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On targeting as a mood this electoral season, 1

Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

[ by Charles Cameron — the only virtue I can see in this darkness is that the light contrasts with it ]

I find this frankly horrifying:

This, at a supposedly Christian university?



Mark you, I think targeting an individual — any individual –in this way is very different from targeting contested seats in an election. I can understand both Democrats and Republicans using the imagery of targets or cross-hairs to suggest where they’d like their supporters to get active, get out the vote and win seats..


I said as much in On sneers, smears, and mutual sniping:

Neither “targetting” political adversaries nor “having them in your crosshairs” equates to killing or there would have been a whole lot more attempted assassinations — just the one was bad enough.

Have some proportion, people.


However, as an inveterate DoubleTweeter I have to say that pinning targets or cross-hairs on individual leaders in highly charged political disputes speaks a wholly different language, and presents a far higher threat level, than targeting districts on an electoral map:


For the record, I find this no less offensive:


Hinnary, or: Google Image Search, meet Hillary Clinton

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

[ by Charles Cameron — artificial intelligence at the intersection of religion and politics ]

Our own J Scott Shipman posted what I term a DoubleQuote on Facebook this morning, offering a juxtaposition of politician Hillary Clinton and preacher Benny Hinn:


I’ve enlarged it and cropped it lengthwise to give you a proper appreciation of the comparison.



Okay, I thought, Scott’s doing an informal DoubleQuote, let me see if I can find the two images and rework them into one of my regular DoubleQuote formats. Only it wasn’t that easy. The only versions of the Hinn photo I could find were too small for my format, and the Hillary image wasn’t a photo but a screencap from a video — I could find a similar screencap from another TV channel, but not the exact one Scott had found.

As you’ve seen above, I finally settled for cropping and enlarging the image Scott had provided — but along the way I ran across another instance of the intelligence of artifice — in this case, Google Image Search’s recognition technology:


Ah — but spokesperson for what or whom?


I’m relieved to say that while Google is in general a brilliant, cutting-edge, genius of a search engine, it’s clearly not following the current Presidential race with any enthusiasm.

You see that lady? She’s one of the candidates, and she was on several TV channels and online streaming sites just last night.

There’s another candidate, who probably looks pretty much the same to you:


I don’t think my telling you all this will make you more artificially intelligent — but it might make you a little better informed about current affairs.

At the intersection of Religion and Politics

Sunday, October 16th, 2016

[ by Charles Cameron — Metaxas (Christian) and Hindus (Bollywood included) ]

Eric Metaxas for Trump:

Hindus for Trump:


Eric Metaxas is the author of the widely praised biography, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy.

Electoral religion 2016

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

[ by Charles Cameron — remembering the Ted Cruz Christ / Antichrist (and Obama ditto) rhetoric from an earlier post ]

Dismal, both of them:



  • NBC News, Trump Calls Clinton ‘The Devil’
  • NYT Magazine, I’m the Last Thing Standing Between You and the Apocalypse
  • **

    I could be wrong, but I somehow doubt that either Trump or Clinton is using the terms “devil” or “apocalypse” (respectively) in their literal religious meanings here.

    For that I’m thankful.

    But then..

    In contrast to the two posts I’ve linked to above, these two below appear to me to be making overtly and deliberately religious appeals with respect to the current election.

  • Alex Jones, InfoWars, Hillary Clinton: Demonic Warmonger
  • Andy Crouch, Christianity Today, Speak Truth to Trump
  • I’ve included the InfoWars video clip because it makes it very clear that Alex Jones, at least, claims he is being “Biblical” — his own word — when he calls Hillary Clinton demonic — and the Christianity Today piece because it represents a distinguished Evangelical response to the general tendency of Evangelical Christians to support Donald Trump‘s candidacy.

    In somewhat related news, I am saddened to report that Christianity Today‘s literary magazine Books & Culture will close at the end of the year. John Wilson, the editor, is a long time and valued friend from Pasadena bookstore days — see his kind words about the late Bill Tunilla, the bookman who introduced us, in this Letter from the Editor.

    WaPo just can’t bear their faces?

    Sunday, October 9th, 2016

    [ by Charles Cameron — the words “substitute teachers” come to mind ]

    There’s nothing like quoting the recent past to illustrate the near future, eh?


    I guess these guys seem more presidential?


    Edited to add: Okay, revised version, 20 minutes later:


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