she realized that in order to create heroic fictional characters, she had to identify the philosophic principles which make such individuals possible.  Like her other novels, Atlas is full of very cinematic potential — panoramic views from skyscrapers and mountains, dramatic tensions between siblings, spouses, co-workers.  Her two major novels have been praised by actors like Anne Hathaway (The Devil Wears Prada, Les Miserables)  and Joe Mangienello (TrueBlood, Magic Mike) and Atlas was recently made into a trilogy generally viewed as being of at best of made-for-TV-movie quality, by a fan who would lose his rights to produce a film if he did not hurriedly produce one.
Thereafter, Ayn Rand wrote and lectured on her philosophy—Objectivism, which she characterized as “a philosophy for living on earth.” She published and edited her own periodicals from 1962 to 1976, her essays providing much of the material for six books on Objectivism and its application to the culture. Ayn Rand died on March 6, 1982, in her Manhattan apartment, after a long battle with lung cancer.

Rand is viewed variously as the foremother, midwife, or Alien style involuntary host of the libertarian movement.  Like most famous and successful people she attracted many admirers and fans, some younger and not as established, and they did not always see eye to eye, and often separated in anger over issues that to an outsider seem personal (and very human) but not purely about ideas.  Her associations with people who would go on to be active in the libertarian movement include: economist Murray Rothbard, with whom she had a diremption that was initially about either his wife’s (Joey Rothbard’s) refusal to give up Catholicism or his formulation of an individualist anarchist political philosophy; psychologist Nathaniel Branden and his ex-wife Barbara, who for a time ran a school devoted to popularizing Rand’s ideas; philosophy professor John Hospers, later to be the first presidential candidate of the Libertarian Party; and Joan Kennedy Taylor, one of the editors of the 70s-80s competitor to reason magazine, Libertarian Review.  Kennedy Taylor may be the most interesting of these (all now deceased), historically, for several reasons.  As an editor Taylor discovered Charles Murray and persuaded him to write Losing Ground and his other influential books.  Taylor also edited the Manhattan Young Republican Club’s magazine, Persuasion, in the 60s, and met with Rand, who told her the name for her politics, philosophical but only a political philosophy, not a complete philosophical world view like Objectivism, was “libertarianism.”  Rand later abjured the “L-word” and denounced libertarians for being hippies and anarchists, as Murray Rothbard’s competing vision gained popularity in the movement.*  


Today two competing groups promote her philosophy, the better funded and more apostolic Ayn Rand Institute (ARI), and the more libertarian friendly Atlas Society, which promotes what it calls “open Objectivism.”  Each group was founded by and has a number of philosophy (and other) PhDs, but to outsiders the differences seem somewhat attitudinal.  Both have summer conferences and publications and a presence in DC, but ARI scholars and activities are more numerous and include some new and exciting sub-projects, like that of Alex Epstein on industrial progress and the moral case for fossil fuels.




In addition, a major libertarian foundation, the Cato Institute, has a president, John Allison, who describes himself as an Objectivist, as does former New Mexico governor and sometime Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson.   Though all of these people and groups promote her work, my suspicion is that, as with the success of The Fountainhead, her works being passed around by word of mouth among friends may be a greater force, pulling these groups along in its wake. 

Every book by Ayn Rand published in her lifetime is still in print, and hundreds of thousands of copies are sold each year, so far totaling more than twenty five million. Several new volumes have been published posthumously. Her vision of man and her philosophy for living on earth have changed the lives of thousands of readers and launched a philosophic movement with a growing impact on American culture.

Biographical Information on Ayn Rand

Paris Picayune

14 Jan
One of the advantages of having misspent your youth in going to philosophy graduate school and taken all the class work for a philosophy doctorate is that you end up reading all of Aristotle’s minor works.  In one discussion, I believe on types of friendship, Aristotle has a small essay on the picayune or trivial – on a kind of obsessive compulsive vice where one takes into account things not relevant in a given context (e.g. who had the more expensive appetizer at lunch between two true friends).  Likewise this week many people, mainly leftists (though some Moslem or Catholic theocrats have joined in), wish to discuss the many European state limitations on free speech, as if it compared in some way to cold blooded murder of journalists or artists.  Here is one such, by Jeremy Scahill, whose website The Intercept we have in our blog roll in our sidebar, and who speaks at Students for Liberty events.  And his remarks on hypocrisy are all true.  But does censoring journalists reporting on surveillance or even jailing or lashing journalists equal killing and calling for more killing of anyone who criticizes or spoofs a totalitarian religion or ideology.  I think the perfect is being made an enemy of the not good enough, in a way that furthers the evil.

Meanwhile, fascists on the left, for example MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell are already asking what is so bad about attacking Charlie Hebdo and other publications that criticize Islam, when there are so many laws protecting Europeans from hearing any speech that might offend them.

“Circus of Hypocrisy”: Jeremy Scahill on How World Leaders at Paris March Oppose Press 
Jeremy Scahill, co-founder of the TheIntercept.org, where his most recent article is “Al Qaeda Source: AQAP Directed Paris Attack.” His latest book, Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield, is out in paperback. His film Dirty Wars was nominated for an Academy Award. He is also the author of the best-selling book Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army

AMY GOODMAN: An estimated 3.7 million people rallied across France Sunday in response to the Charlie Hebdo shootings and ensuing attacks that left 17 people dead. On Sunday, more than 40 world leaders traveled to Paris for the demonstration. At the Place de la République, demonstrators wearing Charlie Hebdo headbands waved French flags, and some sang “La Marseillaise,” the national anthem. Several mounted the Statue of the Republic, a symbol of the French Revolution, and hoisted up an inflated pencil to honor the killed Charlie Hebdo cartoonists. Here are some of the voices from the streets of France on Sunday.

DEMONSTRATORS: [singing] …dans les campagnes
mugir ces féroces soldats?
Aux armes, citoyens.

DEMONSTRATOR 1: [translated] We are free people in France, where everyone can live with one another. And it is important to voice and show it.

DEMONSTRATOR 2: [translated] Beyond Charlie, it is about freedom of speech, secularism, all the values that make up France that have been rattled. But the fact of gathering together, to see all these people, gives back a lot of hope.

DEMONSTRATOR 3: [translated] I sympathize with the people who have lost their loved ones. I would like to tell French people not to get confused, that at no time, in not a single book related to religion, whether it be the Qur’an, the Bible or the Torah, is it asked to kill one’s fellow man or woman.

DEMONSTRATOR 4: [translated] Everybody is concerned, not only in France. It’s all the people. The entire planet Earth is concerned. That means we’re united. All countries are free, but we are here to prove that France is a welcoming country and that we are really free to express our joy whenever we want.

AMY GOODMAN: Voices from Sunday’s demonstration in France, one of the largest protests in the nation’s history. Again, 3.7 million people marched across France.
The march took place two days after the gunmen who attacked Charlie Hebdo, Chérif and Said Kouachi, were killed by police after a siege at a printing works plant following a three-day manhunt. Minutes after the print shop assault, police broke a second siege at a kosher supermarket in eastern Paris. Four hostages died there along with the gunman, Amedy Coulibaly. France has announced it will deploy 10,000 soldiers on home soil and post almost 5,000 extra police officers to protect Jewish sites. On Friday, Chérif Kouachi said he received financing by the Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen. He made the assertion to BFMTV before his death.

CHÉRIF KOUACHI: [translated] I’ll tell you only that we were defenders of the Prophet Muhammad and that I was sent, me, Chérif Kouachi, by al-Qaeda of Yemen. I went over there, and it was Anwar al-Awlaki who financed me. Rest in peace.

AMY GOODMAN: Reuters is reporting both brothers who carried out the attack against Charlie Hebdo traveled to Yemen in 2011 and had weapons training in the deserts of Marib, an al-Qaeda stronghold. Meanwhile, a source within al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has provided The Intercept with a full statement claiming responsibility for the Charlie Hebdo attack. The statement reads in part, quote, “The leadership of #AQAP directed the operation, and they have chosen their target carefully as a revenge for the honor of Prophet …The target was in France in particular because of its obvious role in the war on Islam and oppressed nations,” unquote. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula members have taken to social media and discussion boards to praise the attacks.
Well, for more, we’re joined by the article’s author, Jeremy Scahill. He is co-founder of the TheIntercept.org, where his new article is “Al Qaeda Source: Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula Directed Paris Attack.” His latest book, Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield, it’s now out in paperback. His film Dirty Wars was nominated for an Academy Award. He’s also author of the best-selling book Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army.
Jeremy, welcome back to Democracy Now!
JEREMY SCAHILL: Thanks, Amy.
AMY GOODMAN: Let’s talk about this latest news out of France.
JEREMY SCAHILL: Yeah, well, I mean, first of all, you know, what we saw yesterday on display, on the one hand, was very heartening, to see so many people come into the streets. And, you know, one of the core issues of press freedom, if this is a moment where the whole world is saying we have to have a free press, and that no matter how controversial or hateful some of the speech is or may be interpreted in some communities, that we judge a free press by how we treat the journalists or the stories that we don’t like or that we’re offended by.
But on the other hand, this is sort of a circus of hypocrisy when it comes to all of those world leaders who were marching at the front of it. I mean, every single one of those heads of state or representatives of governments there have waged their own wars against journalists. You know, David Cameron ordered The Guardian to smash with a hammer the hard drives that stored the files of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Blasphemy is considered a crime in Ireland. You had multiple African and Arab leaders whose own countries right now have scores of journalists in prison. Benjamin Netanyahu’s government in Israel has targeted for killing numerous journalists who have reported on the Palestinian side, have kidnapped, abducted, jailed journalists. You know, there’s this controversy right now: Why didn’t President Obama go, or why didn’t Joe Biden go? You know, Eric Holder was there already and was representing the United States.
I think that we should remember—and I was saying this on Twitter over the weekend—that Yemen should have sent the Yemeni journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye as their representative. He, of course, was in prison for years on the direct orders of President Obama for having reported on secret U.S. strikes in Yemen that killed scores of civilians. Or Sudan should have sent Sami al-Hajj, the Al Jazeera cameraman who was held for six years without charge in Guantánamo and repeatedly interrogated by U.S. operatives who were intent on proving that Al Jazeera had some sort of a link to al-Qaeda. So, you know, while there is much to take heart in, in terms of this huge outpouring of support for freedom of the press, hypocrisy was on full display in the streets of Paris when it came to the world leaders.