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Next up, a most miscellaneous miscellany

Sunday, May 5th, 2019

[ by Charles Camerom — no longer spending much time scanning for chyrons, but there’s still plenty of interest in my feed — note the great quote from A Man for All Seasons ]
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Unbelievable!

From Trump’s 2020 campaign manager:

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Less bogus religion, more mundane reality:

Stunning: Clint Watts offers an “life imitating art imitating life” (and I quote) instance on Meet the Press — a short, sharp overview of how Putin trolls the US electorate with malicious intent:

That interview was shot a while back, but is worth revisiting today. Omn May 1st, Watts spoke of a “war game” and it was in searching (unsuccessfully) for that clip that I stumbled on this one.

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Let’s follow that up with a tweet-repeated ouroboros chaser:

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Somewhere I saw:

The flase narrative got out of the gate long before the truth did ..A tic-tac-toe pin for all of the games played by Mnuchin, Barr and Trump ..
impeachment is an explosive undertaking and can ricochet in all sorts of complicated directions ..
Mehdi Hasan: The Democrats bring a knife tom a gun-fight, the Republicans bring a rocket-launcher ..
Charlotte Alter: Buttegeig speaks Democratic with a Republican accent..
Mike Barnickle (re Biden): It’s hideously early in the campaign. I mean, it’s not even spring training, forget the exhibition games that have yet toi be played. It’s very early, so he’s got a big bounce from name recogmnition ..
Rick Wilson: It’s an interesting play (for Dems). I think if they camn draw the arc from nationalism to populism to statism to authoritarianism to Trumpism, they’ve got something there ..
Flannery: We have a crime syndicate in the west wing ..
I think they could have hammered him and sickled him to death ..*****

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I’ll not bother to load the video clips themselves, but for the record, here’s Trump inviting Russia to hack Hillary’s emails, and Hillary inviting China to hack Trump’s tax returns — a DoubleQuote, albeit an obvious one — structurally equivalent to a cinematic flashback. But here’s another DQ, just a little less obvious perhaps:

Chris Matthews, incidentally, is on a roll comparing William Barr‘s situation to that of Roper in A Man for All Seasons by Robert Bolt. Thomas More reproves Roper for his infidelity with the words:

For Wales? Why Richard, it profit a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world. . . but for Wales!

That’s the same Will Roper to whom More addresses his celebrated speech:

nd when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!”

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That William Safire-Barr business, from Cover-up Attorney General Bill Barr strikes again — one of those crucial rhymes:

Back in 1992, the last time Bill Barr was U.S. attorney general, iconic New York Times writer William Safire referred to him as “Coverup-General Barr” because of his role in burying evidence of then-President George H.W. Bush’s involvement in “Iraqgate” and “Iron-Contra.”

— and another Barr quote, from The Complicated Friendship of Robert Mueller and William Barr:

Figliuzzi described the dynamic between Mueller and Barr as one of “a boy scout” (Mueller) versus “a street fighter” (Barr). … “Mueller is a guy who plays by the rules, and he was playing by the rules in this report,” Figliuzzi told me. “He kind of trusts that the system will take care of itself, and he kicks his report over across the street to DOJ. That’s where things go south.”

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Another tweet:

Certainly a striking formulation, that — “Love, in public, is justice..” I heard that too, and had to chew on it, which is why I googled and found this tweet: the one thing this isn’t is conflict-avoidant.

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Okay, here’s a John Bolton triple:


Dexter Filkin
‘s a must-read — but his current NYorker piece leads us back to two other striking Bolton headers:

Bolton is hardly my favorite, but drawing the attention of Filkins, Gourevitch and Robin wright is surely a mark of honor of some kind.

Sources:

  • Dexter Filkins, John Bolton on the Warpath
  • Philip Gourevitch, What Is John Bolton’s Bully-Pulpit Attack Really About?
  • Robin Wright, John (“Bomb Iran”) Bolton, the New Warmonger in the White House
  • Rich Pickings

    Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

    [ by Charles Cameron — my laptop keyboard is malfunctioning — my fault — but thanks to MS on-screen keyboard, I’m able to post here ]
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    How’s this for a DoubleQuote?

    I thought I was getting a wee bit tired of screen-grabs from items in my FB, Twitter and newsfeeds, but this one caught me by surprise — too good to miss!

    **

    And then there were others:

    Alex Jones admitting to psychosis as the explanation for his — extremely profitable, until Twitter banned him this week — conspiracy theories, when his earlier excuse was that he was an entertainer, just kidding.. that too was striking and worth capture.

    Firing squad was one of those five-star ***** instances that I’d want to include in any definitive collection of best war metaphors..

    And a few more:

    That last screen-grab, as you’d have learned from the sound-track, features three inset images for three black churches burned..

    **

    This one’s important:

    Designating a state actor a terrorist organization goes against most definitions of terrorism, which apply the term to non-state actions only, thereby making the compilation of stats for all sorts of comparative purposes, an already difficult task, even more troublesome — for an excellent overview by the leading authority on terrorism definition, see Alex Schmid, The Revised Academic Consensus Definition of Terrorism

    **

    L’affaire Nielsen:

    Neal Katyal, who wrote the Special Counsel rules:

    Then there’s

    President Trump:

    Get rid of judges ..
    Say.. say, Judge, I an’t do it ..

    Then:

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    Hardball:

    Chris Matthews:

    He comes off as a football owner who keeps changing managers .. or coaches

    Eating their own..

    You start shooting at your allies because one of them is straying..

    And:

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    All In:

    You’re Fired!

    Chris Hayes:

    One big part of the reason that Donald Trump is our President is because a good number of people believe that the TV character Donald Trump was a real thing, thanks to the years he spent on national TV on our parent network of course, building up a reputation as a successful, self-made tough tycoon, not afraid to make the tough calls when the tough calls needed calling..

    Most of us now know that the reality show Trump is not quite the reality we got. And as we saw yet again today, when it came time to deploy that famous tag-line, there seems to be some stage-fright ..

    There has been so much turnover in just over two years of the Trump administration that the Washington Post was compelled to produce this graphic, which looks like a game of chutes, ladders, and people who will never get their reputations back:

    It’s been 01 day since a high-profile departure from the Trump administration

    And so forth..

    m 55 Michelle Goldberg:The conventional language of American politics are just not up to describing ..

    **

    Rachel Maddow:

    Quite a DoubleQuote, Rachel!

    **

    And from Velshi, 4/9/2019:

    — a sequence on what Trump has offered at the altar of Netanyahu, to help with his election:

    **

    BTW, FB:

    I think that does it.net

    Lt Christopher Hasson and religion, also Breivik, Rudolph

    Friday, February 22nd, 2019

    [ by Charles Cameron — calling Hasson a “domestic terrorist” is a good first step, noting that he’s fulfilling Breivik’s hope that his manifesto will train others is a second, and checking out his religious ideas would be a third ]
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    I’ve seen a fair amount of coverage of Lt. Hasson as a domestic terrorist, focusing on his weaponry, his target database, and his dream of killing “almost every last person on the earth” — but nothing taking explicit note of his views on religion.

    The New York Times reported him as saying:

    Please send me your violence that I may unleash it onto their heads. Guide my hate to make a lasting impression on this world. So be it.

    That phrasing struck me as strange, being the only part of his writings addressed to a second party. In context, however, it seems likelynto be a form of prayer — it is immediately preceded by one of the very few religious references in the document:

    Gun rights people will never rise, need religious to stand up.

    Coming immediately after that, it strikes me that “Please send me your violence .. Guide my hate ..” certainly could and perhaps should be read as prayers. Their address to a second party seems like a tell to me.

    **

    The only other religious reference I saw in Hasson’s writings as the court provided them followed immediately on the question, “Who and how to provoke???” And reads:

    New idea this weekend, R/E orthodox as a way to influence?

    I take that to be a reference to Russian / Eastern Orthodoxy. Other meanings for “R/E” I’ve seen include “Real Estate”, “Retained Earnings” and “Revolutionary/Evolutionary” — none of which make any sense in the context followed by “orthodox”.

    Further, Hasson thought of Russia as a resistant to the values he despised, writing:

    Looking to Russia with hopeful eyes or any land that despises the west’s liberalism. Exclusive of course the muslim scum. Who rightfully despise the west’s liberal degeneracy….

    It seems to me he likely shares Anders Breivik’s general “cultural Christianity” if not Christianity itself — and given the well-documented closeness of Putin and Patriarch Kirill, and their general joint approach melding religious and patriotic ideation, and indeed Church and State together, it would make sense that Hasson “Looking to Russia with hopeful eyes” would include his viewing Orthodoxy, at least in its Russian form, as a bulwark against “the west’s liberal degeneracy”.

    **

    I checked with Anders Breivik’s Manifesto, which Hasson studied with care, following many of Breivik’s instructions, and didn’t find any suggestion that Orthodoxy was Breivik’s preferred form of Christianity for the purposes of resisting degeneracy. In fact his instructions for citizens of his revised western culture include the section title, “Convert to Christianity (Orthodox, Catholic or Protestant)”, with the further explanation:

    Every individual is to accept baptism, the ritual act by which one is admitted to membership of the Christian Church, as a member of the particular Church in which the baptism is administered.

    Orthodoxy is named in that section title before Catholicism and Protestantism, but I don’t think that proves much of anything. In another section, describing the origin of the St George cross as a Templar emblem, Breivik writes:

    Saint George is one of the most venerated saints in the Roman Catholic Church, Anglican Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, and the Eastern Catholic Churches.

    — a pretty comprehensive list of “high” churches – but not one that prioritizes one over the others.

    I’d also note that Hasson briefly references with approval the writings of Eric Rudolph, the anti-abortion activist and Olympic Park bomber, who described his faith thus:

    I was born a Catholic, and with forgiveness I hope to die one.

    **

    All in all, there’s not much in the court papers of a religious nature, but the one real hint we have seems to point to Putin and the Patriarch as powerful allies in his white supremacist fight.

    I have a huge dose of chyrons and a great ouroboros

    Saturday, February 9th, 2019

    [ by Charles Cameron — chyrons as news haiku, and various news and docu screengrabs ]
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    I’ve described chyrons — those verbal banners in the bottom third or fifth of a TV news screen — as the newsperson’s haiku. Headlines have long served a similar purpose, with their writers, seldom the authors credited with the articles in question, preferring puns to emphasis — puns, the “lowest form of wit” as they are sometimes mistakenly termed, James Joyce qv.

    Chyrons, now — shorter than most headlines, and therefore tighter in their demands — are an art-form that sometimes calls forth subtlety and wit. I love them, not least because they’re visual verbals.. combining the eye-catching quality of the visual with the point-making clarity of the verbal — a double hit.

    Here, then, from today’s haul of yesterday’s chyrons:

    That’s the killer — a major war. Here are two more for context:

    And let’s not forget ISIS:

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    Here’s a sporting metaphor — I suppose I should say, both literal and figurative?

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    Two versions of Roger Stone‘s fight:

    And Dems fighting words, with flying without a pilot as a bonus:

    CNN for a change, and the tax returns — so many, many fights!

    Back to MSNBC:

    Comic strip!

    And an MRI instance, medicin aat its most inquisitive:

    **

    Okay, a screengrab from the documentary on the Oslo and Otoya terrorist actions by Anders Breivik, 22 JulyBreivik as network cog and Knight Templar:

    Oh hell, let’s close with two grabs from another docu, Evil Genius, first episode, the first grab noting the way a scavenger hunt was part of the bank-heist murder:

    And the second demonstrating the route the scavenger hunt was designed to take, marked on the map in red — note the arrow at the end of the trail landing up where it had started — a clear and fascinating image of ouroboros:

    Too good to miss! And that’s it for now..

    Coming at Putin-Trump from an oblique angle

    Friday, February 1st, 2019

    [ by Charles Cameron — a kleptocratic analysis ]
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    There’s a different take on what liberals take to be the narrative Mueller will finally spell out (and Trump dispute) in its full Dostoevskian despair and glory: it’s to be found in Masha Gessen‘s New Yorker piece, The Trump-Russia Investigation and the Mafia State:

    What we are observing is not most accurately described as the subversion of American democracy by a hostile power. Instead, it is an attempt at state capture by an international crime syndicate. What unites Yanukovych, Veselnitskaya, Manafort, Stone, WikiLeaks’s Julian Assange, the Russian troll factory, the Trump campaign staffer George Papadopoulos and his partners in crime, the “Professor” (whose academic credentials are in doubt), and the “Female Russian National” (who appears to have fraudulently presented herself as Putin’s niece) is that they are all crooks and frauds. This is not a moral assessment, or an attempt to downplay their importance. It is an attempt to stop talking in terms of states and geopolitics and begin looking at Mafias and profits.

    Just to ensure we don’t think she’s arrived at her conclusion via a hint from Mueller, Gessen specifically notes:

    I’m not invoking the Mob because Stone encouraged an associate to behave like a character from “The Godfather Part II,” as detailed in his indictment.

    To wit:

    On multiple occasions, including on or about December 1, 2017, STONE told Person 2 that Person 2 should do a ‘Frank Pentangeli’ before [U.S. House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence] in order to avoid contradicting STONE’s testimony. Frank Pentangeli is a character in the film The Godfather: Part II, which both STONE and Person 2 had discussed, who testifies before a congressional committee and in that testimony claims not to know critical information that he does in fact know.

    **

    Nope, she’s on a different tack entirely — has been since the very beginning:

    From the first allegations, in July, 2016, of Russian meddling in the U.S. election campaign to the arrest of President Donald Trump’s former adviser Roger Stone last week, many of us who write about Russia professionally, or who are Russian, have struggled to square what we know with the emerging narrative. In this story, Russia waged a sophisticated and audacious operation to subvert American elections and install a President of its choice—it pulled off a coup. Tell that to your average American liberal, and you’ll get a nod of recognition. Tell it to your average Russian liberal (admittedly a much smaller category), and you’ll get uproarious laughter. Russians know that their state lacks the competence to mount a sophisticated sabotage effort, that the Kremlin was even more surprised by Trump’s election than was the candidate himself, and that Russian-American relations are at their most dysfunctional since the height of the Cold War. And yet the indictments keep coming.

    If that piques your interest as it piqued mine — by all means read Ms Gessen‘s piece in its entirety. Me, about now I’d be very interested in Ambassador McFaul‘s take.

    And Julia Ioffe‘s.


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