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Here's How Professional Sports Have Come to Sell a Militarized form of Patriotism

August 19, 2018 in Blogs

By William Astore, Tom Dispatch

The melding of sports and the military should be seen as inappropriate, if not insidious.


I can remember lying on my bed with a crumpled up piece of paper in my hand and throwing it at the wall while, in my mind, the announcer’s voice carried on: “It’s a long drive to right field… Furillo is going back, back, back… He leaps! He’s got it!” And I would, of course, catch the paper as it bounced off that wall. It was perhaps the World Series year of 1955. The outfielder was Carl “the Reading Rifle” Furillo. His team, the Brooklyn Dodgers, was also my team until, in one of the tragedies of my young life, they absconded for Los Angeles. In those years, I dreamed endlessly about scooping up balls at second base with the dexterity of Jackie Robinson or at shortstop with the speed of Pee Wee Reese, even as, on any actual ball field, I didn’t dare bend down far enough lest the ball bounce up and hit my chin, and so regularly watched it roll past me into the outfield. Furillo’s camping grounds, right field, was where I so often ended up, even though I could never judge whether a fly ball was short or long and reflexively broke toward the infield as it came off the bat, often with sad consequences. 

What kid of that era and those that followed, like TomDispatch regular William Astore, can’t tell such tales of imagined prowess in the world of fandom versus real life on the field. But as Astore points out today, the very nature of the sports experience is now changing. Though professional sports in my childhood (the Korean War years) and my youth (the Vietnam War years) had next to nothing to do with the U.S. military, today, in a country that I’ve regularly described as being “unmade by war,” the worlds of professional sports and youthful dreams about it are both being eerily militarized. Stranger yet, as with our forever (yet curiously forgotten) …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Tough Love: A Psychologist Explains When It's Good to Make Others Feel Bad

August 19, 2018 in Blogs

By Belén López-Pérez, Aeon

Studies show that making someone feel badly can be useful.


Imagine that someone you care about is procrastinating in advance of a vital exam. If he fails the test, he will not be able to go to university, an eventuality of major consequence in his life. If positive encouragement doesn’t work, you might reverse strategy, making your friend feel so bad, so worried, so scared, that the only strategy left is that he starts studying like mad. 

Sometimes, the only way to help someone seems to be a cruel or nasty approach – a strategy that may leave the ‘helper’ feeling guilty and wrong. Now researchfrom my team at the Liverpool Hope University in the UK sheds light on how the process works. 

We typically equate positive emotions with positive consequences, and there’s research to back that up. Numerous studies of interpersonal emotion regulation – how one person can change or influence the emotions of another – emphasise the value of increasing positive emotions and decreasing negative ones. Other studies show that making someone feel badly can be useful: anger is helpful when confronting a cheater, and hurting another’s feelings can give them an edge in a game.  

Now, my team has documented the routine use of cruelty for altruistic reasons. To validate the phenomenon, we hypothesised the need for three conditions: the motivation to worsen someone’s mood needs to be altruistic; the negative emotion inflicted on the other person should help them achieve a specific goal; and the person inflicting the pain must feel empathy for the recipient.

To test what we call altruistic affect-worsening, we recruited 140 adults and told them that they were being paired with another, anonymous participant to play a computer game for a possible prize of £50 in Amazon vouchers – though in reality, there was no ‘partner’. Prior to play, participants were asked to read a personal statement ostensibly written by their opponent about a painful romantic breakup. Some participants were told to put themselves in the opponent’s shoes; others were instructed to remain …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Brennan Says He's Considering Legal Action After Trump Revoked His Security Clearance

August 19, 2018 in Blogs

By Elizabeth Preza, AlterNet

He also called on Congress to stand up to the president.


Former CIA Director John Brennan on Sunday said he’s mulling legal action against Donald Trump over the president’s decision to revoke his security clearance.

Speaking with NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Brennan said he’s considering standing up to Trump’s “abuses” in court.

“If my clearances and my reputation as I’m being pulled through the mud now, if that’s the price we’re going to pay to prevent Donald Trump from doing this against other people, to me it’s a small price to pay,” Brennan said. “So I am going to do whatever I can personally to try to prevent these abuses in the future. And if it means going to court, I will do that.”

Brennan also called on Congress to stand up to Trump for threatening to revoke clearances for other vocal critics.

 “This is the time that your country is going to rely on you, not to do what is best for your party but what is best for the country,” Brennan said.

 

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Donald Trump Has A Meltdown Over 'Fake' New York Times Report Even As He Admits McGahn Spoke to Mueller

August 19, 2018 in Blogs

By Hunter, Daily Kos

Another day, another Twitter meltdown.


Well, Trump is on a tear again. And it's the fault of the New York Times, which he doesn't read and is dumb and stupid and shut up.

The failing @nytimes wrote a Fake piece today implying that because White House Councel Don McGahn was giving hours of testimony to the Special Councel, he must be a John Dean type “RAT.” But I allowed him and all others to testify – I didn’t have to. I have nothing to hide……

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 19, 2018

It seems instructive that Donald Trump, walking garbage fire and man at the center of numerous investigations into potentially illegal acts he has undertaken both as candidate and pretzeldent, considers John Dean a “RAT.”. We should probably make a note of that.

No Collusion and No Obstruction, except by Crooked Hillary and the Democrats. All of the resignations and corruption, yet heavily conflicted Bob Mueller refuses to even look in that direction. What about the Brennan, Comey, McCabe, Strzok lies to Congress, or Crooked’s Emails!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 19, 2018

This is what happens when grandpa spends all his days watching Fox News. His cabinet has been roiled by scandal and resignations to an extent not seen since the Watergate days, but since Fox News doesn't cover it he doesn't remember it's happening. Instead, Something Something Witch Hunt.

Some members of the media are very Angry at the Fake Story in the New York Times. They actually called to complain and apologize – a big step forward. From the day I announced, the Times has been Fake News, and with their disgusting new Board Member, it will only get worse!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 19, 2018

Ah yes, the raging incompetent's favorite lie: What My Invisible Friends Are Saying. The odds that reporters have been calling Biff here to apologize for writing stories about his crimez is approximately zero. The odds that Donald spends hours of each day imagining this happening, however, are considerably higher.

Study the late Joseph McCarthy, because we …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Ex-Fox News Analyst Lt. Col. Ralph Peters Shreds Former Colleagues: ‘Prostitutes’ And ‘Henchmen’ for Trump

August 19, 2018 in Blogs

By Elizabeth Preza, AlterNet

Peters said he's doing his “part in these dreadful, dreadful days in Washington.”


Retired United States Army Lt. Col. Ralph Peters on Sunday unloaded on his former Fox News colleagues, arguing they serve Donald Trump with such blind faith that they “constitute a threat to our republic.”

Peters, who left Fox News in March with a scathing op-ed about the network’s pro-Trump slant, told CNN’s Brian Stelter he’s doing his “part in these dreadful, dreadful days in Washington.”

“What is the most dreadful part about it for you?” Shelter asked.

“Well, the most dreadful part is that we have a president who does not respect our system of government, does not understand our government, who is not interested in understanding our government, who believes that the Constitution is a menu from which he can choose only the most delectable items, who doesn’t respect the Constitution,” Peters replied. “That’s one thing.”

Peters, a former Russia analyst, added he’s “convinced that the President of the United States is enthralled to Vladimir Putin.”

“There is no other way to explain his behavior,” Peters claimed. “And he perfectly fits the profile of the kind of people the Russians target.”

“This is a distinctly un-American president who really doesn’t seem to like America very much, certainly doesn’t respect it,” Peters added. “And he’s a president who appears to be enthralled to a foreign power, a hostile foreign power. This is unbelievable to me. I could never have foreseen this. I was a pretty good analyst, made a lot more good calls than bad calls. I never could have foreseen this, to use a cliched word, this Orwellian situation.”

Asked if his sharp criticism of the president “has the opposite effect of your intent,” Peters replied he “doesn’t worry” about calculating his words.

“What we need is people who will speak honestly and say what they believe and not worry about who it offends. I’m just sick and tired of people hedging and hemming and hawing. This is a President of the United States who is a danger to the republic,“ Peters said. “Brian, the only reason I am here today on …read more

Source: ALTERNET