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On negative space, private morality in the public square

Monday, May 7th, 2018

[ by Charles Cameron — not entirely keen about Judgment, me, but.. ]
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Continuing on from my discussion of negative space in the painting, here’s the MSNBC clip I overheard waas on about:

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The clip, in other words, is about private morality in the public square.

Raw Story picks up there thread in a piece titled ‘Where are the preachers of America?’:

Evangelical leaders slammed for hypocrisy of Trump support:Former New York Times White House correspondent Howell Raines, who rose to executive editor of newspaper, called out the evangelical community during a Friday appearance on MSNBC’s “The Beat with Ari Melber.”

“I want to ask you about the negative space in the painting, the thing that’s not happening — that we are always told would happen — because the Christian right and the conservative values organizations and the evangelical right cared deeply about the personal behavior of politicians and especially the president,” Melber observed.

“The president now has squarely admitted to paying this woman in direct connection to the allegations of this extramarital affair,” the host continued. “I ask you for your view of why we’re not hearing any outrage for any of those groups affiliated with Donald Trump and the Republican Party.”

“Where are the preachers of America when morality is legitimately at the center of our national life?” Raines wondered. “I think Director Comey was correct today on CBS when he said this is about values and supporting our institutions and it’s imperative that Americans who believe in the normal political process and the rule of law start speaking out.”

“That’s what’s missing in the picture to me,” he concluded.

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That’s a significant question, to which various answers have been given — from a quick Google search:

  • The Nation, Why Evangelicals—Still!—Support Trump
  • Time, Why Evangelicals Support President Trump, Despite His Immorality
  • Atlantic, A Match Made in Heaven
  • but I’d like to leave — indeed emphasize — it as a question.

    How come the hypocrisy?

    And I think we should ask this, not as a question requiring a political answer, but as a moral question, hanging in the air, for the individual consciences of evangelicals to ponder..

    I have my own hyposcrisies to consider..

    On negative space in the painting..

    Monday, May 7th, 2018

    [ by Charles Cameron — where might mist be the opposite of tree? ]
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    When I heard the words “negative space in the painting” on MSNBC a couple of days ago I was intrigued — was this an unanticipated art program? Terrific! Next thought: the use of negative space is particularly noted in Japanese art:

    In Japanese, ma, the word for space, suggests interval. It is best described as a consciousness of place .. the simultaneous awareness of form and non-form deriving from an intensification of vision.

    Here’s Wiki’s visual exmple:


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    The Pine Trees screen is a pair of six-panel folding screens by the Japanese artist Hasegawa Tohaku. .. The screens are held by the Tokyo National Museum, and were designated as a National Treasure of Japan in 1952.

    The ink-on-paper work depicts a view of Japanese pine trees in the mist, with parts of the trees visible and parts obscured, illustrating the Zen Buddhist concept of ma and evoking the Japanese wabi aesthetic of rustic simplicity.

    Japanese classical aesthetics are subtle where Western modern aesthetics are obvious, deep where their Western cousins tend to the superficial, and while I wouldn’t care to elaborate on the definitions of ma and wabi, I don’t think “rustic simplicity” catches much of the resonance of wabi, and the phrase “Zen Buddhist concept” is on the clumsy side IMO — well, however.

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    DT Suzuki‘s Zen and Japanese Culture was among my early purchaases as a young Oxford scholar with book money and BH Blackwell’s to plunder — and ma and wabi, along with sabi and yugen, rasa and raga, duende, lachrimae and mutabilitie — are among the art-induced mind-&-heart-states I’ve long found of impassioned interest.

    For what “negative space” referred to on MSNBC, see the second post in this series of three..

    A DoubleQuote with games ref, natsec, and a ratio!

    Saturday, May 5th, 2018

    [ by Charles Cameron — President Donald Trump Legal Team Loses Ty Cobb (And His Mustache) | MTP Daily | MSNBC ]
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    I just have to give you this DoubleQuote (visual) with verbal accompaniment taking the form of a ratio (a : b :: a* : b*) — and it’s politics, current affairs, natsec (Bolton) and law (Cobb), and even (very Shakespearean, this) exits and entrances

    And here’s the ratio, as expressed on MSNBC by Chuck Todd on Meet the Press Daily:

    But seriously, Bolton is to Cobb as miniature golf is to the Masters — similar — but really — not really

    That’s simply delicious.

    Here’s the clip:

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    If you’re me, trolling the online waves for DoubleQuotes, game metaphors and natsec, that’s a trifecta at the very least. And I just had to give it its own post.

    As Chuck Todd put sit to Ari Melber:

    Well, y’know, hey, you gotta entertain yourself somehoe, some days.

    There’s even a tiny ouroboros in thre!

    By your gracious permission..

    Games, sports, play, dream & other interesting metaphors, &c

    Monday, April 30th, 2018

    [ by Charles Cameron — continuing my habit of collecting language, images included, which catch my attention — various forms of magical, alchemical and other evidence that life is but a dream — Calderón de la Barca, la vida es sueño ]
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    King’s College To Wit by Thomas Howell Jones

    Duel Day is a commemoration of the duel fought between the Duke of Wellington and the Earl of Winchilsea over the founding of King’s College London. The duel itself was fought on 21 March 1829 and the anniversary is celebrated annually around this date.

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    Hardball, carnival barker, dueled with men over the honor of women :

    Trump: Next Old Hickory or Carnival Barker?

    He touches on the potential for letting Obamacare implode, possibly a hardball play with Congress. [ .. ]

    While Old Hickory fought the British, whom he hated bitterly, and the Indians, whom white settlers wanted out of the way, dueled with men over the honor of women and rose from being a country lawyer to the president, Trump is a real estate developer turned reality TV star who doesn’t even have the backing of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    Kanye plays 3-dumesonal chess with pop culture, Ari Melber, Fallback Friday, The Beat, 04/28/2018::

    I sometimes see Kanye as literally playing 3-dimensional pop-culture chess [ .. ]

    That’s a dangerous kind of bed of fire to walk on right now [ .. ]

    It isn’t a game to play with words like this [ .. ]

    So Kanya’s going to keep pushing forward, but he’s got an album to sell, so it’s a game thing [ .. ]

    To me, Kanye plays 3-dimensional chess with pop culture. I’ve seen him make dramatic moves that look like he was in check mate, and then he was able to turn it round relatively [ .. ]

    I’ve heard there are people behind the scenes, close to making that check mate he may not be able to recover from

    eighth-dimensional chess master sorcery

    Do Kanye West’s Politics Matter?

    That Kanye West finds his ideas intriguing does not surprise me, however. Adams thinks that he, and he alone, truly gets Trump, and comprehends the eighth-dimensional chess master sorcery that accounts for Trump’s appeal. It’s a way to join a mob but also flatter yourself for transcending it. It reminds me very much of a rapper I used to think I knew.

    Bargaining Chips, played like a fiddle:

    As Two Koreas Talk Peace, Trump’s Bargaining Chips Slip Away

    “The United States has been played beautifully, like a fiddle, because you had a different kind of a leader,” Mr. Trump said after meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany at the White House. “We’re not going to be played, O.K.? We’re going to hopefully make a deal; if we don’t, that’s fine.”

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    I guess language play — and natsec rhyme — falls within the play & other interesting metaphors rubric:

    “Escalate to de-escalate” is catchy, it rhymes, and it rolls off the tongue. Unfortunately, it is also wrong — but not for the reasons experts usually focus on.

    Since Russia released its 2014 National Defense Strategy, and especially after the publication of America’s 2018 Nuclear Posture Review, U.S. officials, pundits, and national security wonks have used the phrase either to describe Russia’s strategy, or as a launching point to criticize that description. Buzz phrases like “escalate to de-escalate” tend to spread through officialdom where they are misunderstood and misused as quickly as they are shared. The problem with the term is not that Russia doesn’t have capacity or plans to use calculated escalation (nuclear or otherwise) to contain or terminate a conflict. It’s that such escalation is only one part of a larger strategic approach, and the focus on Moscow’s nuclear threshold risks missing the forest for the trees.

    That’s from War on the Rocks, today, Time to Terminate Escalate to De-Escalate — It’s Escalation Control

    A headline from War on the Rocks, Monday 30 April 2018:

    DROPPING THE BALL IN THE WESTERN BALKANS: CAN THE WEST PICK IT UP AGAIN?

    >>>

    That would have been a game changer —
    is hot-dogging on this thing ..

    >>>

    Continuing right here. Every ten additional examples or so, I’ll post & tweet a reminder.

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    Guest on Rachel Maddow, 05/01/2018:

    FThe goalposts keep changing as to what collusion means.

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    Mueller raised possibility of presidential subpoena in meeting with Trump’s legal teamMueller responded that he had another option if Trump declined: He could issue a subpoena for the president to appear before a grand jury, according to four people familiar with the encounter.

    Mueller’s warning — the first time he is known to have mentioned a possible subpoena to Trump’s legal team — spurred a sharp retort from John Dowd, then the president’s lead lawyer.

    “This isn’t some game,” Dowd said, according to two people with knowledge of his comments. “You are screwing with the work of the president of the United States.”

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    Robert Mueller and Co. are playing hardball

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    Never underestimate your ability to shoot yourself in the head..
    non-denial denial .. non clarification clarification ..
    lapdog..
    enabled some of these dominos to start falling..
    Rudy Giuliani is a loose cannon .. rolling around the Oval Office .. another loose cannon..
    a fishing expedition .. a happy hunting ground out there..
    four dimensional chess..
    is he work horse or show horse..
    everybody takes a victory lap ..
    they are altogether so different, politics and wrestling..
    the Olympics of making things up.. (Ari)
    full court press ..
    he opens the Pandora’s box just a little bit more.. Dateline
    opening Pandora’s box: that is war ..
    Giuliano’s cleaning up for Giuliano ..
    Stormy playing herself (SNL, ourob)
    lawyering involves adversarial combat ..
    Amb Chris Hall: he might find a way to dodge the bullet that is pointing right at his head ..
    behind the eight-ball
    people in this morality play [Ari]
    gloves are of .. the stakes are getting higher and the gloves are coming off
    Gina Haspel, Iran, and Pay-to-Play with Michael Cohen
    Yanked the ball back ..
    Each show is separate show, each match is the wrestling card
    a pretty good roadmap to a smoking gun .. [slate]
    the tentacles of players..
    he’s wrong it say it’s illegal .. you need a quid pro quo..
    he’s always been a hard-charging associate
    when the fish are hidden in the shadows ..
    05/10/2018
    Clint Watts “dancing round within their terms of service” ..
    ignoring the elephant in the room to concentrate on the fleas on the fllorr.. Avenatti

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    Giuliani: The special counsel so far seems to think that Comey is Moses, and I happen to think Comey is Judas..

    I wouldn’t be an attorney if I did that, George — I wouldd be living in some kind of unreal fantasy world, that everybody tells the truth ..

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    Giuliani’s FBI ‘Stormtroopers’ Smear Is the Key to Trump’s Authoritarian Mind-set

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    Rachel:

    When it came to the US breaking the Iran deal .. Effectively we are grabbing the ball off the field, popping it, and telling everybody we are about to tear gas the pitch. And so it seems unlikely that this game will keep going for long.

    Amanpour:

    I would describe pulling out of this deal [nuke deal] as possibly the greatest deliberate act of self-harm and self-sabotage in geo-strategic politics in the modern era.

    George Will:

    Judging by the number of times Pence announces himself “humbled,” he might seem proud of his humility, but that is impossible because he is conspicuously devout and pride is a sin.

    Between those two Cabinet meetings, Pence and his retinue flew to Indiana for the purpose of walking out of an Indianapolis Colts football game, thereby demonstrating that football players kneeling during the national anthem are intolerable to someone of Pence’s refined sense of right and wrong.

    Ouroboroi, mirrors, macro-micros, paradoxes &c

    Monday, April 30th, 2018

    [ by Charles Cameron — continuing my habit of collecting language, images included, which catch my attention — various forms of self-eating & other alchemyteries, mythematics and magics — mathemystics, Pythagoras for one, Ramanujan too ]
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    <, >Ouroboros or the Mechanical Extension of Mankind by Garet Garrett

    ries and

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    Here’s a nice, succinct Trumpian self-reference:

    I’d give myself an A+.

    This one’s a particularly apt example of the ouroboros, as the phrase “comes back to bite him” is clearly derived from the verbal formulation “serpent bites tail”:

    Trump’s ‘Fox & Friends’ Interview Is Already Coming Back To Bite Him In Court

    Kanye, an admirer of Trump’s way fo doing things, Ari Melber, Fallback Friday, The Beat, 04/28/2018:

    Kanye West doesn’t really believe in anything except Kanya West

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    That first allegation, btw, is either true of untrue, which is why it’s called an allegation, eh? Same with the second, butt it’s the first that’s orouboric.

    >>>

    The Fifth Amendment protects persons from self-incrimination in these words::

    nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself..

    Aha, further to this matter:

    The right against self-incrimination is rooted in the Puritans’ refusal to cooperate with interrogators in 17th century England. They often were coerced or tortured into confessing their religious affiliation and were considered guilty if they remained silent. English law granted its citizens the right against self-incrimination in the mid-1600s, when a revolution established greater parliamentary power.

    Puritans who fled religious persecution brought this idea with them to America

    That’s the Puritan side of the matter, but they were of the opposite mind when interrogating Cavalier children:, inquiring (name of painting)

    And When Did You Last See Your Father?

    Do you suppose the Puritans would have let that young man plead the Fifth?

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    A headline from War on the Rocks, Monday 30 April 2018:

    CHINA’S BALLISTIC MISSILES THREATEN AUSTRALIA’S SELF-RELIANCE

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    Continuing right here. Every ten additional examples or so, I’ll post & tweet a reminder.

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    Fox News’s Sean Hannity busted again by Fox News

    Were the Erik Wemple Blog anointed the chief scheduler for U.S. Journalism, we’d direct that all major scoops regarding President Trump hit the Internet between 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on weeknights. Why? The better to uproot Sean Hannity’s nightly program, of course.

    Because when news intrudes, the Fox News host exudes irritation. “I am told by my sources tonight that the New York Times is full of crap, that those are not — a lot of those questions are not the questions that the special counsel is asking,” said Hannity on Monday night after the newspaper published its scoop of 49 questions that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has formulated for Trump.

    People might just remember another moment this past when Hannity dissed a breaking scoop from the New York Times, this time about how Trump in June 2017 had ordered Mueller’s firing. “At this hour, the New York Times is trying to distract you. They have a story that Trump wanted Mueller fired sometime last June, and our sources, and I’ve checked in with many of them, they’re not confirming that tonight.”

    Later that night, Hannity was forced to confirm the news. “All right, so we have sources tonight just confirming to Ed Henry that, yeah, maybe Donald Trump wanted to fire the special counsel for conflict,” said the host on his Jan. 25 show. “Does he not have the right to raise those questions? You know, we’ll deal with this tomorrow night.”

    [Sean Hannity cannot tweet his way out of journalistic corruption]

    Well. At noon on Tuesday, Fox News host Melissa Francis told viewers of the show “Outnumbered,” “President Trump is reacting to the leak of dozens of questions special counsel Robert Mueller reportedly wants to ask him. Fox News has now obtained those questions after the New York Times first reported on them. … The questions were reportedly read to the president’s lawyer by Mueller’s team in March,” said Francis.

    So: That makes two instances in which Hannity relied on his own sources to debunk the reporting of the New York Times, only to watch as his colleagues confirmed the paper’s findings. One more and we have a full-blown trend.

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