Mar 31Liked by Bill Astore

Take me out to the ball game,

Take me out with the crowd;

Get me some medals and MRE,

The Sarge he will bring out the best in me.

Let me root, root, root for the home team,

If we don't win, it's a shame.

For it's one, two, three strikes, you're in,

The recruitment game.

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No one likes to think about it, but a great deal of the usefulness of large, organized sports events is to hone the "us vs. them" tribal mentality in people. So adding war propaganda to the mix is just a natural extension of the tribalism that is inherent in massive "sports" events.

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Timely post. I just read this morning at Antiwar.com, Andrea Mazzarino from Brown University’s Costs of War Project regarding the damage short and long term of our vets and the efforts to cut funds to the VA Caregiver Program. Our jingoism is sickening and what an example Mr. Astore shares with us.

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Thanks Bill this is absolutely disgusting. I have been diagnosed with some PTSD from my sacrifice in the Navy/Vietnam and I am currently in a moral injury group. No one realizes how much such a display of militarism is a trigger to us. Most of the vets in my group have mentioned how this type of militaristic BS triggers us. For me in particular I see it as a complete failure of my Vietnam generation to learn our lessons and end our military escapades. I am sure to others they see it as an overt recruitment tool. this is sad and shocking and is another indication of the militaristic nationalism so typical of a state on its way to fascism.

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My last Revolution (soccer) game they wouldn't let me take into the stadium until i discarded an apple in my napsack. How f'ing American is that. No I don't do stadiums anymore.

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I stopped going to games because the military, the flag, the God bless Americans, the gingoism is everywhere...and God forbid you take the knee.

It makes me ill

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I couldn't agree more, and I'm happy that a Vet takes the time to make these very important points. It makes me both sad and angry whenever i see these manipulatively staged, shallow celebrations of the military. It's always some kind of boosterism pushed by hucksters. Of course, since any boosting of military tends to help justify the ever-inflating budgets for the Pentagon and 'defense' spending, the hucksters are basically just pitching these sales ultimately to Congress and the Executive.

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Interesting article about the National Guard and how it's gone from being a state militia to an adjunct to the federal military. According to Wikipedia, roughly half the US troops sent to Iraq/Afghanistan were with the National Guard, there being an insufficient number of regular soldiers. Of course now we have a different military model. Pay off the president of a foreign power and get him to use his soldiers to fight our battles. It's the same model the British used against the American colonies when they hired mercenaries like the Hessians. https://www.theamericanconservative.com/the-common-defense/

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For those who do not know what "Moral Injury PTSD" is ~ referred to by Jim Wohlgemuth earlier ~ the VA defines it as follows:

“In traumatic or unusually stressful circumstances, people may perpetrate, fail to prevent, or witness events that contradict deeply held moral beliefs and expectations (1). When someone does something that goes against their beliefs this is often referred to as an act of commission and when they fail to do something in line with their beliefs that is often referred to as an act of omission. Individuals may also experience betrayal from leadership, others in positions of power or peers that can result in adverse outcomes (2). Moral injury is the distressing psychological, behavioral, social, and sometimes spiritual aftermath of exposure to such events (3). A moral injury can occur in response to acting or witnessing behaviors that go against an individual's values and moral beliefs.

“In order for moral injury to occur, the individual must feel like a transgression occurred and that they or someone else crossed a line with respect to their moral beliefs. Guilt, shame, disgust and anger are some of the hallmark reactions of moral injury (e.g., 4). Guilt involves feeling distress and remorse regarding the morally injurious event (e.g., "I did something bad."). Shame is when the belief about the event generalizes to the whole self (e.g., "I am bad because of what I did.") (5). Disgust may occur as a response to memories of an act of perpetration, and anger may occur in response to a loss or feeling betrayed (6). Another hallmark reaction to moral injury is an inability to self-forgive, and consequently engaging in self-sabotaging behaviors (e.g., feeling like you don't deserve to succeed at work or relationships).

“Moral injury also typically has an impact on an individual's spirituality (7). For example, an individual with moral injury may have difficulty understanding how one's beliefs and relationship with a Higher Power can be true given the horrific event the person experienced, leading to uncertainty about previously held spiritual beliefs.”

[ https://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/treat/cooccurring/moral_injury.asp ]

Based on the VA's definition of "moral injury" and what the United States has inflicted upon the Lands, Nations, and Peoples of this Planet ~ particularly since 9/11 but long before that all the way back to its beginning ~ it is interesting but totally unsurprising that more Americans besides Veterans are not actively dealing with Moral Injury PTSD.

And to be perfectly honest, while i was very familiar with PTSD, i had never heard of its “Moral Injury” strain until Jim cited it.

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You're so right, Bill: the lack of care for vets, on all fronts, is a national disgrace. How much medical and mental health treatment could be paid for by just the display at that Sox game?

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Has anybody seen an estimate as to how much that flag cost and how long it took to make it? And how much time it took how many people to put it up and then take it down?

i'm curious, Bill: Did the tv show the flag being taken down?

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All this is all part of preparing Americans for what comes next. Something will happen, and Washington will get the War it wants and needs.

Excellent piece, Bill. May i suggest that You send that as an Open Letter to Major League Baseball with copies furnished to Sports Illustrated, The Sporting News, and ESPN?

As Mr DiTullio put it earlier: "I stopped going to games because the military, the flag, the God bless Americans, the gingoism is everywhere...and God forbid you take the knee. It makes me ill."

It would be interesting to see what would happen if the question of "Is this a baseball game or a military parade?" made the rounds in the Sports media.

Like i said, this is preparing Americans for what comes next. Going to be an interesting MLB Season, eh?

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deletedMar 31·edited Mar 31Liked by Bill Astore
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