Speaker Profile: Dr Andrew Bernstein

Andrew Bernstein holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Graduate School of the City University of New York. He has taught Philosophy at the State University of New York at Purchase, Marist College, Hunter College, the State University of New York at New Paltz, and other New York-area universities. He was selected as “Teacher of the Year” at both SUNY Purchase—and at Marymount College. In 2016-17, he was a Visiting Professor at the American University in Bulgaria (AUBG), where he taught Business Ethics.

He lectures regularly on college campuses, including at Harvard University, Stanford University, the University of Chicago, Yale University, the United States Military Academy at West Point, Columbia University, UCLA, Georgia Tech, Northwestern University, and numerous others. He speaks at many other venues, including—but not limited to—Objectivist conferences, Students For Liberty (SFL) conferences, and events sponsored by the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), the Institute for Humane Studies (IHS), the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism (CISC), and the Bastiat Society. Internationally, he has lectured in England, the Czech Republic, Belgium, Holland, Norway, Bulgaria, Canada, Israel, Guatemala, Armenia, Croatia, Montenegro, the Bahamas, and additional countries. His areas of expertise include Objectivism, Ayn Rand’s novels, the nature of heroism, the history of capitalism and its moral superiority to other systems, and application of the principle of individual rights to a broad array of topical issues, including health care, abortion, gun ownership, immigration, and the war on drugs. He also lectures at high schools, both in the New York area and nationally, regarding Ayn Rand’s novels and philosophy.

He is the author of The Capitalist Manifesto: The Historic, Economic, and Philosophic Case for Laissez-Faire (University Press of America, 2005), Objectivism in One Lesson: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Ayn Rand (Hamilton Books, 2008), Capitalism Unbound: The Incontestable Moral Case for Individual Rights (University Press of America, 2010), and Capitalist Solutions: A Philosophy of American Moral Dilemmas (Transaction Publishers, 2011). Additionally, he has published numerous essays, many in The Objective Standard, for which he is a contributing editor, and many in other publications, including op-ed essays for Forbes.com. His op-eds have appeared in—among other newspapers— the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press. In 2013-14, he was the Hayek Research Fellow at the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism at Clemson University, where he taught courses in Economics and in Political Science and, principally, researched and wrote the first draft of his forthcoming book, Heroes and Hero Worship: An Examination of the Nature and Importance of Heroism.

His forthcoming novel, A Dearth of Eagles, tells the story of a Bulgarian writer/freedom fighter in 1988-89, who struggles mightily to help people escape from Communism to freedom–and even more mightily to publish serious stories about heroes in a modernist literary culture that rejects heroism for anti-heroism. It will be published in the United States by the American Research Center Sofia (ARCS) in the spring, 2017.

Dr. Bernstein is co-host of a weekly blogtalk radio program, Objectively Speaking, has been interviewed on hundreds of radio shows—including by such legends as Barry Farber, Bob Grant, Mark Scott, and others—and appeared on several prominent TV news shows, including Neil Cavuto’s.

Thursday Speaker: Jerry Barnett

Jerry Barnett, a is technologist, entrepreneur and veteran left-wing activist. As an operator of adult entertainment sites for many years, he watched the rise of the porn panic, and saw much of the political left collapse into conservatism. He describes himself as an ex lefty “turned liberal globalist due to collapse of liberalism on the left.”

He tweets at @JerryBarnett, @PornPanic and @MoronWatch and has written for the Independent and Huffington Post.

Jerry was already an experience technologist when the web was invented, having worked at Research Services, the London Stock Exchange, Instruction Set, Sequent Computer Systems, and BMC Software. His transitioned into adult website “seemingly inevitably” as it was the most profitable online business at the time. He was first MD of Go Content responsible for “architecture and development of Go Content, a platform for selling digital content to consumers” and “Strictly Broadband, which was an early entrant to the video-on-demand market, offering streaming video on a rental basis” this was a business he shut down in part due to the regulation of the adult sector by the UK Government.

In his own words:

As a participant in adult entertainment, Jerry saw first-hand how the British censorship state, aided by morality campaigners, was trying to regain control of a medium that reduced their power, influence and financial gain. The UK is the most censored society in Europe, but censorship laws designed for a world of cinema, TV and video no longer worked in the digital age, and vested interests were determined to seize back their power.

His book Porn Panic! is now on sale.

Jerry will be speaking at the Two Chairmen this Thursday 2nd February. His talk will be Libertarian Home’s second experiment with live streaming.

Speaker Profile Gintas Vilkelis 

Dr Gintas Vilkelis has had an interesting career spanning physics, silicon design, psychology and politics. He now sits on the research council of Parliament Street, a think tank affiliated to the Conservative  Party which enjoys a similar online profile to Libertarian Home. He was also on the Board of Advisors of Young Britons for Liberty.

I struggled to think what might be added to his detailed and thought provoking profile from Parliament Street:

Dr. Gintas Vilkelis was born in Lithuania. In 1987, at age 18, he was named one of the top five Physics students in the Soviet Union, and selected as a member of the Soviet team at the International Physics Olympiad. In 1989, he was the first Soviet undergraduate student to be invited by an American university to study with a full scholarship.

In the mid-1990’s – mid 2000’s Dr Vilkelis was the top expert in the world on Silicon Drift Detector (SDD) technology and its application within PET and CT scanners, medical and industrial X-ray imagers, as well as Nuclear and High Energy Physics experiments. He has a number of SDD and High-Z detector patents under his name.
During his 20 years career in Physics, Dr. Vilkelis has developed a reputation for being able to find workable solutions to problems that other people considered to be unsolvable. He created devices that even his colleagues had considered impossible, started several R&D trends in the semiconductor radiation detector industry and even managed to cause changes in the laws of two countries.

I strongly recommend you read the whole thing.

Gintas will introduce his Localism agenda to the Libertarian Home Meetup at the Two Chairmen, on Wednesday 1st March.



Image via Young Britons for Liberty (East Anglia)

Staines sells out Snowdon?

The successful Westminster news blog founded by libertarian old-hand and pamphleteer Paul Staines has carried a paid-post portraying reliable lifestyle-libertarian Chris Snowdon as a blood sucking vampire. The no-holds-barred attack comes across laughably as it attempts to trick us into a misprounciation and paint Snowdon as paid shill for gambling interests:

Christopher “Silly Count” Snowdon writes for the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) which purports to be a libertarian think-tank. However, it usually “thinks” the same as the business sectors which fund it

Guy Herbert, No2ID remarked that the article shows a conspiracy mindset in which “No-one disagrees with the righteous honestly, only as paid servants of evil.”

The article goes onto to provide a definition of the nanny state (“an empowered regulator”) while attempting to label it as the opposite:

It is not “nanny-state” to require sensible enforcement by an empowered regulator of sensible gambling regulations. Gambling should never be regarded as a “free-market” issue.

Reactions were mixed. Some agreed and disagreed with the thrust of the article – supporting regulation of the Fixed Odds Betting Terminals. Other’s were dismissive:

Sponsored content accusing someone of… sponsored content. Couldn’t make it up. – Prez

A minority of frothy-mouthed left wing nutjobs really has it in for [Chris Snowdon] – Gaz Corfield

Paul Nižinskyj of Conservatives for Liberty expressed concern:

It’s a shame Guido don’t realise how much damage this does to their credibility. My respect for them has gone through the floor.

To which Guido replied:

On the other hand I have replenished my cellar…

Snowdon, however, takes it well:

If they can only get their warped message out by paying for space on a libertarian blog then good luck to them!

Overall, it seems this post is unlikely to persuade anyone, and Guido is a good person to waste nanny’s money on. What is important is that everyone is still getting along fine.