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Star spangled no trumps

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016

[ by Charles Cameron — I googled “star shapes clip art” ]
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star shapes sm

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I’m not a Trump-fancier, but i try not to let my dislikes and likes influence my reading of what others are saying with their words, typefaces, graphics, speeches, video clips, tones of voice, facial gestures, and so forth.

So when the image of H Clinton surrounded by dollar bills and a six-pointed star came up in a Trump tweet, I didn’t immediately think “anti-Semitism”. Today, though, it occurred to me to do a little research. So I popped the phrase “star shapes clip art” into Google’s image stash, expecting to find some six-pointers along with five-pointers, inverse (satanic) five-pointers, eight- and twelve-pointers and various indiscriminate start-bursts.

If I saw any six-pointers in the double-triangle formulation known as the Star of David, I’d have noticed and noted them. What I simply wasn’t expecting was what I got:

Star shapes clip art

At the most basic level of graphic design, six-pointed stars — let alone Stars of David — are just not thought about, not wanted, not present.

Okay, next time I see a six pointed star next to money and the face of a political opponent, J won’t be so keen to allow for the possibility that it’s a sherrif’s badge, or just a good old six-pointed, y’know, star.

Orlando Tweets One

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

[ by Charles Cameron — on the variety of possible motives ]
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On twitter alone, there’s far too much going on as we scramble to understand the Orlando massacre for anyone to make a useful summary, although I must say that Rukmini Callimachi‘s twitter feed since yesterday has been superb. My own first assortment of relevant tweets focuses on the question of motive, but even with that narrowed focus it’s too extensive to present visually tweet by tweet, so I’m mostly going to post relevant texts with links. First, though, I’ll let Jeffrey Goldberg set the overview:

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Mental Illness:

Yaroslav Trofimov, Orlando killer’s ex-wife says he was a wife-beater with a short fuse who liked to work out and wasn’t religious.
CBSN, It is definitely mental illness…no one ever expected that he would do this.

Mental illness or mental instability may arguably be present in many or all cases of rampage shooting, suicide bombing, etc — it’s a judgment call, and one most properly made by psychiatric or psychological professionals who have observed and interacted with the subjects personally. Sadly, however, continued use of this explanation as the explanation for acts of this kind avoids recognition of other factors in what is inevitably a multifactorial situation — and also contributes to the popular misperception that “mental illness” is a shameful failure of character rather than a complex of medical conditions.

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Susceptibility to violence:

Lilith, Was Orlando shooter’s domestic violence history a missed warning sign?

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Islamism:

JM Berger, Orlando gunman tied to radical imam released from prison last year, say law enforcement sources
Program On Extremism, Omar Mateen pledged allegiance to ISIS, official says

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Homophobia:

Mona Holland, His father says he wasn’t religious, but was furious abt 2 gay men kissing a week or so ago in public
Murtaza Hussain, “Ty Smith & Chris Callen recalled the eventual killer being escorted drunk from the Pulse bar on multiple occasions”
Matt Pearce, “Do you think he was gay?” The shooter’s ex-wife was silent for three seconds. “I don’t know.”
Frances Traynor, speaking from experience, the most virulently homophobic are the most deeply closeted

It seems to me we may have two different forms of enantiodromia to consider here — enantiodromia being the Jungian term for sudden psychological reversal, a pattern I’ve explored elsewhere. The two versions here, which in practice might well be one, but which we can distinguish for analytic purposes, would be (a) psychological, ie the sudden revulsion at forms of sexuality one previously found acceptable and (b) religious, as in a sudden, emotional conversion experience or repentance by which someone non-religious is precipitated into a religious enthusiast.

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Anti-semitism:

Molly Crabapple, According to the Trump fans in my Twitter replies, somehow the homophobic Orlando murderer is the fault of Jews

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And finally, Rebellion against Empire:

Excerpt:

An al Qaeda fighter made a point once in a debriefing. He said, all these movies that America makes, like Independence Day and Hunger Games and Star Wars, they’re all about a small scrappy band of rebels who will do anything in their power with the limited resources available to them to expel an outside, technologically advanced invader. And what you don’t realize, he said, is that to us, the rest of the world, you are The Empire, and we are Luke and Han. You are the aliens and we are Will Smith.

Sheesh!

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

[ by Charles Cameron — I can find no words to convey my disgust ]
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And what’s worse:

Balancing the books —

Sunday, May 29th, 2016

[ by Charles Cameron — a precarious matter, unless you are accustomed to carrying books that way ]
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Here’s a DoubleTweet in the form of a call-and-response, with an intriguing appearance of symmetry.

Does the formal symmetry here have something to say to us? Is it hopelessly skewed? If so, which way does the balance tip for you, and why?

Reminders, and other signs

Sunday, November 22nd, 2015

[ by Charles Cameron — the camps, theirs and ours, and nuking Mecca, with a pinch of Lynch ]
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Here are the reminders..

SPEC DQ reminders

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These DoubleQuotes arose in the context of comments by Georgetown Syria specialist Marc Lynch, better known on the web as the blogger Abu Aardvark, on a recent On the Media podcast:

The kinds of ideas that you are seeing espoused by presidential candidates right now are the sorts of things that you would have seen on obscure right-wing blogs twelve years ago, and now they’re being taken seriously on the op-ed pages. The idea that you would have a religious test for Syrian refugees to let Christians but not Muslims in, or that you would create a national registry to track Muslims, or to shut down mosques – I mean, these are radical fringe ideas, and yet they’ve insinuated themselves into the mainstream.

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Here’s the evolution of an idea, from 2005 to the present. You’ll note that the rhetoric has gained intensity (the qualification “if they nuke us” has been dropped), but in this case the earlier source (Fox) was more mainstream, and the current one (WND) way deeper into the fringe..

SPEC DQ nuke mecca

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Sources:

  • Raw Story, Trump crosses the Nazi line: Maybe Muslims should wear special ID badges
  • Raw Story, Rhode Island Republican wants Syrian refugees held in ‘centralized’ camps

  • Fox News, Tancredo: If They Nuke Us, Bomb Mecca
  • World NetDaily, Bomb Mecca off the face of the earth

  • On the Media, Lessons Unlearned

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