This movement is often called white nationalist, but too many people misunderstand that moniker as simply overzealous patriotism, or as promoting whiteness within the nation. But the nation at the heart of white nationalism is not the United States. It is the Aryan nation, imagined as a transnational white polity with interests fundamentally opposed to the United States and, for many activists, bent on the overthrow of the federal government.
and an idea occurred to me that seemed interesting enough for me to re-post it here on Zenpundit and Brownpundits:
We’re seeing a lot of discussion of how to foresee the switch from a terror-propensity thought into a terrorist act. Even in retrospect this is very difficult to manage, although lots of people elide the difference or feel constrained to separate the two, and managing an effective strategy to accomplish forewarning seems close to impossible.
I’d like to observe that the great leap between thought and act is in fact a leap across the mind > brain distinction, ie the “hard problem in consciousness”. > It’ds called the “hard problem” because it’s a question so basic that our best reaches of thought can’t stretch across the inherent paradox, a koan in effect.
Perhaps if we started with that koan, we could at least understand the “size” of the problem that predicting terrorist violence poses.
I think that’s, technically, an audacious idea.
What the hell do I mean by that? It doesn’t threaten my physical well-being, nor, I’d suspect, national security. It’s “just a thought” — so what’s the big deal?
Well, it concerns a matter of immediate strategic and tactical concern, for one thing. And for another, it takes that strategic and tactical issue way past its present discursive parameters, and analyzes it to a level of fundamental abstraction — so much so that it invokes one of the few most basic unresolved issues in scientific thought, a veritable western koan.
That’s quite a reach, but I believe it’s a reach that illuminates the difficulty of the “strategic and tactical issue” from a fresh point of view that’s frustratingly so deep as to be virtually impenetrable.
In Chalmers‘ words, the “hard” problem is:
how physical processes in the brain give rise to subjective experience … the way things feel for the subject. When we see for example, we experience visual sensations, such as that of vivid blue. Or think of the ineffable sound of a distant oboe, the agony of an intense pain, the sparkle of happiness or the meditative quality of a moment lost in thought
You remember the kids’ mathematical saying, “three into two won’t go”? Well here’s a case of “mind into brain won’t go” in the sense of Chalmers‘ hard problem.
The abuses are horrific.They are horrific, horrific.
My grouse here is that articles such as this focus on the Catholic Church, although Billy Graham’s grandson claims the situation is similar if not worse among Protestants; sexual abuse of spiritual authority and cover-ups are also found in so-called “sects” such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and in other religions altogether:
The second image above is from a Washington Post piece of April 22nd, about “the aftermath of suicide attacks that killed hundreds of people” in churches and hotels across the island. The coordinated attacks were claimed by ISIS, but appear to have been locally planned and executed.
Executed: what a word!
My plea here is simple: that extremists should cease targeting followers of other religions in the names of their own various religions.
As I’ve noted before, attacks here in the US and abroad have included:
Violence in the name of religion — whether personal violence as in sexual abuse or political violence as in the case of terrorism — is both human and deeply abhorrent. Understanding how widespread the human urge to violence in fact is will tend to put our recriminations against any particular religion into a clearer perspective. Religions, too, can benefit greatly from acknowledging, and not hiding, the shameful skeletons in their various closets.
[ by Charles Cameron — continuing the series, with a choice gobbet of Updike ]
from Meet the Press, 10/21/2018
I continue to find the close reading of metaphors an invaluable analytic tool, and one that is also of interest to me personally, for writerly, poetic purposes. I’ve expanded my search from its original focus on games — specifically including sports, theater, war games &c as metaphors for politics — to cover something I’ll characterize as fine writing — giving me the ability to note and quote across a wider range of topics and usages.
My last post in the series ran to 18 comments, each one containing a couple of dozen or so instances of metaphor or fine writing, and I don’t expect my expanded search criteria to expand my actual collection — if anything I hope to cut back in favor of writing other things. But when MSNBC’s Meet the Press splashes a great End Game banner on my screen, as it did today, see above, I still won’t be able to resist.
On the subject of fine writing, though, how’s this?
Dorothy Dotto, thirty-eight, happily married for nineteen years, the mother of three, a member of the Methodist Church, the Grange, and the Ladies’ Auxiliary. She lives, and has lived all her life, in the town of Elm Corners, somewhere in the Corn Belt; as a child, she won seven consecutive pins for perfect Sunday school attendance, and she graduated with good grades from a public school where the remarkable truthfulness of George Washington and the durable axioms of Benjamin Franklin were often invoked. Her father, Jesse, who is retired but still alive (bless him), for forty years kept above his desk at the feed mill a sign declaring, “Honesty Is the Best Policy.”
That’s John Updike, describing “the unimaginably tactful and delicate process whereby the housewife next door was transmogrified into a paid cheat” in what in retrospect looks like a major turning point in the American psyche — the loss of innocence that occurred when it was revealed that many hundreds of Dorothy Dottos had been suborned into a grand cheating system in what’s now known as the 1950s quiz show scandals:
The American quiz show scandals of the 1950s were a series of revelations that contestants of several popular television quiz shows were secretly given assistance by the show’s producers to arrange the outcome of an ostensibly fair competition. The quiz show scandals were driven by a variety of reasons. Some of those reasons included the drive for financial gain, the willingness of contestants to “play along” with the assistance, and the lack of then-current regulations prohibiting the rigging of game shows.
Back to Updike:
Now, as we remember the flavor and ethos of that innocent era, we realize that the contestants, aside from their freakish passion for Hittite history or skeet-shooting statistics, were meant to be us — you and me and the bright boy next door. This was America answering. This was the mental wealth behind the faces you saw in a walk around the block.
Okay, game shows, in addition to Updike’s undoubtedly fine writing, that’s a game reference. But a loss of American innocence? That’s not nothing. That’s something worth pondering..
In fact, a loss of innocence is fundamentally a loss of the default assumption of trust — and isn’t it precisely the loss of trust that leads to all those conspiracist theories of a mysterious “They” who run “our” world, Skull and Bones, the Bohemian Club, No Such Agency, whoever — and the ensuing distrust of and between political paetiues, leading us eventually to today’s:
And how’s that for a delicious paradox? The United States are now Divided as to whether they’re divided or united — with divided in the majority..
Okay, loss of innocence, let alone loss of virginity, may be strong language to describe the impact of those 1950s quiz show scandals on the American psyche — but something broke, a ratchet slipped, and perhaps we haven’t been quite the same since.
In any case, I’ll be collecting my usual snippets and gobbets of this and that — often sports, politics, war or strategy related, but also just plain curious or fine stuff — here in the comments section. And oh, btw, I’ve been misspelling gobbet as gobbit for years hereabout: forgive me, it’s spelt (spelled?) with an e, and means a chunk, primarily of meat or writing — no Gandalfian echo intended.
Ad now, as my friend David Ronfeldt would say, Onwards!
It is a once-unimaginable scenario: Sometime soon in an American courtroom, a criminal defense lawyer may argue that the prosecution of an MS-13 gang member is a politically motivated “witch hunt” built around a witness who has “flipped” and taken what the lawyer calls a plea deal of dubious legality.
He will be quoting the president of the United States.
That is potentially the gravest danger of President Trump’s sustained verbal assault on the country’s justice system, legal experts say. In his attempt at self-defense amid the swirl of legal cases and investigations involving himself, his aides and his associates, Mr. Trump is directly undermining the people and processes that are the foundation of the nation’s administration of justice.
The story of the 2018 primaries usually centers on President Trump. And there’s plenty of that narrative in Tuesday’s gubernatorial, Senate and House primaries in Arizona, Florida and Oklahoma: For another week, Trump is in our winner’s column. But liberal Democrats are an even bigger winner, for reasons we’ll get into. Here are the winners and losers from some of the most consequential primaries of the year.
President Trump and Andrew Gillum, the surprise Democratic winner of Florida’s Democratic gubernatorial primary, exchanged barbs on Wednesday morning, underscoring the role the president is expected to play in a marquee race this fall.
After he was awarded the National Constitution Center’s annual Liberty Medal in 2017 for his lifetime of sacrifice and service to the nation, he delivered a pointed speech.
“I’ve had the good fortune to spend 60 years in service to this wondrous land. It has not been perfect service, to be sure, and there were probably times when the country might have benefited from a little less of my help. But I’ve tried to deserve the privilege as best I can, and I’ve been repaid a thousand times over with adventures, with good company, and with the satisfaction of serving something more important than myself, of being a bit player in the extraordinary story of America. And I am so very grateful.”
whether sen shumer is playing a 3-dimensional chess here ..
unscrupulous golfing ..
there may be a lot of balls in the air ..
Football players seem even more like gladiators when they play in short sleeves in a winter storm, and baseball players who don’t wear batting gloves feel like throwbacks to a more rough and tumble era. What category of admiration should we reserve, then, for someone who ascends a sheer rock face of 3,000 feet using only a pair of climbing shoes and a bag of chalk?
“He is under an attack like no president has faced,” DeSantis said. “The last thing I want to do is go up there and lob hand grenades at the president.” ..
Maxine Waters (D-CA) is at again, this time saying she has “taken off the gloves” to fight President Donald Trump ..
whatever he does himself, he assumes others are.. [katy tur]
it’s like reading every fortieth page of moby dick .. [check when transcripts are available Ohr says Steele told him Russian intel believed they had Trump ‘over a barrel’
every thread has three other avenues we want to go down ..
so far they’re batting 1,000, and that’s pretty good ..
where do you think .. if you had to put it on a hundred yard field .. ?
The admission that Trump dictated his son’s statement is the latest example of where on a number of key issues — especially pegged to Mueller’s ongoing Russia probe and Trump’s legal woes — the White House and the president’s lawyers have offered contradicting stories and whipsaw about-faces, often revealing the truth only weeks later, when confronted with their inconsistencies.
Katie, The Lid: a lot of post-game analysis ..
it’s like a marathon, it’s a spring ..
Giuliani: pardoning himself woudld be unthinkable ..Trump: I have the absolute right to pardon myself ..
Nemo iudex in causa sua ..
or in the words of James Madison often found don our masthead:
No man is allowed to be a judge in his own cause, because his interest would certainly bias his judgment, and, not improbably, corrupt his integrity.
Prettt much the definitive example of why the ouroboros form is one we should be on the alert for — everybody sees this one.
. Macron Is French for Obama — an interesting way to describe a complex equivalence..
lawyers: we can talk out of both sides of our mouths ..
trump: i cn kill this (investigation) ant time, this is my game..
I think they went 0 for 6
Is he playing checkers, I think he’s playing chess..
Your family (?) had a pitch- shot — something that appeals to all bases — Sen Flake
[ attorneys on opposing sides being chummy ]:
.. when the bell goes off and they return to their corners ..
But what does it mean for a machine to draw and follow its own map of the world? Would the result be, eventually, a map that is impervious to inaccuracies and bias? Or is that pure “technochauvinism”? After all, the computer still has to match its map to the world, similar to the way that humans do. The artificial intelligence that “learns” the map could still be confused by minor changes, like a sparkly sticker on a stop sign. That could easily cause an accident or pedestrian injury—more easily, in that instance, than it would with a human driver.
In that case, what’s the purpose of a map that reads itself? And what potential subjectivities could still work their way in?
In the spring of 2010, Christopher Steele, a former British spy with a shock of graying hair and a quiet, understated manner, received some alarming news: Vladimir Putin, a lifelong ice hockey fan, had taken a sudden interest in soccer.
Putin, then serving a four-year term as prime minister, saw hosting the World Cup as a vital way to project his country’s power, and his own, around the world.
Few, if any, will wonder whether Russia can actually take home the glittering trophy when the tournament ends on July 15. The truth is that it doesn’t really matter what happens on the field.
Russia already won.
it’s really a self-goal .. [if US gets out of G7]
[Stavridis] there are no winners in a trade war ..
i’ll bet my retirement ..
Something to the effect that Trump walked into a room where people were playing poker and wanted to play ?half-and-half, tthrew all the cards up in the air ..
What do you think of that as the way to ?make a rodeo .. foreign policy?
Donald Trump, conclusion of his press conference after Singapore Summit:
Congratulations, everybody. This is, to me, an important event in world history and to be really true to myself, I have to add I want to get it completed. Mike and our team has to get to work and get it completed because otherwise we have done a good job. If you don’t get the ball over the goal line, it doesn’t mean enough.
Thank you. Congratulations to everybody in the room. Thank you very much. I appreciate it. Thank you.
oh, and btw:
We will stop the war games which will save us a tremendous amount of money. Unless and until we see the future negotiations is not going along like it should. We will be saving a tremendous amount of money. Plus. It is very provocative.
A goal in the forty-third minute of the match, from Russia’s Denis Cheryshev, was a real and undeniable beauty, no matter how lacklustre the opposition.Video Courtesy Fox
Watching the first game of the World Cup, an entirely lopsided affair between Russia and Saudi Arabia, burdened with the knowledge that the U.S. national team had not qualified for the tournament, I couldn’t help thinking that this was a sports-world reiteration of our country’s broader failures on the international stage.
Danve metaphor, a striking one from a striking article:
“Donald Trump is accomplishing everything he committed to the American people on the campaign that I stepped in as CEO. I couldn’t be prouder of the guy,” Bannon said. “All he has to do is continue to hit those marks on that whiteboard and he’s going to run the tables.”
I am adding new materials as I find them, thus saving you from an endless stream of comment notifications.
Zenpundit is a blog dedicated to exploring the intersections of foreign policy, history, military theory, national security,strategic thinking, futurism, cognition and a number of other esoteric pursuits.