“Fluff” and “Cubbyhole”: Ayn Rand’s Celebration of Christmas

New Ideal has an delightful article by Jeff Britting about Christmas at the O’Connors’: How Ayn Rand Celebrated:


To celebrate Christmas, [New Ideal] asked Jeff Britting, former curator of the Ayn Rand Archives, to supply us with images and text from an article he wrote that originally appeared in the Ayn Rand Institute’s newsletter, Impact, in 2010. The article was devoted to anecdotes about Christmas visits, letters from Ayn Rand’s family in Russia about Christmas, images of Rand and her husband, Frank O’Connor, at Christmas and Christmas cards she and Frank gave and received (some with their pet names for each other, “Fluff” for her and “Cubbyhole” for him).

One observation that stands out to us is Miss Rand — America’s greatest defender of Capitalism — attitude towards gift-giving:

As to gifts, Miss Rand preferred to exchange presents only among very close friends and special business associates. And given that many of her friends were of modest means, she insisted that gifts not be burdensomely expensive. This challenge often resulted in flights of ingenuity. The artists and musicians among her circle often produced handcrafted ornaments, jewelry and recordings.

Overall the entire article for Ayn Rand fans is a joy to read. Merry Christmas!

Link: Christmas at the O’Connors’: How Ayn Rand Celebrated:

Racism Endorsed at Harvard University

“Danielle D’Souza Gill explains an incredible racial discrimination scandal at Harvard University that the mainstream media is largely ignoring… in under 90 seconds!”

Learn more at Students for Fair Admissions — “a nonprofit membership group of more than 20,000 students, parents, and others who believe that racial classifications and preferences in college admissions are unfair, unnecessary, and unconstitutional.” Their mission is to support and participate in litigation that will restore the original principles of America’s  civil rights movement: “A student’s race and ethnicity should not be factors that either harm or help that student to gain admission to a competitive university.”

Our take: the diversity that does matter in universities is intellectual — something sadly missing in a Harvard education indoctrination.

Ayn Rand Student Conference Europe 2019 in Prague

Join the Ayn Rand Institute for their first ever European conference Ayn Rand Student Conference Europe 2019, February 15 to 17 in Prague, the Czech Republic.

Don’t miss our first ever Ayn Rand Student Conference Europe (#AynRandConEurope). This weekend conference brings together students and non-students alike; everyone intrigued and inspired by Ayn Rand’s books and philosophy is welcome. With tribalism on the rise across our culture—in politics, psychology, philosophy, science, law, ethics—the theme of the conference could not be timelier: “Individualism in an Age of Tribalism.”

Yaron Brook, Onkar Ghate, Lars Christensen, Flemming Rose, Douglas Murray, Gregory Salmieri, and other experts on Rand’s philosophy will discuss the pervasiveness of the tribal mentality and Rand’s answer to it—a radical new conception of individualism.

Students can get an additional 50% off using discount code ARIEUROPE50. In fact, ARI provides a limited number of student scholarships that can reduce the cost for students to attend the conference to almost $0, so make sure to share this with any students you know.

Register before January 15.

Join us February 15 to 17 in Prague for #AynRandConEurope

The Best Trade Policy for America: Unilateral Free Trade

Writes Richard Salsman on the Fallout from the Trade Wars | AIER

“Given the benefits of free trade, the best policy any government can adopt is unilateral free trade (with non-enemy governments), which means free trade regardless of whether other governments also adopt freer trade. Tariffs should only be enacted to secure revenues (e.g., to help fund a navy, the merchant marines, or port infrastructure) and should be low and uniform in rate (applied equally to all imports, wherever sourced, not in discriminatory or targeted ways). Better-motivated (pro-trade) nations pursue bilateral or multilateral trade agreements, and although that’s better than “trade wars,” such approaches, in contrast to unilateralism, waste time and invite costly lobbying and cronyism.”

To learn why read his entire article Fallout from the Trade Wars.

Salsman vs. Buffet on Investing

Richard Salsman exposes the falsehoods behind the active vs passive false alternative in The Daily Capitalist.

Writes Salsman in “Buffett Won the Bet – and Missed the Point”:

Mr. Buffett writes, “Investors, on average and over time, will do better with a low-cost index fund than with a group of funds of funds.” Well, that’s surely true for capital whose owners are willing to forgo potentially higher returns in exchange for lower risk and the guaranteed mediocrity of average gains and losses. For all other capital, however, the opposite is true. It takes outsized gains like Mr. Buffett’s to inspire and arm us to make progress. Similarly it can take outsized gains and losses to expose the truth, promote the outperformers, and keep yesterday’s under-performing strategies and managers from interfering with a better tomorrow.

Active-passive is thus a false choice.  All investing success depends on active thinking, buying and selling.

Still, Buffett concludes with cynicism:

“Human behavior won’t change. Wealthy individuals, pension funds, endowments and the like will continue to feel they deserve something ‘extra’ in investment advice. Those advisors who cleverly play to this expectation will get very rich. This year the magic potion may be hedge funds, next year something else. The likely result from this parade of promises is predicted in an adage: ‘When a person with money meets a person with experience, the one with experience ends up with the money and the one with money leaves with experience.’”

It’s true that human nature is constant, but our natural capacity for reason and infinite progress is precisely what makes such cynicism naïve.  In all cases, better inputs make consistent outperformance possible. Berkshire Hathaway’s track record proves this for stock picking and allocating. Our track record proves this for using price relationships to forecast headwinds, tailwinds and inflection points, and to profitably allocate within one or more of the 5 major asset classes and subclasses.

Read the rest at The Daily Capitalist.

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