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It’s snowing metaphoric chyrons 6

Tuesday, February 19th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — brewing, churning, fighting, lashing out, crush, slam, push back, skewer, walk away, road warrior, hit job, full court press, cage match, power grab, bombshell, wow ]
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It’s almost a chyron blizzard today, after the calm weekend!

A Mad Max film ref, perhaps?

— and the ideal Full Court Press example — I’ve had quotes before, but never a chyron. Excellent!@

Fast tracking — is that a spooorts term? Not sure:

A shutdown fight? Okay:

Best mano a mano.. definitely a trove!

IO think I had an explosive interview chyron recently — here’s another, just in case:

And I’ve been tracking arcs, moral and otherwise — trajectories belong in that collection:


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New batch:

pushback — nothing much:

power grab — better:

skewers — excellent

sparring:

hmm: — move along:

lashes out:

slams as treasonous — that’s quite a hit ~

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Time for a break:

Judge Jackson and those cross-hairs

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Okay, how about some quotes — not many, this has been chyron season with a vengeance — but a few:

Robert Costa: Through the churning political waters of the Robert Mueller investigation and everything else that could come ..
Hardball, we Biden: walk up to the starting gate, and then walk away .. ?
One thought that comes to mind, Ben, is the bullet that was dodged in Sessions having to recuse himself early on, given the account McCabe gives of Sessions behind the scenes ..
it was actually the general counsel of the FBI who said That’s a bridge too far, we’re not there yet ..

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Back for some headers and a tweet:

hm, hit job:

cage-match is a pretty good one..

and this one goes to our continuing liminal / borders collection:

Far more severe than the Israeli occupation?

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

[ by Charles Cameron — an invitation to explore some suggested comparisons — Afghanistan, too ]
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ben wittes, lawfare blog

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I generally find Ben Wittes’ Lawfare blog worth reading, and was accordingly struck when I read The Methodology of Historical Misrepresentation and came across this paragraph:

There is a widespread tendency amongst scholars, journalists, and legal experts to app double standard when relating to Israel and the Palestinians. Israel is often singled out for prejudicial treatment in comparison to cases far more severe than its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza since 1967, such as the killing in Syria of over half a million people, the hanging of hundreds of dissidents in Iran every year, the Chinese occupation of Tibet, Russian behavior in Chechnya, Syria, and Ukraine, and countless other human rights infringements infinitely worse than the Israeli occupation and settlement movement.

That wasn’t, I’ll admit, what I expected when I read the post’s title: in the context of the Israeli/Paalestinian issue, I could iagune the misrepresentation might be found in Israeli hasbara as easily as in Mahmoud Abbas‘ tendency to say things about the “occupied territories” that only include the West Bank and Gaza when addressing English-speaking audiences, and the whole shebang including Tel Aviv when speaking in Arabic — as repeatedly shown by Itamar Marcus of Palestinial Media Watch

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That said, I’d be interested in specific comparisons in detail, one at a time, between these levels of documented human rights infringements..

For instance, the Israelis have established “facts on the rgound” in the form of both settlers and their sccompanying schools, synagogues, etc within the Palestinian und, with military enforcement, while the Chinese appear similarly to have established “facts on the ground” in Tibetan territor in the form of both settlers and their institutions, militarily enforced.

Howw can one compare these two situations in greater detail, fairly?

Israel separation wall in West Bank

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The first problem any such attempt will encounter is that both sides will produced partisan accounts of history, law, populations, etc, and that accounts by “honest brokers” are desperately hard to find — I mean, educate me in the comments section.

I’ve tried to propose a graphical/typographical system for conducting bilateral debates.. but maybe the Talmud is not ideal for these particular debates..


Talmudic page

Specifically, I took my early inspiration from the Talmud because it explicitly llows divergent viewpoints in its graphical format, as explained by Eliezer Segal on his interactive (ie clickable) Page from the Babylonian Talmud. But perhaps the Talmud is not the ideal basis for these particular debates, in which the Israelis (often deeply influenced by forms of Judaism) are one of the contending parties…

In any case, how, with all the affordances of the web, can we provide a space in which written debates can be refined in light of written (and equally valued) responses, iteratively, so as to provide a record for ongoing dialogue, with both sides equitably represented, and able to respond point by point whwere they disagree or wich to provide additional material, and to agree where they agree.

I am encouraged to know what such a format can eventually produce a document where twwo adversaary-friends collaborate, because of the collaboration of Mustafa Hamid and Leah Farrall, friend of Mullah Omar and OBL and Australian Federal Police AQ expert respectively, on their book, The Arabs at War in Afghanistan, in which some sections indicate that the two co-authors were agreed on theie contents, while some sections are attributed to Mustafa alone, and some to Leah likewise. Two adversaries first meet on the net, then in person in Alexandria, Egypt, then after months and months of collaboration, and no doubt much excellent coffee — this book!

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PS & NB:

Ben Wittes has notably and repeatedly challenged Vladimir Putin to a martial arts match: I’ll Fight Putin Any Time, Any Place He Can’t Have Me Arrested.

That would be something to watch on both RT and MSNBC!

Strategy Illuminated

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — a meander in praise of, variously, Piers at Penn, Alice in Wonderland, Caitlin Fitz Gerald, and Benjamin Wittes ]
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Strategic theology:

Compare Nigel Howard, in Confrontation Analysis: how to win operations other than war, writing:

the problem of defense in the modern world is the paradoxical one of finding ways for the strong to defeat the weak.

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Okay — Alice, in Wonderland, asks:

And what is the use of a book without pictures or conversation?

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By dint of sickness, I haven’t been able to purue my efforts to see Caitlin Fitx Gerald‘s fabulous Clausewitz for Kids make its brilliantly-deserving way into print:

That image is from Caitlin’s work, as praised by Benjamin Wittes of Lawfare blog — whom I know not because he’s become a go-to source on many things Trump / Comey

Suddenly, he was D.C. famous; the very next day, Collins and Wittes bumped into each other in the Morning Joe greenroom. “It used to be that what was going to be written on my tombstone was ‘Benjamin Wittes, former Washington Post editorial writer,’ or ‘Benjamin Wittes, who wasn’t even a lawyer,’?” he says. “Now it’s just, like, ‘Benjamin Wittes, who’s a friend of Jim Comey’s.’?”

— but way before that, because he knew Caitlin and her work:

The other day, Wells drew my attention to what could be the single most excellently eccentric national security-oriented project currently ongoing on the web: It is called Clausewitz for Kids. I am apparently not the first to discover it. Spencer Ackerman had this story about it last year. But I had missed it until the other day, and I suspect most Lawfare readers are unto this very day unaware that a woman named Caitlin Fitz Gerald is currently writing a comic book edition of Clausewitz’s On War–entitled The Children’s Illustrated Clausewitz–featuring lectures in a Prussian forest by a hare in a military uniform. To make matters all the more fun, she is blogging the process to boot.

Hey, “single most excellently eccentric national security-oriented project” is pretty damn high praise, eh?

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Benjamin Wittes and his tick, tick, as seen and summarized by Rachel Maddows:

Ben Wittes now runs a well-regarded blog that`s called Lawfare, which I think is kind of a pun on warfare, Lawfare, warfare. Anyway. Lawfareblog.com.

So, Ben Wittes. On May 16th .. Ben Wittes, he did this online, on Twitter, which is a weird thing, right? Nobody knew what was wrong with him. Nobody knew exactly what this was about.

You can see the time stamp there right beneath the tick, tick, tick, tick. He sent it at 3:18 p.m. on May 16th. Hey, Ben Wittes, what`s that about?

Well, then later, boom – literally the word boom. Two hours and eight minutes after that initial tweet, we now know in retrospect what that tick, tick, ticking was about. Ben Wittes tweeted “boom” and a link to that huge story that had just been posted at “The New York Times”.

Quote: Comey memo says Trump asked him to end Flynn investigation.

That was a huge story when it broke and apparently somehow Ben Wittes knew it was coming out because he tweeted, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, two hours before it came, and then boom once it landed. That was May 16th.

And then two days after that, Ben Wittes started ticking again.

[ read the rest.. ]

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Go Caitlin, go Wittes!

Go Clint Watts too, if you know what I mean!

Trump bites the hand that investigates him

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — as i tweeted, if you fire the guy who’s investigating you, that’s ouroboric – it creates & instantly breaks the circle, too ]
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Okay, the Comey firing.

Shortly after President Trump‘s firing of FBI Director Comey today, Jim Hanson of Frank Gaffney‘s Center for Security Policy commented on Fox:

You know, this may be the first bipartisan thing Trump has done that both sides can get behind.

It was an extraordinary comment. That’s not how the Wall Street Journal saw things. Their headline and sub-head read:

Comey Dismissal Upends Probes of Trump Campaign Ties to Russia
Move adds impetus to calls for a special counsel to handle the case

Quite the opposite: I’ll show you nonpartisan:

Nonpartisan, right now, means disturbed by the firing, by its timing, by its implication for ongoing investigation into Team Trump’s ties with Russia..

And as John Schindler notes:

The optics of firing the FBI director investigating your Russia ties then meeting the Russian FM on THE VERY NEXT DAY defy easy description.

Or Blogs of War:

When you fire the guy who is investigating you on Tuesday and meet with your case officer on Wednesday..

Ahem: case officer..

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From my analytic point of view, alert for pattern and archetype, what leaps out here is another damned ouroboros — this whole place is getting to be quite a snake-pit.

Trump has in fact bitten off the hand that was investigating him. Or to put that into Politico’s prose:

The extraordinary dismissal of the FBI director by a president whose own campaign is the focus of an ongoing FBI investigation is sure to produce a torrent of criticism that Trump is interfering with the independence of law enforcement.

There’s even a sub-ouroboros, given that Trump cited a letter from AG Sessions as contributing to his decision — as Sen. Schumer noted in his press conference:

Attorney General Sessions, who had recused himself from the Russian investigation, played a role in firing the man leading it.

Maybe we could call that “recusal of the recusal”?

A quick ouroboros caught on the fly

Sunday, March 5th, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — Benjamin Wittes twice, also a pointer to Clint Watts ]
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Benjamin Wittes and Quinta Jurecic at the Lawfare blog have an above-my-unpaid-grade examination of the Presidential oath of office — and what happens when, in the case of a given President, it falls into widespread disrepute: What Happens When We Don’t Believe the President’s Oath? Just the fact that this question is being raised is remarkable. For my purposes, though, it’s the mention of leaks about leaking — a serpent bites tail concept, and hence a signal of potential significance — that I want to capture in passing:

All this culminated rather comically in a recent State Department memo by acting legal advisor Richard Visek condemning leaks and advocating that department employees instead make use of State’s internal dissent channel—a memo which itself promptly leaked to the press. Similarly, when press secretary Sean Spicer demanded to examine the phones of White House staffers to check for leaking and ordered staffers not to speak to the press about the meeting, Politico quickly got hold of the story.

I’d been meaning to find a suitable leak about leaking serpent for a while now, and Wittes’ article affords me this opportunity.

Once again, the self-reflexive form is, as Doug Hofstadter showed us in Gödel, Escher, Bach, a signal of likely special interest. In this regard it resembles such other forms as chiasmus (mirroring, eg “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth”).

O happy day, here’s a chiasmus from Aeschylus, entirely apt to Wittes’ post:

It is not the oath that makes us believe the man, but the man the oath.

Wittes has a follow-up post, Ten Questions for President Trump, today. Also of note, Clint Watts‘ tweet-streak today beginning here:


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