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About anthony

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    tony garland

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    My all-time quote: "Man is a being of self-made soul."
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  1. Trump calls the bluff One for the newshounds. Palestine Media Watch concentrates on what's been written in the Palestine media: "fake", deceitful, divisive, incendiary - etc. - news, propaganda and belligerent public statements by leaders, and parental/classroom indoctrination, with a single aim you can't avoid seeing. These articles were unlikely to ever be picked up by foreign media. They don't fit "the narrative". What you wish to destroy, 'vanish' out of existence - whom you wish to have murdered, dehuman-ize.
  2. Trump calls the bluff

    "Fair use"? Is that your No.1 concern? If there is an argument buried here, let's hear it, I can't be bothered with innuendo.
  3. Trump calls the bluff

    I think an important insight, about America and President Trump as well as Israel, Michael. As we know, taking one's own destiny in hand is the assertion of one's independence (of mind, actions and status). What Trump is effectively saying to Palestinians and the Arab world (and other nations) is: Learn to look after yourselves. The US is not babysitting you any longer. We will no more play your games of fake-peace-proposals. You must work for what you want and deserve it, if you value your lives, peace and prosperity badly enough. (And that's no certainty). Israel's entire reason to be, its credo, began and continues to rest upon self-determination, with the existential realization that the world was and won't be, forever perfectly safe for Jews. Before Israel, Americans well knew and still know a similar credo and prize self-determinism, at root, but many have come to degrade and even deride the idea. Trump's single purpose (as best as I have seen) is to return the US to sovereign and moral independence - in its standing within the world, and for individual Americans. Stunning for me is that ARI Objectivists will not/cannot notice and applaud his overriding intent, over and above whatever mistakes he may have made, lesser flaws, etc., in respect to what they know of the high O'ist virtue: independence, of both individuals and the country, and the sole gauge of freedom.
  4. Trump calls the bluff

    No comment, William, has the cat got your tongue of late? Ha! I can't guess what your re-quote is meant to show. I will remark about these three, Dershowitz is one of the few objective and principled left- liberals I know of, Tawil a moderate Muslim, has shown himself to be a truthful, courageous writer, and Shapiro, conservative Jew, is consistently more logical than many a Lefty - secular left Jews, particularly. It's good to see the accord of such dissimilar individuals. And how is it that many on the conservative, religious are turning out to have a greater command of reason, rationality (and especially causality) than many secularists? Odd, hey? I think Shapiro, quite crudely, is pointing to a major differential between the cultures of one 'group' and another who live in close proximity. Away from the collectivist notion, it's a theme you know in Objectivism. One, has more highly upheld rational values and free will in their own lives, and by extension, in others' life - the other traditionally and presently has placed, shall I say, not so much value (or volitionality).
  5. Trump calls the bluff

    Not so much "fake" news, as 'arranged' news - posed, staged and co-ordinated by agreement between the activists and journalists. It was this way in '70's South Africa, with the illegal strikes, demonstrations and marches against the apartheid state. These would seldom take place nor become violent, when the photographers didn't get there. It usually started with a tip-off to a reporter friendly with some activists. Then: "Go down to x place at y time -- something will happen" the news editor would tell the photographer. Sure enough, you'd get there before the police and it was all peaceable until they arrived. With the cameras on them, the stone throwing and bloody clashes began and you'd get a six-column front page picture (if you weren't arrested and had the film confiscated) with a byline. It's like a causal reversal - the camera orchestrates the 'news'. Raise the camera, and "something" happened. I observed that. Tawil's article of the long history of Palestinian collusion with Western journalists reminds me of how common and more sophisticated this artificial form of news gathering still is; now the line between "covering" the news - and "creating" the 'news' - has been so blurred by repetition, that few outsiders are even disturbed to know about this cynical practice. "Sensationalism", attention seeking by activists and the promoting of a specific political, ideological agenda of the biased media, he indicates, is the final purpose. It seems, here in Palestine today, and increasingly in recent times, that the whipped-up, "enraged" mob is supposed to represent "the will of the people" and their suffering. No one will admit, but it's all the better for both parties when there are casualties. This symbolism is everything, at cost to truth and lives. But, a thought experiment. Magically, permanently remove from the equation all camera crews and reporters (just conjecturing) - and you know what? Nobody gets hurt and killed, any longer. The Palestinians would lose their adoring world audience, have to face reality, and soon be at the negotiating table. There would finally come peace (if not love and fellowship) - but that's absolutely not the goal for Palestinian/Arab leaders and most anti-Israel Leftists - is it?
  6. Trump calls the bluff

    The Real Palestinian Response to Trump's Jerusalem Speech by Bassam Tawil December 7, 2017 at 5:00 am By misrepresenting the poster burning "ceremony" as a reflection of widespread Palestinian rage concerning Trump's policy on Jerusalem, the international media is once again complicit in promoting the propaganda of Palestinian spin doctors. The journalists, including photographers and camera crews, have been handed detailed schedules of events that will take place in different parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. When we sit in our living rooms and watch the news coming out of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, let us ask ourselves: How many of these "events" are, in fact, media burlesques? Why are journalists allowing themselves to be duped by the Palestinian propaganda machine, which spews hatred and violence from morning until night? It is high time for some self-reflection on the part of the media: Do they really wish to continue serving as a mouthpiece for those Arabs and Muslims who intimidate and terrorize the West? The "rivers of blood" we are being promised are flowing as we speak. Yet, it is the knife that Arabs and Muslims take to one another's throats that is the source of this crimson current, not some statement made by a US president. Perhaps that could finally be an event worth covering by the roving reporters of the region? A short three hours after US President Donald Trump phoned Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas to inform him of his intention to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a number of Palestinian photojournalists received a phone call from Bethlehem. The callers were Palestinian "activists," who invited the photographers to come to the city to document an "important event." When the photographers arrived, they discovered that the "important event" was a handful of Palestinian "activists" who wanted to burn posters of Trump in front of the cameras. The "activists" waited patiently as the photojournalists and cameramen set up their equipment to get the "important event" on film. Shortly thereafter, the media was abuzz with reports about "angry Palestinian protesters taking to the streets to protest" Trump's intention to move the embassy to Jerusalem and his recognition of the city as the capital of Israel. The handful of Palestinians who were filmed burning the Trump pictures were made to look as if they were part of a mass protest sweeping Palestinian communities. The handful of Palestinians in Bethlehem who were filmed burning pictures of U.S. President Donald Trump on December 6 were made by the media to look as if they were part of a mass protest sweeping Palestinian communities. (Image source: CBS News video screenshot) The incident represents yet another example of the collusion between the Palestinians and the media, whose representatives are always more than happy to serve as mouthpieces for the Palestinian propaganda machine and provide an open platform for broadcasting Palestinian threats against Israel and the US. Had the photographers and cameramen not shown up to the erstwhile "spontaneous" poster-burning event, the Palestinian activists would have been forced to quietly slink back to one of Bethlehem's fine coffee shops. Yet, there was no worry on that score: the Palestinian activists are well aware that local and foreign reporters are starving for sensationalism -- and what better fits the bill than posters of Trump going up in flames in the middle of the birthplace of Jesus, on the eve of Christmas and as thousands of Christian pilgrims and tourists are converging on the city? By misrepresenting the poster burning "ceremony" as a reflection of widespread Palestinian rage concerning Trump's policy on Jerusalem, the international media is once again complicit in promoting the propaganda of Palestinian spin doctors. Palestinian leaders and spokesmen strive to create the impression that Trump's policy regarding Jerusalem will bring the region down in flames. They also seek to send a message to the American people that their president's policies endanger their lives. In effect, the media has volunteered to serve the Palestinian campaign of intimidation. And the media convergence on the poster-burning farce in Bethlehem is just the beginning. Now that the Palestinians have managed, with the help of the media, to burn these images into the minds of millions of Americans, they are planning more staged protests. The goal: to terrify the American public and force Trump to rescind his decision regarding the status of Jerusalem. This tactic of intimidation through the media is not new. In fact, it is something that has been happening for decades, largely thanks to the buy-in of the mainstream media in the West. Now, Palestinian and Western journalists have been invited to cover a series of protests planned by the Palestinians in the coming days and weeks in response to Trump's policies. The journalists, including photographers and camera crews, have been handed detailed schedules of events that will take place in different parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The journalists have been promised more scenes of burning photos of Trump and US flags. Some of the journalists have even received tips as to the locations where "clashes" are supposed to take place between Palestinian rioters and Israel Defense Forces soldiers. In other words, the journalists have been told precisely where they need to be in order to document Palestinians throwing stones at the soldiers -- and the predicted the IDF response. Here is the funny part. If, for whatever reason, the cameras are a no-show, the "activists" are likely to be as well. In the Palestinian world, it is all about manipulating the media and recruiting it in favor of the cause. And the cause is always bashing Israel -- with bashing Trump not far behind. Yes, the Palestinians will protest in the coming days against Trump. Yes, they will take to the streets and throw stones at IDF soldiers. Yes, they will burn pictures of Trump and US flags. And yes, they will try to carry out terror attacks against Israelis. But when we sit in our living rooms and watch the news coming out of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, let us ask ourselves: How many of these "events" are, in fact, media burlesques? Why are journalists allowing themselves to be duped by the Palestinian propaganda machine, which spews hatred and violence from morning until night? And, why are the journalists exaggerating and compounding the Palestinian threats for violence and anarchy? First, many of the journalists want to appease their readers and editors by offering them stories that reflect negatively on Israel. Second, some of the journalists believe that writing anti-Israel stories paves the way for them to win awards from assorted professed "virtue-signaling" organizations. Third, many journalists believe that writing anti-Israel reports give them access to so-called "liberals" and a supposedly "enlightened" coterie who romanticize being "on the right side of history." They do not want to see that 21 Muslim states have been trying for many decades to destroy one Jewish state; instead, they appear to think that if journalists are "liberal" and "open-minded," they need to support the "underdog," who they believe are "the Palestinians." Fourth, many of the journalists see the conflict as being between bad guys (supposedly the Israelis) and good guys (supposedly the Palestinians) and that it is their duty to stand with the "good guys," even if the "good guys" are engaged in violence and terrorism. Recently, more than 300 Muslim worshipers were massacred by Muslim terrorists while praying in a mosque in Sinai, Egypt. That tragedy was probably covered by fewer journalists than the orchestrated Trump-poster episode in Bethlehem. Where was the outcry in the Arab and Islamic world? Now, Arabs and Muslims are talking about "days of rage" in protest against Trump. Why were there no "days of rage" in the Arab and Islamic countries when more than 300 worshipers, many of them children, were massacred during Friday prayers? It is high time for some self-reflection on the part of the media: Do they really wish to continue serving as a mouthpiece for those Arabs and Muslims who intimidate and terrorize the West? Journalists are actively colluding with the Palestinian Authority and Hamas to create the false impression that World War III will erupt if the US embassy is moved to Jerusalem. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims and Christians have been massacred since the beginning of the "Arab Spring" more than six years ago. They were killed by Muslim terrorists and other Arabs. The bloodshed continues to this day in Yemen, Libya, Syria, Iraq and Egypt. So, make no mistake about it: the "rivers of blood" we are being promised are flowing as we speak. Yet, it is the knife that Arabs and Muslims take to one another's throats that is the source of this crimson current, not some statement made by a US president. Perhaps that could finally be an event worth covering by the roving reporters of the region? Bassam Tawil is a Muslim based in the Middle East.
  7. Trump calls the bluff

    Why Trump Is Right in Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's Capital by Alan M. Dershowitz December 7, 2017 at 4:00 am President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital is a perfect response to President Obama's benighted decision to change American policy by engineering the United Nations Security Council Resolution declaring Judaism's holiest places in Jerusalem to be occupied territory and a "flagrant violation under international law." It was President Obama who changed the status quo and made peace more difficult, by handing the Palestinians enormous leverage in future negotiations and disincentivizing them from making a compromised peace. It had long been American foreign policy to veto any one-sided Security Council resolutions that declared Judaism's holiest places to be illegally occupied. Obama's decision to change that policy was not based on American interests or in the interests of peace. It was done out of personal revenge against Prime Minister Netanyahu and an act of pique by the outgoing president. It was also designed improperly to tie the hands of President-elect Trump. President Trump is doing the right thing by telling the United Nations that the United States now rejects the one-sided U.N. Security Council Resolution. So if there is any change to the status quo, let the blame lie where it should be: at the hands of President Obama for his cowardly decision to wait until he was a lame-duck president to get even with Prime Minister Netanyahu. President Trump deserves praise for restoring balance in negotiations with Israel and the Palestinians. It was President Obama who made peace more difficult. It was President Trump who made it more feasible again. The outrageously one-sided Security Council Resolution declared that "any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem," have "no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law." This means, among other things, that Israel's decision to build a plaza for prayer at the Western Wall — Judaism's holiest site — constitutes a "flagrant violation of international law." This resolution was, therefore, not limited to settlements in the West Bank, as the Obama administration later claimed in a bait-and-switch. The resolution applied equally to the very heart of Israel. Before June 4, 1967, Jews were forbidden from praying at the Western Wall. They were forbidden to attend classes at the Hebrew University at Mt. Scopus, which had been opened in 1925 and was supported by Albert Einstein. Jews could not seek medical care at the Hadassah Hospital on Mt. Scopus, which had treated Jews and Arabs alike since 1918. Jews could not live in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, where their forebears had built homes and synagogues for thousands of years. These Judenrein prohibitions were enacted by Jordan, which had captured by military force these Jewish areas during Israel's War of Independence, in 1948, and had illegally occupied the entire West Bank, which the United Nations had set aside for an Arab state. When the Jordanian government occupied these historic Jewish sites, they destroyed all the remnants of Judaism, including synagogues, schools and cemeteries, whose headstones they used for urinals. Between 1948 and 1967, the United Nations did not offer a single resolution condemning this Jordanian occupation and cultural devastation. When Israel retook these areas in a defensive war that Jordan started by shelling civilian homes in West Jerusalem, and opened them up as places where Jews could pray, study, receive medical treatment and live, the United States took the official position that it would not recognize Israel's legitimate claims to Jewish Jerusalem. It stated that the status of Jerusalem, including these newly liberated areas, would be left open to final negotiations and that the status quo would remain in place. That is the official rationale for why the United States refused to recognize any part of Jerusalem, including West Jerusalem, as part of Israel. That is why the United States refused to allow an American citizen born in any part of Jerusalem to put the words "Jerusalem, Israel" on his or her passport as their place of birth. But even that historic status quo was changed with President Obama's unjustified decision not to veto the Security Council Resolution from last December. The United Nations all of a sudden determined that, subject to any further negotiations and agreements, the Jewish areas of Jerusalem recaptured from Jordan in 1967 are not part of Israel. Instead, they were territories being illegally occupied by Israel, and any building in these areas — including places for prayer at the Western Wall, access roads to Mt. Scopus, and synagogues in the historic Jewish Quarter — "constitutes a flagrant violation under international law." If that indeed is the new status quo, then what incentives do the Palestinians have to enter negotiations? And if they were to do so, they could use these Jewish areas to extort unreasonable concessions from Israel, for which these now "illegally occupied" areas are sacred and nonnegotiable. President Obama's refusal to veto this one-sided resolution was a deliberate ploy to tie the hands of his successors, the consequence of which was to make it far more difficult for his successors to encourage the Palestinians to accept Israel's offer to negotiate with no preconditions. No future president can undo this pernicious agreement, since a veto not cast can never be retroactively cast. And a resolution once enacted cannot be rescinded unless there is a majority vote against it, with no veto by any of its permanent members, which include Russia and China, who would be sure to veto any attempt to undo this resolution. President Trump's decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital helps to restore the appropriate balance. It demonstrates that the United States does not accept the Judenrein effects of this bigoted resolution on historic Jewish areas of Jerusalem, which were forbidden to Jews. The prior refusal of the United States to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital was based explicitly on the notion that nothing should be done to change the status quo of that city, holy to three religions. But the Security Council Resolution did exactly that: It changed the status quo by declaring Israel's de facto presence on these Jewish holy sites to be a "flagrant violation under international law" that "the U.N. will not recognize." President Donald Trump displays the signed "Presidential Proclamation Recognizing Jerusalem as the Capital of the State of Israel and Relocating the United States Embassy to Israel to Jerusalem," on December 6, 2017, in Washington, D.C. (Image source: White House video screenshot) Since virtually everyone in the international community acknowledges that any reasonable peace would recognize Israel's legitimate claims to these and other areas in Jerusalem, there is no reason for allowing the U.N. Resolution to make criminals out of every Jew or Israeli who sets foot on these historically Jewish areas. (Ironically, President Obama prayed at what he regarded as the illegally occupied Western Wall.) After the UN, at the urging of President Obama, made it a continuing international crime for there to be any Israeli presence in disputed areas of Jerusalem, including areas whose Jewish provenance is beyond dispute, President Trump was right to untie his own hands and to undo the damage wrought by his predecessor. Some have argued that the United States should not recognize Jerusalem because it will stimulate violence by Arab terrorists. No American decision should ever be influenced by the threat of violence. Terrorists should not have a veto over American policy. If the United States were to give in to threats of violence, it would only incentivize others to threaten violence in response to any peace plan. So let's praise President Trump for doing the right thing by undoing the wrong thing President Obama did at the end of his presidency. Alan M. Dershowitz is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School and author of "Trumped Up: How Criminalizing Politics is Dangerous to Democracy."
  8. Trump calls the bluff

    There has been a contained secret about the Middle East: Palestine does not ~actually~ want a two-state Solution. Everyone who's long followed and studied the conflict knows that - Western leaders, Arab leaders, PLO leaders, commentators and every average Palestinian. If they had wanted, Arafat or Abbas would have officially and permanently recognized the statehood of Israel as the other party to such solution. They've had every chance to. (At one point, a formal partition of Jerusalem was offered for peace terms by a past Prime Minister of Israel. Only imagine the Saudis, and Muslim world, splitting Mecca - with Christians, say - or Jews...). Not to add, every self-interested cause to do so. Nope, what is desired is the overthrow of Israel altogether in revenge for being beaten in several wars by Jews, then to take all the territory; the belief is - we just have to outwait and keep unrelenting pressure on Israel with violence and sympathy, cash and moral support from the West - no matter at what cost and suffering to our lives and future lives, in the interim. The Israeli 'repression' ("Apartheid state", etc.) is a fiction, mostly of the Palestinians' own doing: it's been self-repression, on the whole -- self-sacrifice. But the pretense that they ~do~ want peace, the facade of peaceful intentions and a sustained imagery of a "repressed" Palestine has never been openly exposed by the gutless liars of the West and its media, many of whom know better. With a purely symbolic gesture by the US, since to Israelis Jerusalem is and always was the de facto - and they will argue, de jure - capital of israel, even a simple proposal to move the Embassy there, is going to set the cat among the pigeons and ruffle many feathers. Great. President Trump is now explicitly recognizing and revealing what nobody else would - that all of this has been a colossal con, with a constantly dishonest party pretending to deal for peace with the honest party, Israel . All previous discussions, appeasing gestures and dollars given to Palestine for a just settlement, have been wasted. They have not won any good will or respect for America, as seen and heard by responses on BBC today from Palestinians. Immediately, Israelis will just have to handle the threatened consequences in coming days and they might be severe, but I think, paradoxically, that calling out the PLO's bluff might well be the opening move to lasting peace, one day.
  9. Geronto-Blanco-Andro-phobia

    Half-humorously, I figure it's about time the ageing White male had a slogan of his own, to strike back against a tide of '-phobias' (he will be inevitably accused of). "You geronto-blanco-androphobic asshole bigot!" Sometimes you gotta use the meme the Prog-leftists understand, and bend to their level of discourse.
  10. Objectivist Esthetics, R.I.P.

    Happy Thanksgiving!
  11. Objectivist Esthetics, R.I.P.

    I can and have asked of J, if implicitly, to briefly step outside of his context to view this topic from the Objectivists' p.o.v. Because I want to understand, I have equally looked into it from his, and have gained from doing so. This is not even about O'ism or Rand's words - the objective is to measure art, or any topic, against reality and reason, which here are in synch with emotions. Winning an argument doesn't register in my priorities, this gets in the way of truthful discoveries and honest engagements.
  12. Objectivist Esthetics, R.I.P.

    Good point, liberty is exactly what's on my mind. After that, I differ. Art comes from individuals, who make up the art-culture which makes for the large culture, ultimately. It leads as well as reflects, on society. While I agree that much art "activates" what's in one's head, i.e., affirms, supports or opposes one's existing standards and views of life, we mustn't only think of one's own responses. I have a pretty tough "head", and can take in anything in art and resist being "pulled" every which way against my will. I doubt (I know) that that goes for everybody. Many if not most people are easily influenced by words and images alike, and if by representations of bad ideas (mind-undermining, anti-individualism for examples), then for certain down the line my freedoms and yours will be at risk.
  13. Objectivist Esthetics, R.I.P.

    Men have had thinkers, philosophers (and artists) pulling them in two directions. The one smaller bunch says that reality is fixed, a man's mind can comprehend it and he can reach certainty of mind (a necessity of individualism and happiness) - "I know that I know this". The other has said "Don't be so sure." -- How do you know anything? - You have been wrong before, haven't you? - Things are not what they seem - Your mind can be fooled - Anyway, others see things differently to you - You can't "know" without being an expert - Anyway, "values" such as happiness are subjective, arbitrary and temporal, you'll lose them one day". I think that's the basic approach to Rand on art. Which way are you being 'pulled' by an artwork?
  14. Objectivist Esthetics, R.I.P.

    Your commercial break over, can you answer my question? I will remind you of your statement: " abstract art forms, including in abstract paintings and sculptures, as well as in the abstract art forms of architecture, music and dance". Question: is all art "abstract"?
  15. Objectivist Esthetics, R.I.P.

    Does art and all art forms have an identity? (Wherever one draws the precise boundary - at this stage - is NOT relevant, but it's inarguable that there ARE boundaries between art entities and non- art entities). Does art, generally, have value to "man"? (And if one is willing to transpose the abstraction "man" - to the individual, it has value to each man according to his knowledge,purposes and needs, what is important to him, and by the standard of value, man's life. If "yes" to those, then by identity AND value, art is - inevitably and incontrovertibly - objective. And it follows that art can also be "subjective" - wishful and arbitrary - in identity and values, to one who's predominantly subjectivist. "Nothing has been objectively shown to qualify as art by Rand's definition and criteria". I know - tough - it is difficult for you to find empirical proof, which is what (you have consistently indicated) you mean by "shown". But that goes to prove the inability and shortcomings and failure of empiricism (as contrasted to conceptualism) when applied to the Objective theory of art.