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It’s snowing metaphoric chyrons, ignore unless interested 5

February 18th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — a quiet weekend with no chyrons, but yasukuni, heavy metal, and three stunning headers on faith, forgiveness, and guns ]
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Kamikaze, yay! As war-relate epithets go, it’s among the very finest — strongest, most halo’d with associations — from my POV as mythographer and poet:

As myth and legend, dream and imagination have it in some circles in Japan, kamikaze is spirit wind, downward-rushing, warships targeted, headlong warplanes in full nose-dive, martyrdom almost — tinged with cherry blossom and droplets of blood, patriotism, self-sacrifice ..

The controversies swirling around the Yasukuni Shrine and its inclusion of war criminals as patriotic heroes is something we’ve addressed in Zenpundit before — for both the controversy and the mythopoetics, see these excerpts:

  • Zenpundit, Why is the Yasukuni Shrine so controversial?
  • Zenpundit, Japanese self-sacrifice with intent to kill Americans
  • **

    Saturday wasn’t a chyron-collecting day for me — I had the distinct pleasure of a visit from Omar Ali, and live conversation trumps Trump every time — so I don’t have many items to display here… but this one caught my eye today, Sunday, as much for the color of the header as for its provocative content:

    Heavy Metal Confronts Its Nazi Problem

    Among bands that are said today to fall into the category of N.S.B.M., as it is often called, are ?8?8??, from Russia, whose fans have given Nazi salutes during performances; a Finnish band, Goatmoon, which has performed in front of a backdrop resembling a Nazi flag; and Der Stürmer, from Greece, which shares a name with an anti-Semitic German newspaper whose editor, Julius Streicher, was convicted during the Nuremberg trials and then executed. Those bands and others, including Stahlfront, Sunwheel, Absurd, and Dark Fury, performed in December at the Asgardsrei festival, in Kiev, where Nazi-style displays abounded.

    Asgard, hoke of the Æsir in Norse mythology — sacred to some though not all Asatru in a way reminiscent of Japan’s Yasukuni Shrine..

    **

    Okay, moving along, here’s a football ref, buried in the text of Uranium One informant makes Clinton allegations to Congress:

    An FBI informant connected to the Uranium One controversy told three congressional committees in a written statement that Moscow routed millions of dollars to America with the expectation it would be used to benefit Bill Clinton’s charitable efforts while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton quarterbacked a “reset” in U.S.-Russian relations.

    Don’t you just love quarterbacked? Like wingman and running point, it comes up all the time, but that was a stellar quarterback example in terms of paragraph content, ***** in my book.

    Which reminds me, I don’t think I’ve captured one of this week’s favorites yet — making an end run around Congress:

    Finally, I ran across three headers with religion-connected content today (Sunday at time of writing)…

    **

    A Senator praying his party would avoid a second shutdown may well be no more than a figure of speech:

    Republican Chuck Grassley was on the Senate floor, asking the entire chamber to join in seeking divine intervention with Trump. “Let’s all pray that the President will have the wisdom to sign the bill, so that the government doesn’t shut down,” he said, as Washington waited, once again, on its capricious President.

    Susan Glasser, the New Yorker writer, seems to take it a bit more seriously..

    So it’s finally come to this: only God can stop Trump, as members of his own party are admitting that they’ve basically given up trying.

    **

    The story here is best told in this image, the work of the artist Wendy MacNaughton recording the words of a National Portrait Gallery guard, Rhonda:

    Falling on one’s knees in prayer is definitely a mark of religion, even though Obama isn’t generally considered an object of religious devotion..

    **

    And this may be the most remarkable of the three. In the guns as religion article, it’s the mother of a teen-aged son who was shot and killed — a mother who is now a US Representative, Lucy McBath — who ssuggestd gun culture is an American quasi-religion — but she’s the one described in the article as deeply religious in her opposition to gun violence, refusing the request the death penalty for the killer of her son:

    We never considered pushing for the death penalty because I firmly believe that I am not the one to choose who lives and who dies. Morally and ethically, I believe that decision is left to God. We suffered so much pain and so much anguish, and I actually did not want to be the one to inflict that upon his family, and I didn’t want to be rooted in those kinds of decisions, because I truly believed that would be the noose around my neck and I would not be able to move forward to actively champion for safer gun laws and a safer gun culture, because that’s what I believed that I was given to do, and I couldn’t do that without forgiveness, and I couldn’t do that without releasing myself.

    That’s a stunning level of faith and forgiveness.

    Remember?

  • Zenpundit, From the Forgiveness Chronicles: Rwanda
  • Zenpundit, Of martyrdom and forgiveness
  • Zenpundit, More from the Forgiveness Chronicles
  • **

    Sources:

  • New Yorker, The New Republican Strategy for Dealing with the Emergency That Is Trump
  • Atlantic, The Obama Portraits Have Had a Pilgrimage Effect
  • New Yorker, Lucy McBath on the “Religion” of Guns in America
  • Sunday surprise special

    February 18th, 2019

    [ by Charles Cameron — selected from among the very best of Dylan, Bach, and Joni ]
    .

    I don’t think I’ve ever posted either of these two pieces here on Zenpundit, but in my mind they’re the rock Passacaglia par excellence and the similarly towering classical exemplar — and if you’re exclusively classical in temperament, you may not know Bob Dylan‘s masterful Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands:

    while if you’re straight rock in taste and experience, may I introduce Bach‘s Passacaglia, certainly one of his greatest organ works, here played by Ton Koopman:

    **

    Okay, that’s the classical and rock compare and contrast — here’s Bob Dylan‘s peer — and there aren’t that many — Joni Mitchell, with her wonderful Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter:

    — and that’s a bonus..

    From the Bunker

    February 17th, 2019

    [Mark Safranski / “zen“]
    1

    Friend of ZP,  Dr. Robert Bunker had a few new publications lately with other Friend of ZP co-authors and I thought I would begin my return to semi-regular (or at least occasional) blogging by giving them a nod here. The first was run a few weeks ago at Small Wars Journal: 

    Third Generation Gangs Strategic Note No. 13: Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) Command and Control (C2) Geographic Variations

    by Robert Bunker and John Sullivan

    Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) is a well-known and extremely violent street, and in Central America, prison gang with an estimated transnational membership of 50,000 to 70,000 individuals.[1] Essentially a transnational gang network, MS-13 maintains a relatively robust media presence due to its ongoing criminal activities within the United States, many of which have resulted in homicides and even torture killings, as the gang continues to expand into new communities in Texas and the East Coast of the United States. The gang is organized on a networked, i.e. biological (and/or software program) based model with open architecture ‘plug ins’ that utilize a cellular synapse/and open coding-like strategy that facilitates network linkages and alliances, i.e., interfaces with violent non-state actors (VNSAs). Such network interfaces and organizational schemes go by a number of terms including netwar (John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt) and open-source warfare (John Robb).[2] This note specifically looks at the C2 geographic variations of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) network in the United States, Mexico, and Central America (primarily El Salvador) and MS-13s interface with more powerful violent non-state actors (VNSAs) which result in localized hierarchical organizational expressions.

    Read the rest here.

    The second is a monograph at The Strategic Studies Institute:

    Contemporary Chemical Weapons ... Cover Image

    Contemporary Chemical Weapons Use in Syria and Iraq by the Assad Regime and the Islamic State 

    This monograph focuses on an understudied, but yet a critically important and timely component of land warfare, related to the battlefield use of chemical weapons by contemporary threat forces. It will do so by focusing on two case studies related to chemical weapons use in Syria and Iraq by the Assad regime and the Islamic State. Initially, the monograph provides an overview of the chemical warfare capabilities of these two entities; discusses selected incidents of chemical weapons use each has perpetrated; provides analysis and lessons learned concerning these chemical weapons incidents, their programs, and the capabilities of the Assad regime and the Islamic State; and then presents U.S. Army policy and planning considerations on this topical areas of focus. Ultimately, such considerations must be considered vis-à-vis U.S. Army support of Joint Force implementation of National Command Authority guidance.

    And finally, heading back to SWJ, a book – with Dave Dilegge, John Sullivan and Alma Keshavarz  :

    1

    Blood and Concrete: 21st Century Conflict in Urban Centers and Megacities

    Blood and Concrete: 21st Century Conflict in Urban Centers and Megacities provides a foundation for understanding urban operations and sustaining urban warfare research. This Small Wars Journal (SWJ) Anthology documents over a decade of writings on urban conflict. In addition to essays originally published at SWJ it adds new content including an introduction by the editors, a preface on “Blood and Concrete” by David Kilcullen, a foreword “Urban Warfare Studies” by John Spencer, a postscript “Cities in the Crossfire: The Rise of Urban Violence” by Margarita Konaev, and an afterword “Urban Operations: Meeting Challenges, Seizing Opportunities, Improving the Approach” by Russell W. Glenn. These essays frame the discussion found in the collection’s remaining 49 chapters. Blood and Concrete continues the legacy of Small Was Journal’s coverage of urban operations, conflict and combat.

    Probably not this kind of megacity…..

    See the source image

     

    It’s snowing metaphoric chyrons, ignore unless interested 4

    February 16th, 2019

    [ by Charles Cameron — manufactured, seized, slammed, gagged, shot down, bled, died — more marvelous & terrible metaphors &c ]
    .

    Here we go again..

    **

    Melber, The Beat:

    0 This is going to be a metaphysical, legal, rhetorical debate we’re going to be having for a while..
    7 You have the hammer being dropped on Paul Manafort ..
    11 You are saying we can do the over under with anyone who wants to play ..
    13 Look, I think the judge’s instruction has shown she is quite serious about not turning her court into a circus.
    You can’t go onto the steps of the courthouse, where witnbesses might be coming in, or prospective jurors, and turn it into a circus by holding big press conferences ..
    And we’re not going to turn it into some kind of reality show set ..
    19 More people in the mosaic are coming together
    32 Ralph Peters: So many people have died and bled for that Constitution, the least the Republicans can do in the Senate would be to risk a Primary challenge. It’s not exactly Omaha Beach..
    Ari: How can I say it fairly? Making the case against this being an emergency at his announcement of the emergency .. [paradox, ourob]
    41-2 Malcolm Nance: I think he {Sen Menendez] was signaling what people have been asking for about three years now. Listen, you know, that it’s finally filtered its way up to the halls of Congress, ton where questions like this, which we have been talking about every night for two and a half years non-stop, to where it can be put into the Congressional Record the query, What does a foreign power have over our President? now will lead out into the investigations which must happen. Clearly Donald Trump is in debt to Russia for something.
    Well, you mentioned the way information and politics, and I’m sure to some degree in the work you focus on, Where do people’s ideas about things come from..
    This is very serious pool ..

    Hardball:

    00-1 Trump: Everyone knows that walls work .. Everyone knows — that, Nancy knows it, Chuck knows it — it’s all a big lie, it’s a con game — if we have a wall we won’t need the military, because we’d have a wall ..
    Noah Rothman: The Maadisonian scheme is falling apart. No longer is Congress a jealous guardian of its own authority ..
    I don’t want a ‘two can play at this’ game type of political maneuvering that’s happening right now ..
    The wall is a McGuffin ..
    Power is a one-way ratchet ..
    Ann Coulter re AOC: She’s off the reservation, but everyone understands that ..
    Jeremy Bash: That meeting was a Russian government delegation meeting with the high command of the Trump campaign to talk about sanctions relief ..
    Their histories {Stone, Manafort] sort of follow around each other.. [dbl helix?]

    All In, Chris Hyes:
    California is prepared to call this what it is, which is Theater of the Absurd. California is prepared to continue to remind the American people this is a manufactured crisis ..
    We don’t want to participate in this show any more ..
    We don’t want to play. We don’t want to be part of this. We don’t want to be part of this theater. We don’t want to be part of this political misdirection ..
    maxine waters: He’s up against the wall ..
    coulter: forget the fact that he’s digging his own grave ..

    **

    Oddments:

    Tecovas western boots ad: Value is one of our values .. [ourob]

    It’s snowing metaphoric chyrons, ignore unless interested 3

    February 15th, 2019

    [ by Charles Cameron — further gleanings in the fields of MSNBC, my dialysis entertainment ]
    .

    Butterflies, no comment.

    Hoawk, ditto.

    **

    Feb 12 Nicolle:Wallace:

    Brand new reporting suggests that special counsel Robert Mueller may have evidence of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, and that the investigation into a conspiracy or quid pro quo between Donald Trump campaign and the Russians is alive and kicking. Testimony from one of Miller’s top deputies delivered behind closed doors and in front of a judge in Paul Manafort’s case is akin to a unicorn sighting. It’s a rare transcript of a Mueller prosecutor describing in his own words one of the investigative theories around the question of conspiracy.

    Note reference to a unicorn sighting at top of that screen-grab

    __________________________________________________________________________

    MTP 2/13/2019
    DJT: We haven’t gotten it yet, we’ll be getting it, we’ll be looking for landmines, because you could have that you know, it’s been known to happen to people ..
    ChuckT: The landmines he’s referring to aren’t real landmines in front of his wall, I think he’s meaning political poison pills {metaphor for metaphor!!] ..
    ChuckT: Kasey, it seems as though everyone is playing a little political kabuki theater here ..
    It’s a sort of security blanket, rhetorically ..
    .
    Melber 2/13/2019:
    42 Rep Hakeem Jeffries: While Paul Manafort and others who were formerly associated with the Trump campaign continue to play checkers, while Mueller is playing 3-dimensional chess ..
    45 Rep Hakeem Jeffries: This is an Ari Melber freestyle that I’m doing right now — appropriate on this show, by the way
    47-8 Rep Hakeem Jeffries: That’s not the Hakeem Jeffries playbook, that’s the James Madison playabook .. *****
    this was a split decision — if this was a boxing match ..
    54: you’re talking about a double back-flip ..
    56: he’s the quarter-back of the [] .. who’s calling the play? ..
    59 triangular (check this) ..
    .
    Hardball 2/13/2019:
    14: david corn: you have to believe there’s aa lot of nodding & winking going on in that [cigar room] meeting and afterwards ..
    what they [russians] mean by peace is they win, you lose ..
    32: Chris M: many of the President’s Republican allies — is that what you call them, allies? stooges sometimes ..
    I represent West Point: that’s $250m that’s been appropriated, not contracted — so when Kevin McCarthy talks about a tool in a toolbox, he’s talking about a hammer to smash the new science buildings for those cadets, their new dorms — that’s the next generation of military leaders ..
    36/7 it’s a game — it’s a game to hide a failure when he could have had a good deal earlier ..
    55 Up next, a Trojan Horse in the White House .. [see War Hawk chyron above] *****

    All In Chris Hayes 2/13/2019
    06: Why is Trump’s campaign chairman, the guy who’s quarterbacking his campaign, taking some time out to meet with Konstantin Kilimnik who, according to court papers, is somebody the FBI has identified is somebody associated with Russian intelligence .
    19-20 rep jeffries: .. a russian operation to affect or interfere ith our elections, and that was a full courtr press. But what we also see is that there was a full court press of human intelligence agents or people with connections to the Russian intelligence agencies, who were obviously targeting the Trump campaign to get something out of them ..
    35 barbara boxer: if this is the way he plays, he should take his marbles and go home ..
    36: he’s cruising for a bruising ..
    37: you [jim manley] said mcconnell was basically ready to go to war ..
    .
    Rachel Maddow 2/13/2019:

    In that case, the case of Mike Flynn and his abrted sentencing hearing, you might notice a little melody, a little tune that recurs, that is becoming sort of a theme song for all
    When we look at these cases, when we can now see, over time, with all of these cases and all these dozens of indictments and dozens of
    .defendants, we can now see a little bit of a recurring melody, a little theme that you can recognize in how judges react when they hear about, when they see evidence about the alleged or confessed crimes of the people who have been caught up thus far in this investigation ..
    We also see that tune, all over today’s news, in multiple cases ..
    That same theme, that same little melody seems to be applying when it comes to the new case of Roger Stone tune ..
    But in the middle of all these things, the theme, the melody, is not quite recognizable. I mean, who has won, going up against the Mueller investigation ir any of the related prosecutions?
    That theme, which we can hear is running threrough all of these different cases and all of these different stories that bre in today’s news, is its loudest and clearest tonight when it comes to the President’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort ..

    ,
    Bryan Williams 2/13/2019:
    Is it fair to cast this in Hannah-Barbera terms and say that the folks on Capitol Hill are anxious to maybe just gently pull the pin out of this grenade, get it passed, and toss it down Pennsylvania Avenue?
    You really need to go for this .. to the mat ..
    ____________________________________________________________________________

    Nicolle Wallace 2/14/2019:

    Because being at war with Nancy Pelosin will feel like a walk innthe park compared to the subversive, quiet, silent, sneak attacks from Senate Republicans. I mean, Nancy Pelosi is a master tactician, a master strategist, and a brilliant public sort of leader band general of her troops. Mitch McCaonnell is, sort of, plays cloak-and-dagger, and this White House won’t see his attacks coming ..

    Velshi & Ruhle 2/14/2019:

    All we can try and do is to ride the bucking bronco of change as it happens .. *****

    Pelosi 2/14/2019?:

    The President making an end-run around Congress ..

    **

    Two Bolton tweets:


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