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anthony last won the day on May 2

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About anthony

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    tony garland

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    Republic of South Africa

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    My all-time quote: "Man is a being of self-made soul."
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  1. anthony

    Donald Trump

    "A good deal" you know, President Peter Trump, is the capitalist businessman's rendition of "everybody wins". A "bad deal" - for I (we) are giving up more than I will get back. That's why I think the self-sacrifice/sacrificial element needs stressing. If your president doesn't view it in exactly these Objectivist terms, isn't relevant. Although he's now showing he can be diplomatic too, it is refreshing to get someone who is candidly blunt and thinks firstly in terms of self-interested "deals". It should be clear that Trump has identified that moving back to a self-responsible America and Americans, with no assumed-upon, pre-existing duties to others, is top priority. (The first hint or giveaway to me was the incomprehensible fury and outrage (and fear) by many I've heard from (in SA) against Trump, from before he even took office, which didn't make sense, then. (I am not including those who have or had quite reasonable reservations). The basic premise of the worst vilifiers, it is becoming clear, is that the USA must "owe" to the world, in the same way that each person owes his service and values to any and all takers. Their pleasant fantasy of selflessness have been shocked by reality). The Trump pushback is implicitly, I feel, against the altruism lying under the more explicit "power" and "elitism". That famous American self-responsibility is the prime weapon against it. Presumptuous of me to involve myself here, you might think. Bear in mind please that ideas have no borders. This is a battle everyone is in.
  2. anthony

    Donald Trump

    Michael, I know what you refer to ("try to identify correctly before evaluating"") and that "correctly" is central. Obvious, if you don't know very well what something (somebody) is (which can be extremely complex), you will falsely evaluate it -- so, many an objectivist has been known "to rush to judgment" on insufficient facts and thinking, I know I have, and that testing is part of the learning process. I guess in there is some understandable enthusiasm to try out the O'ist 'tools' and attempted emulation of Rand; big difference, she almost always would identify and evaluate, precisely and quickly, which no one else can pull off. After learning the theory, putting Objectivism to work requires the hardest effort, though when correct, paying the great dividends. If one looks at what Institutional Objectivism has published in the field of pure theory of Objectivism, from my limited reading, their intellectuals and essays have often been excellent. But where they have been erratic (i think) is the application and implementation of principles to real life issues. Recall, nearly all the foolishness and blunders, and spats among Objectivists have been in the applied practice, far less, the theoretical. In this way one can also see President Trump misidentified or underestimated by O'ist scholars - e.g. as cynical and "out for himself" (if one assumes his objective value in an America made great again, yes, his is indeed, a most selfish motive as they would have to admit) - or - of leading the country into a dictatorship... All or mostly all, I believe based upon wrong and superficial identifications of Trump and his motives, with some valid moans about his methods, erraticism and certain policy decisions. "Perfection", from a leader, none of us will ever find. Good, or great, in a given context, is plenty enough.
  3. anthony

    Donald Trump

    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch; If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you; If all men count with you, but none too much; [...] (Talking of elitism)
  4. anthony

    Donald Trump

    MSK, That's a hell of an interview. I must pass it on to our - um- friends, the lovely moral guardians of the world who vilify your President every day. Black does indeed "crystallize", as Levant said, what one roughly gathers about the character, convictions and aims, Trump has. Undoubtedly, like one does when gradually evaluating any person, Conrad Black has made a host of inductions about the man and the president which he has abstracted, rising above personality cult, issues, behavior, appearance, style, scandals ... etc. which so concerns-aggravates the (often anti-conceptual) Left (CNN). Therefore, Black is certainly a conceptualist, an attribute much missing from the dominant, superficial discourse of commentators one sees (CNN). Tell you what, it has been seeming to me President Trump is a conceptual-minded man also. Which contradicts criticism of his "anti-intellectualism" I've heard in O'ist circles. Maybe they mean non-cerebral. Anti-elitist?
  5. anthony

    Conspiracy theories and Conspiracy theorists

    Peter, I see the root cause as being minimum wage laws. Same as here, illegal immigrants are sought after because they are diligent workers who will work for less than the exorbitant rates the State lays down. Foreigners from Zim, Malawi, etc. will also suffer sporadic attacks from locals for taking "their" work. (As known, it is not anyone's "work" until an employer and a potential employee see eye to eye). Remove the welfare state and all illegal immigrant problems will mostly vanish, but still remain stringent about blocking gang members and other "animals", one of whom randomly shot and partially paralyzed the son of my good friend (and legal US immigrant) Vaughn in Los Angeles, several years ago.
  6. anthony

    Donald Trump

    COMMENTARY Kissinger: Trump’s Foreign Policy Style Is ‘Remarkable and New… People Need to Open Their Eyes’ By Dick Morris February 9, 2018 at 1:04pm Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger gives us a new understanding of President Donald Trump’s foreign policy and predicts its success: “Liberals and all those who favor (Hillary) Clinton will never admit it. They will never admit that he is the one true leader. The man is doing changes like never before and does all of it for the sake of this nation’s people. After eight years of tyranny, we finally see a difference.” Then he goes on to explain how Trump is making it happen. Kissinger knows it and he continues with: “Every country now has to consider two things: One, their perception that the previous president, or the outgoing president, basically withdrew America from international politics, so that they had to make their own assessments of their necessities. And secondly, that there is a new president who’s asking a lot of unfamiliar questions. And because of the combination of the partial vacuum and the new questions, one could imagine that something remarkable and new emerges out of it.” Then Kissinger puts it bluntly: “Trump puts America and its people first. This is why people love him and this is why he will remain in charge for so long. There is not a single thing wrong with him and people need to open their eyes.” Kissinger once explained that he and Nixon felt that it was important to convince Soviet leader Brezhnev that the U.S. president was unpredictable and capable of anything. Trump has held North Korea at bay and gotten China to accept sanctions on its people and companies that do business with Pyongyang by just such a strategy. When he boasts that he has a “bigger red button” than Kim Jung Un does, he so transcends the mealy-mouthed rhetoric of the past that he forces a new recognition of American power. Kissinger once wrote, “(T)he weak grow strong by effrontery. The strong grow weak through inhibition.” No sentence better captures the U.S.-North Korea relationship. Trump is discarding the inhibitions and call the bluff on North Korea’s effrontery. Just like Kissinger would have done. His point is that the contrast of American retreat under Obama and its new assertion of power under Trump creates a new dynamic that every one of our allies and of our enemies must consider. They grew complaisant with Obama’s passivity and now are fearful due to Trump’s activism. And they must balance the two in developing their policies. They realize that the old assumptions, catalyzed by Bush 43’s preoccupation with Iraq and Obama’s refusal to lead are obsolete. So, Trump is forcing a new calculus with a new power behind American interests. Those — here and abroad — who rode the old apple cart worry about its being toppled. But, as Kissinger so boldly states, Trump “is the one true leader” in world affairs and he is forcing policy changes that put America first.
  7. anthony

    Donald Trump

    I shouldn't advertise, but from deepest Africa, there came early support for Trump too. Keep it quiet, lest 'South African collusion' in the election be the next agenda.
  8. anthony

    Donald Trump

    Alan Dershowitz has from extensive readings of his articles, been my favorite thinker on the Left. I wonder if he isn't miscast as "progressive left", nowadays, or especially if he is not recently reconsidering this position in the light of what he now has seen of the progressive left. Properly, I think he should be considered a classical liberal. Certainly, he "calls it as he sees it", without fear or favor, that is, objective and principled.
  9. anthony

    Donald Trump

    "...if there weren't any guns to be free of..." is quite a Utopian fallacy. Guns won't simply disappear, since when law-abiding people will hand their guns over, by their nature, criminals and killers won't. Outlawing them will just drive the market for weapons underground - for the right price anyone will continue to have access, without even the present background checks.
  10. anthony

    A Few Kant Quotes

    The Sublime, always fun! But so complicated in explanation. (e.g. the Tate site). And amazing, the associations you can pick up in a word. The man said it above, it doesn't exist in nature, it is all in our heads. But more to the point, can the Sublime exist in the art -of- Nature? In the hands of a master, of course, overpowering (etc., etc.) emotions will be evoked by such-n-such a grand subject, stylized with great talent. If the artist's motivation was inspired by notions of "the Sublime", well that's fine. In the end, there are exultant/terrifying themes presented in the work ... and then, in our heads. We need to steer out of Kant's reach and retake the Sublime as the significant, personal and real emotional cause it is, I think. "I have found it necessary to de-mystify the Sublime in order to raise it" - Kant might have said. (He didn't and wouldn't).
  11. anthony

    Trump calls the bluff

    And of course, predictably, the Left-Socialist and Islamist alliance have won this battle. Useless to trot out the facts of Gazan past doings and deadly mission statements, or of life-values contrasted with self-sacrifice, in the face of a major "meme" which has been accepted worldwide in a deluge of articles, social media and programs: The "massacre" by Israelis. For which Jews everywhere will be and are condemned. But I don't see any media follow-up on the fact, admitted by Hamas in an unusual about-face, that 50 of those targeted by the IDF and shot dead out of 62 were their own militant operatives, not civilians. So, the spectacle of one minute's silence at the UN - for terrorists. The UN - who sat still for years of civilian massacres in Syria, and Christians and others, by ISIS. Well done to the courageous Nikky. She and the President have injected *reality* into world affairs I.e. - You have the power to determine your own good futures, and must, if you will be worthy to other nations (and thinking individualists). That cold reality and self-interested morality is clearly what is hateful to many. Now I can return to the fairytale land of Princes and princesses and suchlike...
  12. anthony

    Fake News

    Kilauea erupts. Surely, Trump's fault (even the Earth protests...) At least that's what I think BBC was insinuating, or am I getting too touchy?
  13. anthony

    Trump calls the bluff

    I'm on a slightly different slant, Peter, so bear with me. All things ethnic, I think, are not "a cliche" when most people actually, in real life, ~believe~ in them and act accordingly. Then, it's a dangerous reality to others. This is what we must face, that most people, in varying degrees, relate to their ethnicities as primary and consuming over their individuality. Collectivism, when individuals define, identify themselves and others by ethnic (group, etc.) inessentials or superficialities, and who draw from and give up their value to some mystical 'tribal bloodline'. (I don't think I'm being overly sensitive to what I see and hear in the world today - or forgetful of those many collectivist attitudes prevalent in my younger days, when I conclude that now could be the worst collectivist period for a long time. I don't know when this universalized epidemic of collectivism will bottom out, but it had better turn around, fast). Back to your remarks, first, obviously not everyone is American, with a greater amount of personal liberty and that unique "American" characteristic - and second, much fewer are individualist-Objectivists who are explicitly aware of the logical and moral wrongs and injustices of collectivism. You recall I was speaking of specifically European Jews (and South African, who are at this moment facing vicious verbal attacks from this contemptible, collectivist Government -blamed for Israel's recent actions) -- i.e., those Jews who can't escape collectivism and their "Jewishness" even if they wanted to, no matter how well they've assimilated and given top loyalty to their country of birth/adoption. As in the past, they've always integrated very well wherever theyv'e landed up, when allowed to. But each will continue to be seen by many other Europeans as "Jewish", first and always. That special selection almost eliminated them in the past. While not that same existential threat, there are signs of Jews being identified 'apart' over there, again now. So, for solidarity, comfort and security in those largely collectivist European nations, many do cling to their "group identity". That it is a pity, and not how any people should be, it is the reality of what is. I can't blame them for seeking greater freedom to be themselves, religious and secular, in a Jewish homeland. There in greater freedom, too, many will be able to and have indeed become, more completely individualistic.
  14. anthony

    Trump calls the bluff

    Peter, I think this points to the common misconception about Jewishness being only religious. A succinct reply I found to the question online: "Jews are an ethnoreligious group, meaning that Jewish identity is both ethnic and religious, or for some, only one of the two. In the same way there is ... both the Hindu religion and the Indian ethnicity, there is the Jewish religion and the Jewish ethnicity". In short, if one could wave the magic wand and make every Israeli (or any Jews in the world) "secular", nothing changes; they and their descendants will remain "Jewish". For themselves - and as identified by others. What it would mean to secularize Israel would be Jews there being overwhelmed demographically, and if as evident, by surrounding Arabs/Palestinians, soon to be isolated, driven out, and worse. Muslims by and large carry a passed down and learned loathing and superior disdain for Jews, (it didn't help in the matter of hubristic pride that Jews have beaten them in several wars, and have generally demonstrated their better survivability and 'thrivability' - or "self-valuing") and so the distinction: e.g. "This one is not a religious Jew" - would matter not a fig. He is still "a Jew". I am not an apologist for "religion" per se, to be clear, and abjure any form of collectivism-tribalism - but I've discovered some religious individuals can be exceptional people, and some atheist individuals anything but. Of course I stand for the right for all to practise their religions without interference. But what I defend strongly above that, is the right of Jews -as a race and ethnicity- to self-determination in an uncertain world which continues yet again to pick out or pick upon Jews one way or the other, for simply being - looking, sounding, acting, and named - etc. - "Jewish". Therefore, the necessity of the Jewish State back then, and in future. (btw, I'm puzzled: there is no "forcing to conform" in Israel that I know of. It's said that if one hears two Israelis argue, one will hear three opinions. There is firm rule of law ( while conceding that the ultra-orthodox minority and their Party are noisesome pests trying to constrict individual liberties.)
  15. anthony

    Trump calls the bluff

    (a recent post from a friend of ours, at minimum indicating the proximity of Israeli civilians to the Gaza border, a mile or two, some places). 13 May at 06:42 · To all my friends and family who have been messaging me to ask if we are ok. Yes, our wheat fields around the kibbutz are burning, yes another attack tunnel from Gaza has just been destroyed, yes, the Palestinians from Gaza are planning the million man march to break into Israel opposite the kibbutz tomorrow, yes, the Iranians continue to arm themselves with ballistic missiles aimed at Israel and build an atomic bomb. Our enemies will continue trying to destroy us, will continue living in misery, not producing, not improving their lives and perpetuating ignorance. But yes, we will continue to build, to invent, make music, improve the standard of living of our people and to defend ourselves. After 2,000 years of exile and the almost total destruction of our nation, we are finally home in our ancient homeland, speaking our own language, our own culture and religion. Our fate at last, is in our own hands, and not the hands of others. We have been blessed. Ralph Lewinsohn