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TripleQuoting trees and spirits, onwards, 37

Monday, April 15th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — a woman so lovely she’s pure spirit, carved in stone and overgrown by trees — great christina greer quote — rachel’s mille feuille mar-a-lago ]
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Here’s the TripleQuote:

To the left, the statue of an apsara or female dancer spirit peers out from a tangle of forest encroaching on abandoned Khmer temples.. Center, she looks to him, Khajuraho temple sculpture, India,mand right — look closer — tree.

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Craig Melvin, 4/12/2019:

There’s no daylight between him and the Attorney General ..
He wanted to show that he’s in lockstep with the Attorney General on this issue ..

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Nicolle Wallace, 4/12/2019:

Nicole: Three dominios have fallen in this story since late last night: the Washington Post reporting about his desire to release human beings into sanctuary cities as some sort of pawn in his political battle over immigration —

— Julia Ainsley and Courtney Kube, superb reporting on how he wants to use the military in effect as human toy soldiers to carry out his political goals on immigration .. and now Annie Karni and her colleagues reporting about the dangling of a pardon ..

Chuck Rosenberg: At least historically, pardons were always an act of Presidential compassion and mercy, that’s certainly how they were designed and intended….

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Erin Burnett 4/12/2019::

I heard those words, and I didn’t know if I was in 1967 or 2017..

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Not sure where, but war room *****

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DoubleQuote:

Bannon embraces Trump

Pope embraces Imam of Al Azhar

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MTP 4/12/2019:

You don’t want to replicate Trump; but you want to beat Trump .
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Ari Melber:

Let’s see if they have open arms

Tillerson:

When the President would say, Well here’s what I want to do, and here’s how I want to do it, and I’d have to say to him, Mr President, I understand what you want to do, but you can’t do it that way, it violates the law, it violates the treaty, you know — he got really frustrated..

Matt Miller:

When the DHS Director — who was willing to do a lot for Donald Trump — when Kirstjen Nielsen said, the one thing I can’t do is break the law, he fired her. And now you have him telling the new Acting DHS Director, It’s okay if you break the law. I want you to break the law, and if you do it, and if you go to jail, I’ll pardon you. So even this constraint, where you have officials that say, The one thing I can’t do is break the law, he’s trying to find away around that — and it’s about the most lawless thing you can imagine for a President..

Victoria DeFrancesco Soto:

They like his boldness, they like that he’s authentic, they like that he shoots from the hip. And he’s leveraging that, even to the detriment of our democracy.

Christina Greer:

Unfortunately, there are far too many Americans who look at these families at the birder, and they don’t see human beings. This is the consistent message that the President is giving his base, when he talks on Twitter, on television, calling them animals, calling them undeserving, saying the doors are closed. Even though he is the child of an immigrant, even though two of his three wives were immigrants, even though four of his five children are children of an immigrant, he doesn’t see these people at the border as of the same lineage as his family.

John Flannery:

I sort of think of them as nested Russian wacky dolls, you know, one supporting each other..

And what it looks like is, the Justice Department is so despoiled now that they’ve becpome a p[olitical arm of the West Wing ..

You can’t win an argument you don’t make, and we’re not making that argument..

Ari Melber:

You can’t win a legal argument you don’t make — is that sort of a court version of Michael Jordan, You miss 100% of the shot you don’t take?<

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Hardball:

Chris M:

If that’s not impeachable, I don’t know what is. A President of the United States using his authority to tell government senior officials, cabinet level people, to break the law, I’ll cover you.

Leon Panetta:

I think we’ve all gone down the rabbit-hole with Donald Trump into Wonderland, I have no idea what is going on here with the President, who acts like a punch-drunk fighter striking out in all directions ..

Richard Engel:

The Pope under attack, and look who’s leading the charge..

Bannon:

He’s constantly coming back and putting all the faults in the world on this populist nationalist movement..

CC comment — this is what really has Bannon exercised, not pedophilia, which is something that both left and right can agree on, and a terrific diversion from his real concern..

Bannon’s Institute:

Chris M:

He’s also building a monastery .. he is putting together a huge facility on a hilltop outside Rome .. It is an 800-room monastery .. and this is going to be the center of his movement ..

— but we’ll get to all that, after Richard Engel’s evening special tonight..

All In Chris Hayes:

That’s John Yoo, unbelievably enough now the Emanuel S. Heller Professor of Law at the University of California —

— Berkeley.!– which a right-edge very bearded ‘vette-owning vet friend said could be nuked, no problem..

Apocalypse:

Jeff Biggers:

Coal is really like a fourth-string pitcher ..

Rachel Maddow:

on having her first taste of mille feuille on her b’day —

Rachel:

Apparently this is a whole category of dessert ..

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And ain’t this delicious, too? DoubleQuoting two brilliant women in science — fifty years in a single tweet:

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ANd I’m done.

Metaphors 21, some more like micro-essays with graphics toppings

Tuesday, March 12th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — chyrons, headlines and quotes as before — including that damn elite schools admissions fraud — some moving in the direction of micro-essays with graphics toppings — in other words, don’t miss them! ]
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MUELLER APPEARS AFTER SOMETHING REALLY BIG

What I’m after here is understanding how reading between the lines corresponds with knowing the known unknowns, and how those two mutually compatible metaphors triangulate with a more distant pair, following trails of breadcumbs and connecting dots.

Somehow our writer found all four necessary to outline — there’s another one — her insight.

So: what can we learn?

Perhaps the most curious detail comes elsewhere in the G.R.U. indictment, when Mueller notes how one particular spear-phishing attempt aimed at the Hillary Clinton campaign was both a “first time” effort, and conducted “after hours.” These may seem like bread crumbs to a popular audience, but they’re more significant Morse-code tappings to jurisprudential scholars, suggesting that the hackers’ strategy could have shifted at a crucial moment.

This investigation is a classic Gambino-style roll-up,” a source close to the White House observed in November 2017, as the probe was heating up. This approach has also created immense political uncertainty surrounding the outcome of his final report. In the G.R.U. indictment, for instance, prosecutors for the special counsel’s office wrote that Russian intelligence officers “knowingly and intentionally conspired with each other, and with persons known and unknown to the Grand Jury” in order to interfere with the 2016 election. Does the fact that Mueller hasn’t charged those “known and unknown” people mean that he can’t make his case, or that he’s just been working his way up the food chain?

With the two-year anniversary of Mueller’s appointment this spring, some of the juiciest—and arguably most consequential—questions about Russian election interference and the Trump campaign remain unanswered. But every bizarre detail or curious omission from Mueller to date could be a bread crumb leading to what the special counsel is preparing next. The investigation’s known unknowns are an investigative road map.

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Just for the tone / phrasing of the chyron:

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Okay, let’s back off politics for a moment, and track just a few instances of Life Imitates Art from the New Yorker archive:

Dana Goodyear, Bad Character

Hollywood has had character problems for years: a Shrek maced a group of female tourists, a Chewbacca head-butted a tour operator, a Batman kicked out the windows of a police car. “We’ve arrested Captain America, we’ve arrested Sponge Bob,” Captain Bea Girmala, the commanding officer of L.A.P.D.’s Hollywood Division, said. “Over the years, many of the costumed people we have arrested have had felony convictions, sex-crime-related convictions.” She went on, “We’ve seen characters walk off the boulevard, and hit the coke pipe or shoot up.” Intense competition for tips can turn the street into a crossover comic come to life. Batman vs. Kato: Chest kick—boom! Cartwheeling arms—pow! tight on: A puddle of blood congealing on the Walk of Fame.

In the snow-globe-like tourist zones of America’s cities, character crime is on the rise.

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Also from the New Yorker, a different Life imitates Art angle, which also adds to our Sanctity of the unsavory collection:

David Grann, The Old Man and the Gun
Forrest Tucker had a long career robbing banks, and he wasn’t willing to retire.

The outlaw, in the American imagination, is a subject of romance—a “good” bad man, he is typically a master of escape, a crack shot, a ladies’ man. In 1915, when the police asked the train robber Frank Ryan why he did it, he replied, “Bad companions and dime novels. Jesse James was my favorite hero.”

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Headliners:Mueller MSNBC docu:

He led that charge, and it was like turning the Titanic .. [turning FBI to CT]
He has the ability to just raise everybody’s game ..

And a couple of spares:

Meacham, 11th Hour, date uncertain but close: Even Dante might be flummoxed by the number of [criminals] 23 have here [ie in the cabinet, around DJT]
I think he [Beto] runs and he kicks it out of the stadium in his first three weeks .[fundraising?]

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MTP 3/11/2019:

Eric Swalwell:

He’s a different President than he was in the last two years, in that he’s not completely restricted but we’ve put an ankle-monitor on him; now when he does this outrageous conduct we can actually check and put balances against him ..

[??]

It depends a lot as to what the President’s game theory of what Mueller has and wants to do already is. I don’t know what that is ..

[??]

And if Mueller comes out and doesn’t have a smoking gun, or if he has a smoking gun and is not getting impeached, doesn’t he feel bullet-prooff?

Ari Melber, the Beat 3/11/2019:

We begin with Mueller grinding down two former Trump aides..

There’s other developments, though, that are also knocking up in the Mueller probe this week. This is part of why people, some people, say it’s like the ninth inning ..

I wonder if you would handicap both of these ruling this week ..
I think the hammer is going to fall, and it’s going to fall very severely ..
Do you expect Judge Jackson will hit Manafrt for what happened elsewhere, or is she going to stay laser-focused on these charges? ..
She’s going to call this one a foul tip ..
What jumps to you about the foul tip analogy is interesting? ..

How much of this could be the fault line of the Democratic primary? ..
It’s a warning shot ..

Hardball — Chris Matthews:

And they say you gotta play to win, unless you’re Donald Trump and you own the golf course..

Trophies for everyone ..

Anyway, how he won the gloves championship without even competing ..

And let’s close with..

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Operation Varsity Blues:

This case is about the widening corruption of elite college admissions through the steady application of wealth combined with fraud. There can be no separate college admissions system for the wealthy, and I’ll add there will not be a separate criminal justice system either.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of hard-working, talented students strive for admission to elite schools. As every parent knows, these students work harder and harder every year, in a system that appears to grow more and more competitive every year.

And that system is a zero-sum game. For every student admitted through fraud, one honest, genuinely talented student was rejected.

It’s snowing metaphoric chyrons, ignore unless interested 7

Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — chyrons, yes — but also a mini-essay on what happens when loose fingertips sink ops — and including a multi-math game physicists play ]
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IMO, defang is a great word — so I was delighted to hear the phrase, Mr. Trump’s attempts to defang the investigations

Let’s get to work, there’s lots to cover:

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Chyrons:

We’ve had bombshells before — meet new bombshells.

A regular fight metaphor:

An extraordinary one – jumping on a grenade!

And this one’s good, from the Georgia voter suppression story:

Running? D’oh, must be a sports metaphor:

and two from the 11th hour with Bryan Williams:

sustained and secretive assault is quite fine!

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Words heard:

The Secretary of State in Georgia not only administered the election, he falsely accused the Democratic party of hacking to cover up his incompetence the weekend before the election, and he systematically harmed voters over a decade — he was not only the contestant, he was the score-keeper the referee. And there is no equitable system that allows that to be so. It’s not fair.

Rachel Maddow on Manafort, 2/19/2019:

And that fairly dire circumstance, the fact that sixty-nine and a half year old Paul Manafort is now looking down the twin barrels of a sentence from this Federal judge in Virginia and then another sentence from this Federal judge in DC, at’s, honestly is a crisis of his own making ..

And this — Neal Katyal called Trump Grandmaster Pinocchio. Now that’s certainly a Disney reference, but is it also a ref to hip hop — Grandmaster Flash — or chess — Kasparov?

**

Headers:

Catfishing was a new one on me, but certainly striking! Apparently it goes with sextortion:

Members of the military happen to be particularly high-profile targets for scams like catfishing and sextortion. Recently, a group of inmates in South Carolina were busted for allegedly blackmailing 442 service members using fake personas on online dating services. Not only can these tactics hit service members’ wallets, they may also represent a security risk if the victims have access to sensitive information.

Okay, it has natsec implications, and is clearly a word I need to learn.

The catfishing, here, was by a NATO research org, red teaming to see what NATO soldiers, with a little prompting, might reveal on social media:

The phony Facebook pages looked just like the real thing. They were designed to mimic pages that service members use to connect. One appeared to be geared toward a large-scale, military exercise in Europe and was populated by a handful of accounts that appeared to be real service members.

In reality, both the pages and the accounts were created and operated by researchers at NATO’s Strategic Communications Center of Excellence, a research group that’s affiliated with NATO. They were acting as a “red team” on behalf of the military to test just how much they could influence soldiers’ real-world actions through social media manipulation.

The results indicated that soldiers did indeed tend to leak information that “bad actors” might appreciate and use against them, or against NATO forces more generally:

By the end of the exercise, the researchers identified 150 soldiers, found the locations of several battalions, tracked troop movements, and compelled service members to engage in “undesirable behavior,” including leaving their positions against orders.

And guess what? The Russians are aware of the same possibility, and have banned the use of smartphones and similar devices by their troops as a consequence:

That combo of articles comes to us via Michael Robinson, to whom I must once again offer my grateful thanks.

And one thing more: the NATO group issued a report, and its title intrigued me:

Cognitive security was another term that’s new to me — IBM / Watson defines it thus:

Cognitive security combines the strengths of artificial intelligence and human intelligence. Cognitive AI learns with each interaction to proactively detect and analyze threats, providing actionable insights to security analysts for making informed decisions – with speed and accuracy.

That’s as much a sales pitch as a definition, but still gives us a sense of where these terms are trending.. and there’s reading to be done:

  • Wired, NATO Group Catfished Soldiers to Prove a Point About Privacy
  • Guardian, Russia moves to mask its soldiers’ digital trail with smartphone ban
  • NATO Stratcom, Responding to Cognitive Security Challenges
  • IBM, Artificial intelligence for a smarter kind of cybersecurity
  • That’s our mini-essay for the day, and maybe the week!

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    Now think on this:

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    Game on!

    Let’s end today’s snow-sweep with a game metaphor applied to physics, or maybe I should say the philosophy and practice of physics: it’s a game in which the rules — in this case, mathematical languages — change from move to move — from Natalie Wolchover‘s A Different Kind of Theory of Everything:

    It happens again and again that, when there are many possible descriptions of a physical situation—all making equivalent predictions, yet all wildly different in premise—one will turn out to be preferable, because it extends to an underlying reality, seeming to account for more of the universe at once. And yet this new description might, in turn, have multiple formulations—and one of those alternatives may apply even more broadly. It’s as though physicists are playing a modified telephone game in which, with each whisper, the message is translated into a different language. The languages describe different scales or domains of the same reality but aren’t always related etymologically. In this modified game, the objective isn’t—or isn’t only—to seek a bedrock equation governing reality’s smallest bits. The existence of this branching, interconnected web of mathematical languages, each with its own associated picture of the world, is what needs to be understood.

    That’s it!

    Sanctity of the unsavory 2

    Wednesday, January 9th, 2019

    [ by Charles Cameron — art meets theft, the theft of art meets the art of theft ]
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    That Modigliani, Woman with a Fan (Lunia Czechowska) — detail:

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    Foreground:

    Today I was reading The French Burglar Who Pulled Off His Generation’s Biggest Art Heist. The burglar is named Vjeran Tomic, and known to le tout Paris as Spider Man.. It’s a fascinating piece, and inter alia illustrates once again the loose array of phenomena I’ve been noting under the rubric of unsavory sanctities..

    At the =age of sixteen, magic hit Tomic:

    Tomic was enraptured by Renoir’s glowing renderings of happy childhoods: kids playing with figurines, practicing the piano, snuggling with mothers. As Tomic saw it, Renoir had used his paintbrush to create a “parallel universe”—an enchanted version of the grim Parisian life he had known. “Renoir has a way of seeing life from a magical realm,” Tomic wrote to me. “It’s as if he even came from this place.”

    Add a youthful, “devious” tendency to scaling walls, running roofs and theft, and you have the makings of a spectacular, special thief:

    One night, he had a vivid dream in which he stole five paintings from a museum. He took it as a portent. As he wrote to me, “I knew that someday I would do something great.”

    Even those he robbed could admire him:

    I’ve always had respect for his style — an admiration for his temerity — and a sort of intimate affection for him … It was very much a Gentleman Burglar situation, Arsène Lupin style.” (Lupin, the quintessential debonair thief, was invented by the French novelist Maurice Leblanc, in 1905.)

    And his friends:

    A friend of Tomic’s described him as “brutal and a little wild.” At the same time, she said, he had a charming range of passions: “He is into aesthetics, classical music, nature, animals, epicurean pleasures—wine, cheese. He is very out there in his style, even his clothing.” (Tomic favors G-Star pants, New Balance sneakers, cashmere ski hats, and Lacoste underwear.) She said that Tomic was “like a poet,” noting that “he talks about the moon.”

    It’s that last quote, of course, that perks me up, “poet” as applied to a master of theft strikes me as analogous to “saint” — and “he talks about the moon.” clinches the deal. More prosaically, “The Impressionist art feeds the poetry that is in him.”

    By way of confirmation:

    A friend of his compared him to a “shaman,” and added, “A work of art emits a vibration, a palpable energy, and Vjeran is able to connect to it.” When I asked Tomic about this assessment, he agreed, observing, “I love to touch antique objects, and I sense a great past—of generations and generations—that I think are a part of the works.”

    A court-appointed psychologist came to a similar conclusion, noting that Tomic had described himself as a “visionary.”

    **

    Read the rest yourself, and you’ll discover, if you’d never known, or like myself you’d forgotten, this intriguing and peripherally related fact:

    In 1911, a relatively uncelebrated painting by Leonardo da Vinci, the “Mona Lisa,” was stolen from the Louvre. It took twenty-eight hours before anyone even noticed that it was gone. The painting was missing for two years and, during that time, a great many people went looking for it, and the media attention helped turn the “Mona Lisa” into the most famous painting in the world.

    And much more — including the present uncertain fate of that Modigliani.

    Here.

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    Background:

    We’d established (in Sermo I: Sanctity of the unsavory) that popular disposition extends the realm of sanctity to encompass some less than savory personalities:

  • Anthony Bourdain, for his charming habits with disgusting foods, televised..
  • Jesus Malverde and other folk saints in the Mexican tradition, including Santa Muerte
  • Master P, by implication in Heaven for a Gangsta?
  • I want to add, from British tradition:

  • Robin Hood, who is effectively a folk-saint who robs from the rich tom give to the poor
  • **

    Now let’s add art theft by colorful second story men to our categories and examples.

    Having God buy you Stuff — Very Nice Stuff, Nice God

    Sunday, January 6th, 2019

    [ by Charles Cameron — Janis, obviously, & Sovereign Citizens, a curious and dangerous wrinkle on anti-governmental thinking worth your attention, with some Janis facts that may surprise you in the tail ]
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    Here’s a DoubleQuote for you — this from JJ MacNab in a thread about a Sovereign Citizen:

    Writing fake checks for $1,680,000 isn’t a political or religious statement even if you hold deep-seated beliefs that owning a new Camaro ZL1, Corvette, and Sierra will bring you closer to God.

    And this from Janis Joplin — another JJ, eh?

    **

    I bring you this DoubleQuote in fun, and to have some Janis Joplin near to hand.. but the JJ MacNab thread is serious business:

    Attempting to defraud the government is what sov cits do. They believe that if they can just get their magical incantation correct, the gov will throw huge bundles of free money at them. Attempting to claim this free money isn’t a political statement for crap’s sake.

    From my POV, it can be religious in an anthro-sociological sense, and I’m glad I don’t have to decide between MacNab and Noah Feldman on the First Amendment issue — I think as a Brit I can safely recuse myself from that one…

    **

    Sources:

  • MacNab, Attempting to defraud the government is what sov cits do
  • Feldman, This Man’s Protest Is Free Speech. Courts Called It a Felony.
  • MacNab, A snapshot of the Anti-Government Extremist movement in the US
  • That last link, the snapshot, is a decent intro to its subject matter — a movement that cops know all too well as a source of dangerously violence at traffic stops, and the courts know equally well as a source of copious legally mumbo-jumbo’d paperwork — as is regularly the case with MacNab, recommended.

    **

    Did you know?

  • Janis recorded that song two days before her death
  • She snagged the first line from a McClure song / poem
  • Song info:

  • Performing Songwriter, Janis Joplin’s Mercedes Benz

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